Roller Coaster


I am days away from leaving and I am consumed with the constant flow and stream of emotions. That and packing. There is always packing. However, I actually was a little paralyzed (not literally) the other day and did no packing or preparations. Let me catch you up.

Most days, these days, I get up anywhere from 5:30 to 7:00. Well, 7 is really a stretch and is the absolute latest no matter what time I went to bed. Generally, it is more like 6-something. As soon as a little light starts to show, I am compelled to get out of bed. I make my tea and play around on the computer. Check emails, write if so inclined, read the news, check in with the real and social media worlds. This is my reflection time if that is how I feel, my research time if I am addressing any issues related to this journey. Time to check my schedule, in case I forgot what day it is but remember that I may have something to do. Time for a literal check-in with myself, the weather, the world. 

I get hungry about two hours after I wake, so when I get hungry I eat. What a concept, eh?? NOT eating when the clock says, not eating on someone else’s schedule, but when my tummy says. Eat when hungry! Around the time I eat I get dressed. I find it much more motivating to “get stuff done” when I am in clothes, as opposed to loungewear. I have been wearing only the clothes that I will be packing. I emptied my dresser a long time ago. This way I can really get a sense if what I plan to pack will work, and I can still make changes or access my storage unit if needed. I dawn a T-shirt and a pair of utility pants. You know, those tactical pants with all the awesome pockets? Yeah, those! These days I tuck my shirt in, sport a belt, and adorn myself with a pocket knife and leatherman tool. The knife goes in the right-front pocket OR knife pocket, depending on the pants. The leatherman has its own case and goes on the left side on the belt. I find that the packing and moving of stuff around warrants a small tool now and again. Also, I feel complete when I have all this stuff on me. Complete, put together, prepared. If the weather is cooler, I can wear a button shirt over the t-shirt. I am still trying NOT to wear my good hiking boots around town, so I usually wear my old work boots or a general shoe. Depends on what I am doing. 

I rarely shower in the morning. In fact, I rarely shower daily. There really is no need. I wash my face and maybe some other areas (wink wink) and put my hair up. I have been growing my hair for literally months now so that I will not have to get it cut. I wore my hair pretty short for years, but I had to get it cut about every five weeks. So, in order to abstain from this practice, I chose to grow it out. I am actually liking it! I have nearly every color on my head and the variety is fun. I also have a ton of thick hair to play with. I hate it in my eyes and am learning how to wear it up and out of my face, neatly tucked away. The irony of growing my hair out only to put it up. Depending on what I am doing, I can go about 4 days between washes. If I am sweating a lot or working hard, those days become less. 

By the time I accomplish all this it is probably about 9:00 or 10:00, which is still too early for most places of business. I can make phone calls, especially to those on the East coast, and I can get to packing or cleaning or whatever house-related puttering I need to do. 

I try to eat lunch 4-5 hours after breakfast. Again, when I am hungry! Listening to my body and not adhering to the clock. After lunch is when I like to hit the gym. I bought a one-year membership last fall for a really good price. I did not go much over the winter but I am using the hell out of it now. I enjoy how empty it is in the gym, though the pool tends to be busy with families. I also like that I can stay as long as I want with no constraints. Sometimes I have a really vigorous workout and sometimes I get a bit lazy. Either way, I stay 60-90 minutes and rotate machines. I try to get cardio and weights in every time, with various amounts of stretching. Which machines and how long I stay on them depend on my mood and my body. I figure sitting and pedaling a stationary bike is still better than sitting in front of the TV in the recliner at home. 

I did learn NOT to work out directly after a big lunch. I just felt full and lazy and tired and lethargic. I think I need about an hour lag time. Good to know. 

After lunch it gets more complicated and it seems the clock slows. Maybe I will take a load to storage, maybe I will work around the house some more, maybe I will sit outside now that the weather is changing. I may have errands to run or other calls to make. I will use this time to finish up anything I started earlier so that I can feel accomplished at the end of the day. I am also still selling items, so perhaps I have a meet up or two in order to complete a sale. Some things go quicker than others, but I am making good progress. 

Late afternoon into evening are the greatest challenge. Maybe I am meeting up with friends, but I have to watch that as I am counting coins. I may have martial arts class, but this is an area of frustration that I will not get into here. I have to watch the drinking during these hours, as when boredom sets in, I turn to movies and alcohol. Let’s be real, it helps pass the time. I am not an alcoholic, but I can be a frequent drinker. The high I get from the alcohol helps the time pass until bed. Well, that and I have more booze in this house than food! It is like a job to drink it before I leave. I am not taking partially empty alcohol bottles with me. I do not intent to be shitfaced at my camp deep in the woods. 

Later in the evening, I sometimes start to doze in the recliner and sometimes I just go to bed. Pre-sleep, as my Dad calls it, can happen as early as 8:00. I try to stay up past 9:00 so that I am not up too early the next day. Generally, I hit the bed between 9:30 and 10:00. I always read a bit first. I can read for as little as five minutes or as much as an hour, depending on the book and how tired I may or many not be. 

So, there is what I now label as a typical day. What did I leave out? The emotional aspect. I am up and down and excited and terrified and worried about the weather and where to stay and if I packed the right things and getting a reservation and will the camp be open and how long will it take to get there….. on and on my brain and my emotions ping and pong and then ping some more. I have prepared the coming months with a balance of my free time and self-selected work or volunteer time with travel time with friend time with possible training time. I am also experiencing the sadness of leaving my house with saying farewell to friends to being antsy to get the hell on the road to feelings of loss and letting go. Like the wash cycle, I go around and around. Like a record, baby, I spin ‘round baby ‘round.

I can have all these emotions in one day, or have none of them. It depends on the day. I am learning to listen to myself. Shit, I am learning to HEAR myself, too. Listen and pay attention and tend to whatever I am feeling. Stay tuned into what the day has to offer, accept the gifts that await or the information that may be laying right below my stress. Full circle back to my day of feeling paralyzed. I went for my leisurely walk, which of course turned into a five mile hike. I met friends for lunch beer and sold a couple items. One lady who bought some gardening tools oversees some greenhouses that produce beans whose seeds that go all over the world. I got a little tour and that was a great point of information and connection. Unexpected gift and I made $5. Score! 

This long and lengthy post reflects these long and lengthy days of transition. The roller coaster of ending one life and starting another. The time in between to make a fairly wise and calculated shift from that which was to that which will be. The limbo that is really not al limbo. The butterfly may look like it is sleeping on the chrysalis, but it is really undergoing a most amazing transformation. I am in my chrysalis right now, morphing and transitioning. Time well spent, time I need, time spent investing in my own success. Time that is my investment in the future of my own choosing, of my own creation. The future I, as much as any human can, control. 

Here’s to your transformation in whatever form works best for you in the current time and space in which you live.

Cheers to metamorphosis!

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