Wednesday, March 27, 2013

lock and key

we've been homeowners for about 30 hours now. (don't worry, this won't be a running hour-by-hour tally.) i mention this because we have already made a trip to home depot, and AWD has already started and completed our first home improvement project. new door handles!

i did my part by first lying on the floor of what will be our living room, day dreaming and distracting him by reading articles from the onion out loud, and then looking online for a new couch. isn't he lucky to have me?

we also moved over some clothes and i hung a few of our paintings on some of the nails left in the wall by the previous owners. they're the previous owners because we are the current owners! isn't that wild?! as my friend jenn said, "scary! and amazing!" (she is getting married this weekend and i wanted to tell her the same response applies. but i didn't. because i am nice.)

p.s. doesn't AWD look good with a screw driver?

Monday, March 25, 2013

chaos theory

the inside of my house looks like this.

needless to say, it is not a relaxing or joyful thing to come home these days. it is stressful and sort of awful and all that awaits me is more packing and some kind of frozen dinner on paper plates. we are definitely in the home stretch (closing tomorrow! moving saturday!) but i have to confess that, over these past few weeks of upheaval and anticipated transition, i have not been in my happy place.

so, i decided to come up with a coping strategy. my struggle against anxiety has been mostly lifelong (i'll get back to you on whether i am winning at this one or losing), and i am pretty proud of the fact that i can recognize (belatedly or not) when i need to step back and figure out a way to get myself back into saner territory.

so, here is how i am coping these days.

1. set attainable packing/moving preparation goals. each night, or in the morning, i outline my packing and preparation goals for the next/that day. this has really helped the endless list of things to do seem more manageable. i don't have to do them all today, i just have to do these things today. when i am done, i can do more if i want. or i can get in bed and read a book.

2. ask for help when i need it. four very kind and dear and selfless friends came over on saturday morning and by the time they were gone my entire kitchen was packed. all i did was take things out of cupboards and find more boxes. this was a blessing.

3. take a break between work at work and work at home. usually i can come home from work and dive into whatever it is that i need or want to do that evening. but coming home from work work and going directly into packing work was really making me nuts. so, i imposed a 30-60 minute post-work/pre-work decompression time. i can do whatever i want, except take a nap or watch TV, because those two things suck me in. mostly i've been taking warm baths and talking to my mom on the phone. it's made a real difference in my ability to tackle the looming projects with new motivation.

4. review my progress to remind myself that i am making progress. every day, mulitple times a day, i tick off the things that are done. it's actually a lot of things. and then i tick off the things that need to be done. that list is getting smaller. then i divide that list into the things i can do today, and try to put the rest out of my mind.

5. remind myself that life will not always be like this. we will, in fact, move. our boxes will get unpacked. our lives will return to normal, except even better than normal because we'll be in a new house with a blue door and a solarium and two whole bathrooms. as they say, this too shall pass.

now, i don't want to give the impression that i have implemented this perfectly, or even close to it. just the other morning my stress got so much the better of me that i was a heaving, crying mess on the bathroom floor at 8a.m. and AWD and i decided it might be best to call it a mental health day. but, i'm trying. and that's what counts, right?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

no place like home

as you might recall, AWD and i took a hiatus from house hunting in february.

so, naturally, AWD kept looking at houses for sale online.

and naturally he found one he really really liked.

and naturally he convinced me to look at it online as well.

and naturally i liked it, too.

so naturally, we went to see it with our tireless realtor.

and naturally we liked it even more when we saw it in person.

and naturally there were at least a dozen other couples looking at the same house at the same time who, presumably, all liked it, too.

because, naturally, we decided to put in an offer and so did 17 other people.

but, naturally, our offer was chosen against all odds.

so naturally, in the midst of our "hiatus" we became homeowners.

i am hesitant to post photos of the inside, because the sellers have it decorated really nicely, and i don't want my home organization skills to be compared to theirs. but the adorable outside looks like this.

i am also not posting photos of the inside of our current house,  which is a chaotic mess of boxes and half-disassembled furniture, the very thought of which sends me right back into psychotic breakdown territory.

but, the end is in sight. we close on tuesday, move next saturday and then live in our new house for the rest of our natural lives. because i am not doing this again.

all the life-threatening stress aside, though, we are thrilled. and the bedroom in the basement has its own bathroom and half kitchen (perfect for guests!), so we hope you'll come and visit soon.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

the friendly skies

i wouldn't categorize myself as a person with bad luck when it comes to air travel. but actually, i have pretty bad luck when it comes to air travel. in the past five years or so, i've been stranded overnight twice, had numerous (too many to count) cancelled flights (including the same flight being cancelled three times), some lost bags and some missed connections.

so i don't know why i was surprised when i checked in for my flight to san diego last week and i had no assigned seat. i mean, the desk agent didn't seem concerned so i wasn't too worried. until i realized, well, i had no seat. and my co-workers/traveling companions did.

and they were already through the amazingly, confoundingly long security line and i wasn't.

and they were on the plane (and so was pretty much everyone else) by the time i got to the gate and said to the gate agent, hey there, i don't have a seat.

(i should also add that one of my co-workers had my much-desired bagel with cream cheese with her. so, i *really* needed to get on that plane.)

the gate agent said i had to wait until everyone was on the plane, but that the flight was overbooked and it wasn't looking good.

while i waited to learn my fate, i struck up a conversation with a woman also waiting at the gate. she said she had just retired the day before and was on her way to visit her kids. but she was waiting around to see if she needed to give up her seat because she had nowhere to be fast and $600 sounded pretty good.

and i said, as it happened, i needed a seat since my co-workers and my breakfast were on the plane. and i wasn't. and when she heard that she walked right up to that gate agent and next thing you knew, i was on the plane.

eating a bagel.

i wished afterwards that i had asked for her e-mail, or even her name, so i could say thanks. she really was the nicest. maybe my luck is changing.

Monday, March 4, 2013

going (going) back (back) to cali (cali)

i am in san diego (really oceanside) for business. for a week.

sometimes i like to complain about long work trips that require lots of flying and, well, working.

but also, yesterday i ate ice cream on the beach and when i come back to my room at night my bed is made and there are clean towels.

so actually, there is not a lot to complain about. especially since it's supposed to snow in d.c. on wednesday and i haven't worn a jacket or socks since i got here.

before you know it, i'll be complaining this business trip ended too soon.