Monday, February 11, 2013

Cleaning and packing

If there is anything I am not good at, it is cleaning and packing.

I assume that I was bad at teaching because I was in such a fog the entire time, I barely knew my name.  The worst of it was not being able to cook, or clean, or read my Bible, or blog, or go to the grocery store, or, essentially, do any of the things that were my former life.  On the bright side, I had plenty of students to talk to, and the drive time was a good opportunity for prayer (and believe me, I was in need of prayer).   I had some overwhelmingly intense mornings cruising down 481 with the radio off, watching the sunrise (one morning it was blood-red like a Victorian mystery behind the naked black tree branches), praying my heart out to God.

Being an introvert, I also found that teaching drained me.  Even when I arrived back home, exhausted, I could never just go to bed, not only because I had hours of grading and lesson planning in front of me, but also because I needed "down time" by myself to decompress.  It's a weird thing, being an introvert, because I like people.  I even get lonely when I never see people.  Still, constant contact absolutely drains me, and I need to be alone to gather my wits in the aftermath.  This is one more reason why I think that teaching probably is not for me.

But now I am trying to clean and pack, which is not any easier for me and may--in fact--be harder.

The last time we moved was 18 years ago.  I had a five-year-old, a four-year old, a two-year-old, and I was pregnant.  I killed that move.  Seriously.  In a good way.  Organization and efficiency were my hallmarks.  I went through everything in the house and purged.  I gave away pots, pans, dishes, bags and bags of baby clothes, our bikes, and my favorite heavy gray wool coat, among other things.

I miss that coat.  I've wished for it a number of times.   It was a classic.

I also lost my orthodontic retainer in that move (probably why I ended up having to get braces a few years ago).

Besides my retainer, I lost a gold necklace that Shawn had given me in 1985, after we had dated for six months.  The sweetest thing... best gift I ever got, possibly.  I was totally unaware that we had been dating for six months, so it came completely unexpected.  He smiled and pulled this tiny wrapped package out of nowhere, and I cluelessly opened it.  It was a gold heart, the outline of the heart, and there were three tiny leaves of Black Hills gold along one side of it, a pink, a green and a yellow.  The heart hung on a very delicate gold chain.  I loved that necklace.  We moved, and I never saw it again.

Perhaps this is part of my hang-up.  Perhaps I am afraid of losing things that are important to me.

When we moved from Minnesota to New York right after college, I lost a crystal bowl and the butter dish from my fine china, neither of which had ever even been used.

I don't like losing things.  It makes me sad.

Back at Christmastime, we were receiving a lot of Christmas cards and such, and along came my birthday card from my parents, with a birthday check in it.  I set it aside in a safe place so it wouldn't get lost in the piles of Christmas mail... and I never saw it again.  I had to call my parents and tell them, because I knew they would wonder why their check was never cashed, as it never will be.

Yes, I think I have a profound fear of the things I will put in safe places and never see again over the course of this move.  I also fear the things I will discard and later wish I had kept.  I have a real knack for keeping the wrong things and divesting myself of the other wrong things.

On a happier note, I was going through old insurance paperwork and found a check for $271.  This should be an encouragement.


Anonymous said...

YOU can do it, Ruth, because God will help you, sometimes it seemed like HE did it FOR me! I'm praying for you (very specifically) now. One of our moves brought the Rainbows into my life :). ~~P

ruth said...

Thanks! Philippians 4:13 -- "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!"