The Sanity Wagon

Today marks ten days in Fort Collins. Until Wednesday, Day 5 of CO, we had no stuff in the house. Just sleeping bags and Jack’s pillows and a bunch of plasticware. I’ll just say here that Limbo sucks. Now that the stuff is here, I don’t feel much better. We’re struggling to find places for things, empty boxes. We’re just swimming in it, and we’re realizing how much space we had in our old place, now that we don’t have as much space. We’re all crowded together, and frankly, driving each other a little crazy.

But we don’t know anyone else. So we’re all we’ve got. I feel a bit claustrophobic. Yesterday I drove around town during a few hours “off,” and I looked longingly at the restaurants and movie theaters we can’t go to because Jack would be too much to handle, and we don’t have a babysitter. Besides which, we’re kind of broke. In the grand scheme of things, I understand that this isn’t quite true. But we both cashed in our 401K accounts to pay for this move. We have no shelter except the one over our head, the one we’re less than crazy about, compared to the house we’ve left behind.

In the mean time, Brian is questioning his decision to bring his whole family out here to such an alien place. And I have been sick with endometriosis and grief, sobbing over my lost parents and my inability to call them for comfort. We are kind of a mess.

Jack seems to be faring somewhat better, which makes me feel good about my choice to paint and decorate his room first, before the furniture got here. But he starts school in a week (a week??!!), and I have to take him for his first dentist appointment before then (don’t judge me), and make sure he has enough clothes that fit him, and possibly even try to potty train him in that time. And little things are freaking him out, so his anxiety level is also pretty high.

I understand that in time, we will make friends. By all accounts, it’s a great place to live, and we’ll love it here. I get that. I know that. Sort of. Right now, it just feels like an endless sea of the unknown, and it’s yucky.

Interestingly, Brian’s having a great day. He went for a run, seems upbeat, bought all of the ingredients for chicken nachos for dinner. (I AM thankful to have a working kitchen again!) But tomorrow, I may be feeling a lot better, and he’ll be down in the dumps. At least we’re taking turns.

And that’s where my old meditation teacher, Merrily, comes in. When my mom died, I was renting a room in Merrily’s house, and I had multiple healing sessions and long talks with her during that time. She had lost both of her parents and was both a mother figure and a friend. She said, “The grief isn’t going anywhere. You can’t get rid of it. It will stay. So stop waiting for it to go away before you go on with your life. You’ll just have to take it along with you, pull it in your little red wagon.”

Her analogy fits so well, right now. I told Brian that in order to get through this, we’re going to have to alternate pulling the Sanity Wagon. Sometimes, I will pull it, and Brian will ride. Sometimes, I’ll have to curl up in that wagon and let him pull my sorry ass. I of course said that in a moment when I was sane, and now I feel less so. But if we keep taking turns like this, I have faith that the yuck will end, and we’ll come out on the other side.


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