“Sometimes I remember the way I used to be,” she said as we sat across the table from each other, “and I’m surprised nobody ever smacked me.”
I took a long sip of my coffee so that I would not have to answer her. I wanted to tell her that she ought to be more generous to the girl she used to be, if not out of respect for herself, then out of respect for me, or more specifically for the boy I used to be, who loved that girl, after all.”
― Kevin Brockmeier, The View from the Seventh Layer
What I find when I pack is I start to find slips and pieces of my life up to this point. Sometimes, its a great memory, a postcard I’d forgotten about, a birthday card that made me laugh (A particular favorite is the view that looks like someone laying down and pink, plastic flamingos staring down at them. The inside of the card says “Who are these people and why are their necks so long?”) Sometimes, its one of the many, many journals I’ve started. And inevitably I sit down to read them. Sometimes I’m struck by wise thought or interesting memory I’d forgotten about…sometimes I rediscover a mistake I made that I thought I’d learned from but clearly have not. Sometimes…I just find a quote, like the one above. Or the one below
We are none of us so delicate as we think.
-Kevin Brockmeier, The View from the Seventh Layer
Where I’m going with this is sometimes the present really only makes sense in context of the past…and you can’t know where you’re going, I guess, til you know where you’ve been. I’m moving. Things are changing. And that lack of control is a large reason why I feel this challenge is good way for me to take control of things I can manage. Many things are out of my control…
“It will get better.”
“No. No it won’t. But you have to remember, not every crisis is your crisis. You can be a sympathetic ear, you can listen…but its not always your crisis.”
And there…we’ve learned something already.
Hours of Sleep: 7.5 hours
Exercise: Took the stairs an extra 5 times today (despite my poor decision to wear heels to work today), mowed the lawn, walked to Walgreens to get more Cortizone for the mosquito bites I got while mowing the lawn
Breakfast: 1 glorious paleo egg cup and a peach
Cleaning or Packing?: Packed 2 big boxes, cleaned out part of the linen closet, wrapped up my Nana’s fine china I used for my birthday, tidied up the kitchen and cleaned part of the bathroom. Time spent: 35 minutes.
Made my bed?: Yup! And put clean sheets on the secondary bed! Guest bedroom cleaning tomorrow!
Spiritual Health: Thought a lot and read old journals.
Read 1 book a week: pg 355 of The Girl With All The Gifts.
Journal entry: Ta da!
I started a routine actually with this journal. I make myself a cup of tea (honey on the bottom!) and then sit down, put on something streaming (Tonight: When Harry Met Sally.) Pull up photos, etc for me to reference and log in. After I’m done, I go to take a bubble bath and read for a little while and spend time in quiet reflection. And bubbles.
Great Parts of Today
This entry started out a little melancholy. So these are the things that were great today:
-Walked into work today and another girl who is a Hello Kitty fan left this on my desk.
-Walked to the Food Trucks outside my office, had a glorious sandwich
-Was told by someone that advice I gave was very helpful and got them in a good place
-Made the last payments on new couch, California King Size Bed, and dining room table
-Came home from mowing the lawn to find my husband had made me supper
-Got a glorious email from my husband outlining an order of how we should organize packing and such for the move (it was beautiful…perfect…)
-Managed to do everything I was supposed to for the challenge and only hated the bed making minimally
-Wore a super cute outfit to work and had a coworker stop me leaving a meeting room saying “You look SO pretty.”
-Planned going for a walk with one of my friends tomorrow.
-Finalized plans for adventures in Chicago this weekend.
In short, there’s a lot to be thankful for. And the thing with your past? Its your past. You can’t change it, you can only move forward.
“It isn’t good to hold on too hard to the past. You can’t spend your whole life looking back. Not even when you can’t see what lies ahead. All you can do is keep on keeping on, and try to believe that tomorrow will be what it should be—even if it isn’t what you expected.”
― Jim Butcher, Death Masks