bunt sign

April 21, 2000

Call me crazy, but I think I might actually survive this move. Sure, I'm tired and sore, but I was at the new place today, dropping off more boxes, and I took a look around and remembered what all this is for.

So far it's all been about possessions. I've been focused on all my Stuff for the last few weeks, as if it were my life. At one time or another this month, I've handled and examined almost every item I own. Some things that I've clung to for years have been tossed out without a second glance. Others have been tossed as well, but only after a little soul-searching agony.

What I've kept has been packed and moved, and most of it now rests in the stacks of boxes in my new house. The first things I packed were the least important. They're now at the back and on the bottom of the pile. Today I moved the most important Company files, and they're on top and at the front of the pile, so that I can get back to work without delay.

But possessions tell so little of the story. The memories I have of the old place will stay with me, but I'm eager to create some new ones. I looked around the nearly empty new house this afternoon and tried to imagine what the next few years might bring.

The reason I felt the urge to move on was my need to separate the two parts of my life. With so little space here, I haven't been able to maintain a life apart from my job. Now I'll have that chance, but it could take some effort to remember to take advantage of it. The new place gives me the opportunity to break old habits.

Besides the newfound power I'll have to turn my back on the workplace, there are a couple of other aspects of my new house that will change the way I live.

I haven't had a yard to care for in many years, and this will be the first time I've ever had one that was my sole responsibility. I stood in the backyard today watering my little patch of grass and wondering if I have it in me, even with all the help I've been offered, to make the yard into something I can be proud of. I'm honestly not sure I can do it, but I'm starting out with the intention of giving it my best shot.

And then there's the kitchen. So much room to move around, and so much space on the counters. Even before I knew I was moving, I was getting more serious about cooking. Here at the Home Office, I had the perfect excuse not to try hard, but the Green Acres kitchen is beckoning. And it came to me so easily, in the first place I really looked at, that fate seems to have had a hand in it. It all screams for a commitment from me. Okay, then, I'll try.

Following through on commitments made to others has never been hard for me. But when I make these promises to myself, I let myself off the hook much too easily. Making them publicly could be the spur that makes it happen this time.

I'm hedging, aren't I? Well, that's just how it is. I can't make any stronger statements, because I know myself too well. And I've been around long enough to know that the best intentions are at the mercy of an uncertain and unknowable future. Just when you think you have everything figured out, just when you know what's going to happen next, you don't and it doesn't. Something comes up. Real life intervenes and slaps you down.

So I don't promise to do. But I do promise to try.

One more day of packing tomorrow, and then the big move on Sunday. I'm less intimidated by it now than I've been at any time since it all started. But I'll still be glad when it's over. It'll be nice to have a life again. I'll be relieved when every spare moment isn't dedicated to the boring, one-dimensional skill of packing. My life will take some shape again when I can sit and read a book for an hour or so after working all day, and when I can plan to go see a movie and then actually have the time and energy to do it, and when I can catch up on the two weeks of newspapers stacked on the end of my sofa, unread. (Not the news — all Elián, all the time — but Zits and Jon Carroll.)

Also: There will be one more update before I unplug the computer, disconnect the phone, and spend at least one day hoping to get back on line. That should happen Monday morning. An update will be written Sunday night, and I'll post it the first chance I get. If you want to be notified when it's available, you can join the list.

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