I confess I didn’t think it through when I thought we’d have a giant push to move years and years of stuff out of the house – then, while waiting for the closing ceremonies, we could relax and make a few fixes around the cabin to prep it for rental; then as soon as we signed we’d be on our way. I thought I’d quit my job and my Silicon Valley commute, work hard for a month to get moved, then: smooth sailing. Hah!
Reality is, as always, quite different from wishfully thinking. I should have had a clue when I looked at the still mostly-full garage/workshop days before the move-out deadline. And then when Bruce’s back went out in the middle of the move. And when I decided to move a kidney stone on the day before our deadline. And if I’d spent any time thinking about the state the cabin was in, or really looked around at what was needed – the rotted retaining wall at the top of the bank above the beach, the unfinished sleeping porch, the lack of proper steps at the bottom of the beach path – I could go on.
There’s no end in sight. Anticipation is suspended. We now spend an unreasonable amount of time driving back and forth between Birch Bay and Seattle (and Portland), ferrying more stuff around and getting to doc appointments. It’s weird having only one vehicle between us. Added to that, the long list of cabin fixes has me mentally and physically exhausted. We’re finally on the verge of a great life adventure, and I don’t feel excited or energized at the prospect. Or even have a sense of when we’ll begin, as I don’t see how we can leave until Bruce’s back is significantly better.
All the time we’re spending in the truck has given me pause, and raised a question: what did I think it would take to explore the country for a year, if not a lot of driving? I’ve long pictured finding captivating spots of natural, historical or musical interest, and landing for a week or so and exploring. While I’ve been realistic about the need to drive from place to place, disapparition being only available in books, I’ve spent less time thinking about the practical reality of finding places to land the trailer, getting lost in unfamiliar territory, looking for a gas station and a laundromat. The unromantic underbelly of exploration. Reality intrudes.
I’m clearly not focusing on the positive at this point – I have too much time to think about what we’ll give up, the driving, the cramped quarters. The Airstream is huge on the outside and tiny on the inside! How to get out of this rut? The encouragement of friends and strangers helps. (They’re more excited than I am at this moment.) Setting a drive-away date should help – I’m good at working to deadlines. And we’ve just begun plotting out our first few stops and attaching dates to them. I’ll climb out of this. Remembering Hillary Clinton’s talk about “the discipline of gratitude”, I am telling myself as I wake up: I get to sleep in ’til 6:30 because I don’t have to get up and go to work. We get to make our dreams a reality, to break out of the routine and do something completely different, arouse curiosity, get out of our comfort zone, gain fresh perspectives. What on god’s green earth am I complaining about?