Tuesday, November 01, 2011

My New Life

C. manned the moving truck - following me the whole way
across country as I drove the car. It was great to have his
reassuring presence at my back. Several days after we came
through some of the roads we drove were closed by snow.
Just a quick personal update for y'all. Sorry I haven't been blogging. With three significant writing projects hanging over me (and several small ones), puttering around in the blogosphere is hard to justify. Much as I enjoy it.

October was a crazy month! Packing, moving, and saying goodbyes brought what seemed an endless swirl of emotion and a flood of logistical tasks. I had to step up and deal with all kinds of things I prefer not to face, and it was hard not be crabby and stressed out about it. And when I was crabby about it, I felt terrible. Somewhere along the way - maybe a couple of decades ago - I seem to have picked up an idea that I'm supposed to be able to take everything in stride, and I can't.

What will November be like? A little less intense, I think. Even though C. is dying to give me the engagement ring tucked away in his sock drawer. I know. You're excited about that. So am I.

But I don't want the ring, not yet. I've only been here a week. I'm still wrestling with culture shock, homesickness, ambiguity, and new relationships - it's all a bit much. Psychologically, it reduces my stress a bit to be able to tell people I moved to Oregon to get married and let them interpret that as they like, without having to be - in my own mind anyway - actually engaged.

I'm not ready to be engaged. Why is that? C doesn't understand it. I think it's just that I want to feel a bit more steady on my feet when when I make that commitment. So I can say, "I, Marti Smith, being of sound mind, agree to marry you." Rather than a frazzled, "Ah, OK, what the heck!" I think Thanksgiving would be a good time to cross that particular threshold. But when I get through today's rapids, are there just more on the other side?

Am getting along fine with both C's family and the folks I'm living with. Wish I could manage a bit more quality time with the latter, but so far it hasn't been possible. Ah well; little by little. I like them; I think they will like me. My desire to start putting down roots and establish viable daily patterns has been delayed a bit by family responsibilities. Maybe a reality check, a picture of what is to come. In the last week I've not only moved into a new house (with all the tasks that go with that) but also attended three water polo games, picked up our boy from school a couple of times, and been charged with staying at the family homestead during the day to take care of the dog, receive the trick-or-treaters, etc. for a week while C's folks are out of town.

It's nice to be wanted. But I'm trying to put in eight hours of work a day and keep up with grad school. My head is only just barely above the water. November 12, Saturday morning, I leave town for a week - and have to both make arrangements for a place to park my car in Portland and make sure I get a new driver's license by my birthday, two days before.

So it's a busy time, and I feel excited but also unsettled. 

D, front right, with his high school water polo team.
Swim team starts in a few weeks. Today is D's birthday: he's 15.


Gretchen said...

Been praying for you and all your transitions. Colin had my ring for a few weeks and gave it to me over Thanksgiving...it's a good time! Tell Chris he has all this time to plan, it better be romantic! (As if that's all that matters...not!) Love you, Moose -

Marti said...

Thanks for the encouragement G., and for your prayers!

C. is certainly romantic. Sometimes I feel quite dense in comparison. He's still sending me [pictures of] flowers and love notes just about every morning, for example. I'm sure he'll have no trouble coming up with a good plan!

Megan Noel said...

I understand why you are not ready, Marti. Just let yourself settle in and develop new routines.

You know that list that is used to measure stress?


well, you've hit several of those in the last few months--and change is stressful, even GOOD change. It's okay to try to space changes out!
XO Megan

Megan Noel said...

i already posted 1 comment on this blog post but was just looking at it again and goodness, what gorgeous and majestic scenery, i hope you were able to enjoy that in spite of the moving pressure.

Marti said...

Well, it wasn't as nice as last time - more desolate. Colorado and Utah were nicer than Wyoming and Idaho this time. A couple hours' drive along the Columbia may have been the best part of the whole trip. Would love to do that again, more leisurely.