When I began this blog and was thinking about it's title, it really didn't take me very long to come up with Never Ending Journey. At the time, I was just about six months away from my husband's death, had been traveling and visiting with family and friends, back in my home of thirty years with no furniture and a lot of work facing me every day.
Even before his death, my life had been turned upside down as furniture and everything familiar was being put into storage. I had no idea at that time just how long it would be before I'd see it again. I thought, naively, that I would resume a somewhat "normal" life sooner than was realistic.
A person's mind doesn't process things logically under that kind of stress. Entering into final stages of the life of a spouse then the grief stages does not lend to a though process that makes sense. Oh, I think most of us go through it with relatively minor external signs, but inside the head, we are Jell-O.
I commented recently that I'd noticed it seems that I have finally passed through the grief. I still have moments, but they are fleeting and no longer bring me to me knees. I'm really ready for the next stage of my life, whatever that is going to be. And so I am. But getting there is still an interesting journey.
I'm having to relearn things or adjust my life style, my daily routine now. Now, I've been "just me" for some time, and one would think I've learned how to do things or make changes so that my life is ... well, my life. Some of this may sound peculiar, but it is a reflection of the of situations I have been running into.
For almost two years now, I've been living out of suitcase. Or boxes. The greater part of the house was packed and stored between June, 2005 and September, 2005. I packed what I thought I would need for a few weeks/months into suitcases and some totes or boxes, and moved that to Washington State for about two months. Then I traveled for three weeks to Florida where I lived with my daughter for another two months. Heading back to KC, I took another ten days on the road, followed by seven months in the essentially empty house. During this time, I used metal racks and canvas cubes as a dresser. When I came to New Mexico I finally had a dresser, but it was a temporary place, and I didn't feel "settled."
Well, In the last few days I've realized that I'm having to learn to live without the suitcases and totes. When I empty a box or a tote, I have a tendency to put in it the corner of the room, as if to be handy for repacking. In the last week, I've carried out several that were lurking in those corners and leering at me! And the suitcases ... I finally caught on that it is OK to put them away in the storage area under the house. I won't need them for a while now. And if I do, I can get them. They won't be in a storage unit in KC or Albuquerque! The whole concept of not needing to have them at my fingertips is a new one for me.
Honestly, sometimes I start to get ready for something, and I find myself wondering where a certain sweater is. And it is right there in that drawer! My make up is no longer in a bag; it is actually on the vanity! When I shower, I don't have to grab the little mesh shower bag and carry it with me; everything is already in the shower now.
Yesterday it finally dawned on me that I don't have to keep my medications and vitamins in that little tote box that has been their "home on wheels" for two years! Eureka! I found a corner of a cabinet and put them away for the first time in longer than I can remember. Then this morning, I forgot where they were! I found myself looking for the little tote which was now out on the deck with all the other empty totes.
If you're thinking about how chaotic your life is, yes, I'm sure you're right. But you can't imagine what it is like to live without roots for two years until you actually do it. When there is a personal tragedy or a situation which causes extreme stress for a period of time, a serious financial crunch, or some other significant difficulty, you will notice the change when your life returns to something with some normalcy and predictability. Next time you cross such a crossroads and find your way back to the path with level paving, take time to notice how good life is. Don't just rush past, but savor the blessings.
Life is beautiful. I know, I speak from experience. Life is really beautiful.