31 Days to Target Departure

Saturday afternoon I took several weeks’ recycling to the dump. At the same time, Bill went off to the Tibetan thrift store on Route 28 with about six bags of books and another couple of bags of clothes and miscellaneous odds and ends. The idea is to clear out the things piled up in our kitchen on top of the fridge (yes we have lots of stuff on top of our fridge), on a movable cabinet, on our moveable dishwasher and on our “coffee station” table, so that these items could easily be moved for our friend Gordon to replace our kitchen floor.

Anyhow, as I carried the blue recycling bin to the car, something I’ve done thousands of times, it suddenly felt as though something in my back was all wrong. And for the past 36 hours the right side of my lower back has been in some sort of spasm that nothing seems to alleviate. Of course, my first response is to be frustrated. I’d had all sorts of plans for this weekend that included writing two Inc.com columns that are overdue, repotting some bonsai that are coming with us on the trip, and working on the book proposal for my memoir as well as working with Bill to clear the kitchen for the new floor.

Yes I know it wasn’t all going to get done. I pretty much always start out with a list of things to do that doesn’t fit the allotted time, which may of course be part of my problem.

But maybe there’s something else here: When we began moving things out of the kitchen and packing up our numerous teapots, something clicked in my brain: This is really happening. We are really leaving this place. And not only that, whether I’m willing to admit it or not, my entire life is about to be completely disrupted. Maybe my back is expressing upset about this that the rest of me can’t.

Saturday I had dinner with a very good friend, maybe for the last time before we move. She asked: “What are you looking forward to most?” I realized I didn’t have a really good answer. Maybe that’s not a bad thing, though. I don’t really know what I’ll love and hate once we move because I don’t know what my life is going to look like. I’ll be starting with a blank slate, which is something I crave.

But starting with a blank slate isn’t going to be easy either. Maybe some of me is frightened too, and that’s what my back spasm is trying to tell me.

What I said to my friend was: “I’m looking forward to Bill performing almost every night.” That’s the absolute truth. And it’s why—back spasm or no back spasm—I know this move is the right choice.

Image: Bernard Goldbach via Flickr

2 thoughts on “Ouch!

  1. hi Minda! I am also planning to move – not so far away, though. To Brooklyn. I am doing it alone which is slow and ponderous and I have to always find people to help get stuff to the car, etc. At just about 73 I an very cautious about falling or otherwise harming myself. there are uncertainties about my move also (timing, how to do it, when to put house on market, etc), some of which involve family and I won’t go into them here, but would if we get together. What i want to share with you is a comment that Ellie Steffen put on my FB page – she said that I was “wearing my life like a loose garment,” and somehow that made everything seems much simpler. Now when there is some uncertainty in my plan, or changes in situation that make everything unable to be made definite, I am able to say that my life is a loose garment and I can actually feel it floating around me… I am in it, I am covered by it, but I am not restricted. This helps me a lot… even though I am also in a panic some of the time! Hope you feel better soon. Nancy

  2. Hi Nancy, thanks so much for commenting and so much good luck for your move to Brooklyn. Yes–let’s absolutely get together before we leave! You know how to find me, or I’ll find you.

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