Monday, September 26, 2011

Now What?

I should be working, and I'll pay for this later, but I'm watching leaves float by outside my window instead, fascinated by the signs of real fall.  It seems incredible to me that, with the advent of autumn, I am about to experience the last of the four seasons here as a newbie.  How can that possibly be?  It seems like yesterday that I was standing in a living room that was wall-to-wall boxes wondering how I was going to fit it all in (I didn't - as the full attic can attest).  Depending upon what lens I am trying to view my experiences here through, it seems like time has gone by in the blink of an eye or has been an incredulously slow struggle.

The house has taken on that "lived in" look that a house does when people and pets cram into a space and then don't have copious amounts of time to care for it.  Sadly, I have never had my envisioned "meet and greet" where I had planned on inviting the neighbors and my family to come see the house while everything was still fresh and new.   There are three basic reasons for that:  1) I was intent on handling some of the maintenance items I inherited first, like the shutters on the back of the house that need painted and the hideous floral wallpaper in the downstairs bathroom and both still are not done, 2) work was more intense than I had imagined it would be, and 3) I drastically under-estimated the struggle we would have to assimilate - not with the place, but with our situation and with one another.

What I mean is:  there has been a struggle to find our way in this new world that transcends geography.  I've been thinking about why that is over the last few weeks and finally decided that it might be because we made the decision to move here in the late spring of last year, and the next months were full of planning and packing.  Our days were absorbed with looking at thousands of photos of houses with other people's stuff in them in areas we knew nothing about, trying to figure out what our stuff would look like in them and how to get it here.  If you think about it - the logistics of moving three humans, what we thought would be six dogs and two cats, and a literal lifetime worth of belongings is enormous.  It took some doing and kept us occupied and distracted.  But now it's done.  Now, we find ourselves here, we know the basics about the city - where the good movie theatre is, how to get to the zoo, and if puck drop is scheduled for 7:00, you better leave for the arena at 5:30 - so we are left with trying to figure out the Now What.

Now what do we do with the rest of our lives?  Because they are here.  And now.  Not some place in the future across the country.  I underestimated the difficulty of trying to figure that out.  Or, more to the point, I didn't stop to think about it.  Maybe because I couldn't or shouldn't, but as I was packing away Mother's silver, Dad's old slides, Greg's father's books, and the girls' old school projects, I never really thought about the fact that I was just postponing the inevitable.  That someday we would just have to face the fact of a future that will forever be colored by our past.  You can't avoid it forever, and you have to make some peace with it eventually in order to carry on.  Intellectually, I was probably always aware of that, but sometimes our mind talks to our heart, sometimes it doesn't.  Looking back on it, I think this summer was about us bumping up against that reality.  Whether or not it was made easier or harder with new surroundings, I'm not sure.  And what's more:  I don't think we're done with the process yet.  But, we're getting there, that I do think is true.

Marissa and I went to see The Foo Fighters Friday night.  They rank as a Top Five favorite band for me.  Kelsey introduced me to them, buying me The Colour and The Shape several years ago for my birthday.  We saw them as a trio - Marissa, Kelsey and myself - twice.  You may recall me mentioning them playing in Salt Lake City in an earlier blog.  It was not lost on me that Marissa wore my old Asia shirt that I had given to Kelsey at one point, whereupon she proceeded to wear it nearly into the ground, much to my dismay.   That way we took a little bit of Kelsey into the arena with us.   That's what life is now:  living with what we have, but not forgetting who we lost.  I hope Kelsey was with us somewhere because Dave Grohl really rocked the house.  She would have loved it.
Courtesy of from Wembley Stadium 2008 (trust me, my pictures weren't this good)

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