25 March, 2010

Letting Go

I have written several times of the emotional expenditures involved with saying goodbye to the attachments of my old life and creating a [relatively] blank canvas for my new one. This point was very painfully and articulately driven home earlier this week.
I went out of town this weekend to visit my grandfather in Kentucky, and to meet my parents who were there to help a friend box up her deceased husband's clothes. All things considered, it was a nice trip. I was able to take a lot of walks around the town where I spent the earliest years of my childhood. And that gave me a lot of time to do a lot of thinking. I started thinking about Charlie, my canine companion of 11 years, and my best friend in the world. I started wondering if anything I was doing with his diet, his skincare, his supplements was helping to make him feel better. I started thinking the thought that had been nagging at me for weeks, but to which I was too mortified to give conscious thought: Am I being selfish by hanging on to Charlie when he might be much more grateful to be released? The thought, of course, filled me with varying flavors of guilt, heavy sadness, and a heartache like I scarcely remember ever feeling. And that was just thinking about it..
When I returned home on Sunday night, greeted by my ever faithful Charlie at the door, I realized something that I hadn't fully noticed when being in the house full time: The house smelled very strongly of 'sick dog'. The odor hit me like a thrust from a prize fighter. I knew what was coming next. But, I still wasn't ready to admit it.
The next day, I forced myself to really consider Charlie. I wanted to try to put myself in his skin, and think about how I would want to be cared for by my companion. I could almost hear him telling me that he was only still hanging around because he knew how much I needed him. He didn't want to let me down. He was afraid to leave me. I knew he'd been miserable for some time, and even though I tried to tell myself that he was showing little signs of improvement - a slight patch of hair was starting to regrow; he was falling down not quite as many times as he has been - I knew that his eyes had been telling me what I didn't want to know. There'd been no joy in his eyes for months. When I looked at him, I only saw an exhausted determination to keep trying to make it through the day.
I had my answer. I had a silent exchange with Charlie, and I could swear that I saw relief in his eyes..
I called my parents to ask for their thoughts on the subject. Would they think I was a monster if I helped Charlie to find the peace I finally knew he needed?
They were wonderful and supportive.
I asked my sister the same thing. She said she was surprised I hadn't made the decision a while ago. She was totally understanding and a great pillar of support.
I asked my mother to make an appointment for us that same day.
So, on Monday, the whole family (mom, dad, sister, and me) all went to the veterinary office with Charlie. I asked mom to make him some bacon. I asked sister to bring him a banana. I shared some buttery toast with him before we left. He rode in my lap all the way there.
Charlie has never been a big fan of visits to the vet. He doesn't get crazy, but he's usually pretty tense and cautious when we have to go. This time he was cool as a cucumber ... which was surprising all the more, since his family was surrounding him with tearful attention like he'd never experienced. At first I thought he must think we are all crazy to be so sad. After all, he was receiving love, attention, and bacon from the people who love him. But, I think he just knew why he was there, and was ready to say goodbye.
He was tranquilized first, which was hard enough. And then we all gathered round him as he was given the injection that would stop his heart and give him the peace I knew he'd been wanting for so long. He didn't look scared. I stayed at his head and kept looking in his eyes so that I would be the last thing he would see, and he would know that he was safe. Then, his eyes rolled back, and it was over.
I think this was the most difficult thing I've ever had to do. I have cried and moaned and wailed in the deepest, most gutteral tones of unadulterated grief. But, I have been supported by my family and friends. My sister, especially, has been a great help to me.
And, it's also fortuitous that the yard sale I'd already planned is this Saturday, so I have had lots of distractions in getting ready for that. Clearing out the house, and seeing it look less like a home is actually a great comfort to me right now. The hardest moments for me are when I come into the house, and he's not here to greet me. Eleven years of having him at the door when I enter it ... it feels very lonely to be without that.
So, it must really be time for me to learn the lesson of Letting Go. It's a bitch of a lesson, but I'm trying to handle it with as much grace as I can. And with that, and a little help from my friends [and family], I know I'll find my way.

17 March, 2010

Fatigued and Restless

I don't remember ever being a big fan of Daylight Savings Time. I mean, I 've been known to be excited to have the sunshine still out at 8pm, but, as a concept, I think Daylight Savings Time is absolutely ridiculous. This feeling is compounded by the fact that twice every year, when the government passes down the brilliant idea of changing our clocks to try to manipulate the natural course of things, I end up physically paying the price for a couple weeks. The abrupt change in schedules and routines leaves me feeling exhausted, fatigued and totally wonky ... physically and mentally. Add these feelings to my current state of emotion soup, and you might be able to imagine the adventure my life is right now. Just getting out of bed at a decent hour feels akin to climbing great volcanic heights.

But, despite this almost unbearable fatigue, I've also been nursing a growing restlessness to get on the ball and try to pick up the pace on my plans to sell everything and become mobile. To that end, I've been posting more furniture online - craigslist, for now - and opened an ebay account. I posted my collection of Domino magazines on ebay last night. (It was the only complete collection being offered, so I hope it sells quickly.)

Today, I've got two different folks coming by to pick up my vintage Peugeot road bike, and my hammock, respectively. Last night, I sold the rain barrel. The night before that, I sold a garden bench. All good stuff ... good momentum towards my goal. And today, I'm going to start posting my shoes on ebay, (the good ones, anyway).

Less than two full weeks to the yard sale. After that, I think things will really start moving. Even if I have more to sell, I may put everything in a storage unit to sell from there so I can start working on the house repairs to get it ready for market as soon as possible. The daffodils and crocuses are blooming in the yard now, and the azaleas will soon follow. Would be nice to have as much in bloom as posssble for market.

All in good time. I'm just hoping my good time is short time.

15 March, 2010

Momentum and Release

This weekend I got inspired by the beautiful warm weather. I could feel my body practically aching to get outside. This also seemed the perfect time to begin acclimating my body to some of the physical challenges I'm hoping to create in my new life. As I mentioned in earlier posts, it is my goal to try to get my body into a much more efficient and fit shape so that I might be ready for any opportunity for adventure that should present itself. And, in that spirit, I chose to start walking this weekend. I realize that might sound a little anti-climactic, but it's not as small a step as it sounds. I chose to walk everywhere I went this weekend with the exception of the grocery store when I had to buy the week's worth of food for me and Charlie. I walked to the pool hall Friday night to meet my friends. I walked to the farmers' market Saturday morning with my friends. I walked to work on Saturday night (and got caught in the rain on the way there). It's been great. I love how walking a town can give such a personal experience of its landmarks and its people. I am planning to continue to use my feet and not my car as often as I can. I even hope to start walking to the grocery with my wagon in tow. So, I'm picking up momentum on my fitness plan. The diet is still going pretty well, though I am definitely wrestling with cravings. And I'm hoping to begin more goal-specific calisthenics this week. So, that part of my plans is going smoothly. Yay!

On a melancholy note: Blanca bunny is going to her new home today. My friend from high school is coming this afternoon to pick her up and take her to his neighbors' where she will find her new family. I know it's the right thing to do for her. And I truly believe she will be happier there, but in this past couple weeks, we have actually started to bond. I cleaned her house this morning, and cut her nails and held her and sang to her and tried to explain what was about to happen. She just looked up at me with those big, sweet eyes, and seemed to be telling me "I trust you, and I love you, too." Of course, I wept. And have been weeping on and off since that moment. And will probably weep some more. But such is the grief of release in these instances, and I will relish the sorrow as the price for affording Blanca's happiness, and doing what's best for her.

That's all I've to report right now. Happy Daylight Savings Sunday, everyone, and may you adjust to the time change smoothly.

11 March, 2010

Update: 10 march 2010

So, I'm still working on clearing things out for sale. I have set the date of my [first] yard sale for Saturday, 27 march, so I've got a couple weeks left to finish sorting things. With the beautiful Spring-ish weather this weekend I was able to tidy up the front, side and back yards, and I even got into the garage for a bit of clearing. Much of what's out there is out there because it's to be eliminated, but it was good to take an inventory of it. The main space I have left to tackle is the wash room. It's a small space, but boy is it cluttered with crap. I'm not especially looking forward to the task, but I'm definitely looking forward to having it finished.

My dad and I went to our first RV dealership yesterday just to see what we could see. I was a bit nervous when our sales rep told us to come into his office before we could ask him questions, but he turned out to be quite helpful, and he wasn't "salesy" at all. I imagine that was largely due to the fact that I told him repeatedly that I am looking for an older model small rig, which is not generally a big ticket item. However, it was nice to be able to ask him questions and see some of the newer models of rigsand their features. It was also nice that seeing the nice new fancy models continued to confirm my desire for something smaller and older. (Thank goodness I have cheap taste.)

Before the yard sale, I'm going to try to plan a sort of boutique sale for my clothes, shoes and accessories. I'm thinking of making it a sort of "Let's Make a Deal" style of fundraiser where my friends can shop what I have, choose what they want, and make me an offer for it. Then, I will have the option of accepting, refusing or countering their offer as I see fit. I think it will work out well, if I can frame it right. I mean, I want my friends to be happy and to get a good deal, and I'm sure they'll want be able to support me in my efforts to make this lifestyle change happen, so I see it as a win-win.

I'm still struggling with the emotional fall out of all these changes, as well as the physical shifts from the dietary changes. I've been noticing how much I rely on sugar to provide a sense of comfort and nurturing. But, I'm trying to hang in there and keep a positive attitude. I've been negligent in my fitness routine planning. It's almost finished, but I put it aside, and then have been having a hard time coming back to it. I did, however, get some good exercise from all the yard work I did, so I'm calling it a wash, and am motivating myself to get a fitness plan together by this weekend so I can implement it come Monday.

That's my update for today. I'll keep you posted on how the sales go. Ciao!

06 March, 2010

Attic Exodus and Emotion Soup

The day before yesterday, my dad came over to help me clear out my attic. And what a help he was! I'd been chucking half-packed, half-stacked piles of stuff up there for the past couple months as I've been gathering up things with which I know I am willing to easily part. As one might imagine, it is a lot easier putting things in the attic a little at a time than it is to bring things out of the attic all at once. I was left with one bedroom full of boxes and bags and miscellaneous items, and a second bedroom lined with the four bookshelves that were in the attic holding some of that stuff. I was able to get it somewhat situated so that I can still maneuver relatively easily through each room when I need to do so, but my real work is still waiting for me. This weekend (and today, if I can carve out enough 'free' time) will be spent sorting through all this stuff and categorizing it all. By Sunday afternoon I hope to have a pile of stuff to donate to Goodwill (which I will then take to Goodwill immediately so I never have to think about it again), a pile of stuff to sell online (either via craigslist, kijiji, or ebay), and a pile of stuff to sell at a yard sale. Lastly, I am planning to have a very teeny tiny sack of items that are too sentimentally valuable for me to sell or donate, and will therefore, either take with me, or have stored when I go. Mind you, I have a feeling that there will be a great deal of temptation to add unnecessarily to this teeny tiny sack of items, but I am determined to edit more ruthlessly than ever I've dared before. So, as you might imagine, my house is a veritable stock pile of dust and boxes waiting to be explored and conquered.

As I mentioned in my last post, and will likely be mentioning in future posts, I've been noticing a whirlwind of emotional upheaval. I know it is to be expected during a drastic life change such as I am making. And, it's understandable that sifting through the material mementos that have made up my life thus far would trigger some sort of emotional response. Plus, notable changes in diet and exercise can help to sweep out toxic emotions as well as physical toxins. So, I guess it shouldn't be a surprise that I am experiencing what I like to call Emotion Soup. It's kind of like Alphabet Soup in that I never know which emotions are going to rise to the surface and show themselves. It's like I'm a walking grab bag of emotional response, and the ironic part is that these responses don't even necessarily need a stimulus to trigger them. One moment I'm fine. Then another moment later I could be feeling euphorically happy. Next breath might bring a swell of tears or seething anger, for no apparent reason. I know it's good to let these old stored emotions surface and release, but my goodness, it sure is exhausting. And I imagine it's also difficult for anyone spending any time with me. I'm trying to keep things calm and quiet without hindering the process, but emotions are strong magick, and they're difficult to contain and express at the same time. So, if you are reading this, and you know me, and you see me and I'm acting weirder than usual, please don't take offense. It's more likely me than you.

Okay, now that's been explained, I'd better get some stuff done around here before my client comes over tonight. If anyone's reading this ... Happy Blissful Friday!

02 March, 2010

Playing catch up.

Well, I've been remiss in my posting duties. It's been almost a month since I last checked in here. However, that month has been one of trials, challenges and, finally, a shift in wind current, so I hope I will be forgiven. Shortly after I wrote my last post, I became ill ... and remained so, more or less, for about three weeks. On the recommendation of a knowledgeable friend I began to take adaptagens to try to boost my adrenals, and things started getting better. My theory is that going through everything I own with the intention of letting go of as much as possible, I have been simultaneously doing two things: 1. I've been experiencing a number of old emotions surrounding old memories, and trying to distill them to their essence and release the excess; and 2. I've been getting overwhelmed by both these old emotional jaunts down memory lane and the very large size of my To Do List, and, therefore, have been reverting to all my old bad habits without even being half aware of them.

So, with the desire of really getting into the meat of this upheaving experience, and with the hopes of getting myself as healthy as I can before my "move", I am making some changes.

I'm beginning with diet. I am shifting my eating habits toward more fruits and vegetables, and to a predominantly raw diet. (Thank goodness Spring is on its way, or I'd likely never be able to do this.) I am supplementing with probiotics, evening primrose oil, B vitamins, and adrenal adaptagens. I am taking bentonite clay every morning. I am slowly cutting dairy out my diet. I will use coconut milk, rice milk and nut milks instead of animal milk. The only dairy product I plan to keep in my diet is yogurt - and it'll be goat's milk yogurt as often as I can afford it. I am also working on cutting all refined sugars from my diet. (This will be tricky, but I'm determined to do it.) And, of course, I'm trying to maintain a proper daily water intake. I've cut out coffee and am cutting out other caffeine, too. I'm feeling really good about these new choices.

The next step will be fitness. I am in the process of planning a general fitness plan for myself. It will include hiking, bicycling, walking, yoga, pilates, swimming (when it gets warmer), and hopefully a few other adventurous activities if I can figure out how and where to do them. (I'm hoping to try some climbing, especially.) Any ideas of interesting fitness activities I might try around Durham would be more than welcomed.

I've been making some decent headway with selling some of my larger pieces of furniture. So far, I've sold a swivel chair, dining table + 4 chairs, and china hutch. I thought I had a taker for my bed, but it fell through. I went ahead and dismantled it anyway, though, for the space. I've got possible buyers for another large shelf cabinet, and side table. As these items go, I'll have room to bring some of the larger items from the garage to clean up and post online. Now that I've taken the bed apart, I've got room to start bringing things down from the attic. That means that the next several weeks will involve organizing all that stuff into piles: sell online; sell at yard sale; donate; give as gifts; consign. Good times. I am really NOT looking forward to this process, but I am looking forward to the feeling I'll have when it's all done, so that's my motivation.

My family and I went to the Raleigh RV show this weekend. It was great. Though there weren't many models available that even remotely resembled what I'm looking for - there were only a small handful of Class C rigs there at all - it was good to walk through several different layouts and see different features and options already installed. And, thankfully, it confirmed my conviction that an older model will be a better match for my tastes and needs. So, I'm also planning to start adding some trips to dealerships soon to start seeing some of these older models in person and getting an idea of how to actually shop for one before I really need to do so.

Well, that's my catch up post, I guess. Hope you enjoyed it. I'll try to write more often now that I'm feeling better again. Ciao!