Yesterday, I drove my daughter and myself over to my apartment in a neighboring province to meet someone who was going to assemble my bedroom and dining furniture. It was raining really hard, so we left over an hour early, and took our time to get there. We had packed the last remaining heavy boxes and bags to go up those 20 stairs (soaked to the skin in the 75 feet from my parking space to the door of the apartment building), and my daughter made three such trips before she was done. The heavy lifting over, we busied ourselves with our various tasks inside the apartment while we awaited the assembly-man (who did a great job putting together my furniture, by the way!)
We had to leave my husband behind; he is recovering from surgery to re-insert part of the top of his biceps muscle back into his rotator cuff (shoulder). While we were gone, we were in touch by text – he was mostly getting cabin fever – but he appreciated knowing about our progress.
The fellow who put our furniture together took over two hours to do it well. Meticulous and skilled, he appreciated the fact that I put a fan in the room he was working in to help him not get overheated. It was incredibly warm work! We made conversation while he worked, and got to know each other a bit. (I’m one of those people who likes to watch trades people practice their craft. It’s fascinating!)
So now the apartment, aside from half a room filled with cardboard boxes and various packaging materials from the move and from new furniture, actually looks like someone lives there. I am including a few photos to show my handiwork and give you an idea of what I’ve been up to lately.
When everyone was done, my daughter and I went to a nearby McDonalds and had something to eat before heading back to our house, a two-hour drive on a good day.
We managed to not get lost – quite an accomplishment for my first time at the wheel doing the trip – and we saw some pretty neat sights coming back. The rain was not as strong, so we saw some wildlife – a mature bald eagle having just made a kill, still perching on it on the other side of the road, not 25 feet from me, and later on, a mink, its long, sleek body rippling in waves as it ran across the road about 75 to 100 feet in front of the car. Those were experiences that I will not soon forget!
It was a long day, and we were both exhausted from the humidity that left us soaked as much from sweat as from the raindrops. However, we did it, and the sense of accomplishment was quite remarkable!
I’m almost there, almost at the beginning of a new adventure. I can almost smell it, it’s that close. It smells like … corrugated cardboard, apparently (haha).
Seriously, the last three years have been leading up to this very moment. It seems like all the facets of this new life are planned for, and coming together faster than I would have thought possible a year ago! In just over two weeks’ time, I will be living that life out day by day, and learning so many lessons it will be hard to keep track of them all!
I’ve been learning to make self-care a priority, which will be even more important when I begin to juggle work, internship, bills, groceries, trips to see the family, flights to my fall and spring seminars (each 4 days), friends near and far, and oh yes, me! My counselor has taught me to do self-care first so that I don’t work stressed. I’m trying hard to honor that concept of putting my needs first so that I have something left to give to others. So far, it’s working!
I even have plans to invite individual friends or couples over for a meal once in a while when I get settled. The freedom to do that whenever I choose is a bonus I hadn’t counted on, and the fact that I will not have a pet in the apartment means that I won’t have to worry about others getting cat hair on their clothing! I do have friends in that city; they moved there from here about five years ago or so … and I am looking forward to having them over to “my place” for supper and an evening every so often.
In practical terms, I know where the nearest grocery store is; I know where the nearest restaurant is. I know (pretty much) how to get from my apartment to my internship site and back. I know how the coin-operated laundry facilities work. The power is already turned on. I have plans to pick up my tele-work equipment and my work cell in a little over a month’s time. Sometime tomorrow, I am setting up my fiber-op Internet hookup service call for the 4th of September. My landlord still has to give me the keys to my mailbox and to my storage closet, and arrange to have the building supervisor put in my window-mounted air conditioner; it is too heavy for me to manhandle it.
The clothing is there in the apartment and just needs to be put in the dresser drawers. The bed linens are in the apartment already; I plan to get the mattress cover and the pillows purchased today at a nearby mattress shop, and one of the first things I will be doing when I move over there in about 2 weeks is to make my bed.
I am almost there. I am nearly ready to begin. All I need is the word go.