Not surprisingly, the last couple of weeks have been pretty intense.
Exciting. Surreal. Exhausting…. All good words to describe how this whole process feels.
But one word keeps coming to mind because it captures the best and worst aspects of it all: Overwhelmed.
In the best of ways and the worst of ways, we are overwhelmed.
We have been overwhelmed by the thoughtfulness and generosity of the people in our lives. I cannot begin to tell you the number of people who have offered us all manner of help. And we’re not talking about empty offers where the person is just trying to be nice but they’re secretly hoping you don’t ask (Do I sound jaded? I’m a little jaded. Occupational hazard. Sorry.) In any case, it was clear to even jaded, cynical, me that these were real, concrete, serious offers of assistance.
Friends and family have offered to store our possessions for us, help us move, and give us a place to stay should we ever need it.
Both of my brothers and sisters-in-law have already taken boxes of our important stuff and have offered to store more. Kevin’s parents are taking possession of piles of clothing when we fly down to Florida to establish our residency and have even offered to drive up here to take larger items back with them (which is a hell of a long drive). My friend Melissa, who I met twenty plus years ago as a college roommate, has offered multiple rooms in her house to store whatever we need. Numerous others – friends, family, co-workers – have offered a closet, an attic, a basement. We have more offers of storage space than we have stuff to store.
When I first published this blog and when I posted about our plans on Facebook, offers from old friends living in all corners of the country started popping up online and showing up in our inboxes. From Florida to Michigan, California to Maine, we have standing offers for beers, parking places, non-mobile sleeping quarters and guided tours. Suggestions about where to go, what to see, and offers to meet up in various locales have poured in.
In our last days at work, we were touched by the number of co-workers reaching out to us to wish us well. We received heartfelt notes from colleagues past and present, and thoughtful gifts from people we’ve long admired and respected.
And when it came to Dixie, our friends Julie and CJ stepped up to make sure she was taken care of. Dixie has long been a huge obstacle to us getting out of town because we can’t just drop her off at a kennel. She’ll eat the kennel. So when her “Dixie-approved” dog-sitter wasn’t available for the first few days of our trip to pick the RV up, we had a huge problem. Luckily, these two offered to take care of her and get her to the dog sitter once she’s available.
Absent them saving the day, Kevin would be picking up the RV without me.
And yes, I realize it’s absurd that our dog runs our lives, but look at her:
She’s adorable! She’s the Queen of the Derp! You can’t say no to a face like that!!
In any case, the point is, we have some really great people in our lives and we are really, truly, grateful for them all.
It’s especially incredible when we consider what terrible people we’ve been for the past however many years. Buried in work and work related stress, and being the self absorbed jerks we can sometimes be, we’ve been pretty neglectful of many of these relationships – especially the long-distance ones. It’s one of the reasons we want to take time off – to go spend time with the wonderful people who still seem to like us even though we don’t really deserve it.
Speaking of which, when I started this post, I was going to talk about the good aspects of this whole process and then the bad aspects – the things that are overwhelming us in a negative sense – the to-do lists, the stress, the emotions that go along with the process of walking away from the familiar and the secure…. But after sitting here and thinking about all that we are thankful for, I no longer have the desire to dwell on any of the negative.
It’ll be fine.
If you’ve got good people on your side, it’ll be fine.
And we have good people on our side.
Thank you all.
(As an aside, you’ll note we have lots of pictures of my last day and my going away party but none from Kevin’s. That’s because I worked with this fantastic lady named Cat Evans who thinks of these things. If we were as diligent as Cat, we’d have pictures of Kevin’s event as well. We promise we’ll do better about documenting in the future… Rest assured, the folks at Kevin’s firm are lovely and he will miss them very much.)