Monday, May 10, 2010

Hotel California

I got my hair cut Friday morning, which in itself wasn't too exciting except that I can now stand to look in the mirror. In all the hubbub some things got neglected, including my appearance; I haven't had a haircut since September, I've been eating garbage-y road food, exercising sporadically, and then there's the stress. My adorably earnest new beautician put it in perspective when, after hearing my typically condensed salon life story, she listed the top ten most stressful life events a person can endure and pointed out that I've got about half of them on my plate right now.

Am I complaining?

Hell no.

Okay, maybe just a little. But only because I'm frequently frustrated with my own inability to cope with all this change efficiently and calmly. I know there are people who would have handled the move differently, planned better, been more organized, wasted less time. You know, people who would have thought to bring a fork, at least. For a while there my focus was so completely scattered that even my beloved lists were completely ineffective. I've made late payments, something I never do, completely missed a minor meeting while repeatedly swatting away the digital alert that was reminding me I had a meeting, and misunderstood simple instructions. I literally hardly remember April, except for a very disconnected feeling.

That said, now the dust is settling, the happiness and forward momentum we've been hoping for for almost three years is vivid on the horizon. Brent arrived a week ago after overseeing the loading of both our households onto the 85-foot Atlas tractor trailer; I had to leave for a Holiday Inn in the San Joaquin valley Tuesday morning, and by the time I got home Thursday evening there was all our stuff. It was everywhere. It took me a full hour to process the visual impact this had on the house I've been living in completely empty for a month, but by the time I got my bearings between the boxes I realized that the bed didn't take up nearly as much of the bedroom as I feared. That observation led to many more positive discoveries about spacial relations, our stuff, and the capacity within our new walls.

The only way I can describe how I still feel about Sacramento is that we're on vacation at a theme park designed to seem like the perfect place for us right now. It's too nice, it's too green, too clean, too livable. I keep waiting for someone to come and tell me the holiday's over and I have to go back to my old life, give back the washer and dryer, the palm trees and calla lilies, the job that allows me the freedom to practically come and go as I please.

But the best part, the part that already seems the most real, is Brent, humming Tchaikovsky while he unpacks our combined kitchen and its formidable faction of barware, striding confidently in the wrong direction as we part ways to our respective barber shops (in his defense, the first few days in our neighborhood would send any competent navigator around in circles), deftly demonstrating the steam feature on his beloved Capresso coffee machine. I've spent three of the seven nights since his arrival on the road; this is going to be typical of our life together at this stage. Having him there makes leaving home awful and returning home much, much nicer. I don't worry so much about the cats while I'm gone, and it sure beats not seeing him at all for four months at a time.

I get one night at home this week, and then it's off to Tahoe for another workshop; sweet Susan at Corporate booked both trainers lake-view rooms with king beds and suggested we each invite our favorite person.

That was easy.