Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Movin' on Along

Good grief. The moving? It is A LOT of work!!

Just a quick note tonight to say that:

a) Christmas is 50 hours away...and by the skin of my teeth I am READY. Bring it!

b) I close on my house a week from today. This is the one detail in the whole shebang that I actually don't have to do anything for but show up. Holla!

c) I move in 10 days. That thought? TERRIFIES me! I have so many details to figure out. Like...someone to move me. And, tiny detail...WHERE are they going to move it?! I'm going to take the easiest way out on this one and hire someone to pack, move and store my stuff. Three companies are coming tomorrow and hopefully it will be clear which one is the best choice. Where I'm going to be on the other end, on the other hand...well, we're just considering that an adventure. I'll either ask a friend to go check out some options or I'll sign up for something sight unseen. Or I'll live in a hotel or out of my car for a while. I guess either way I'll figure it out.

I know there will be unexpected complications. I've already had my work email/calendar go completely wonky and they haven't even transferred it for real. The real deal will undoubtedly be a disaster. So I'm just trying to expect it--there will certainly be other details that go awry.

I wish I could say that I'm just rolling with all of this and am as cool as a cucumber. To say such a thing would be a bald face lie.

The truth is that I'm beyond stressed out. The combination of the job expectations (how can be this far behind in a job I started yesterday??), Christmas, closing and vacation next week, the move the following week, and meetings in San Francisco the week after are, well, overwhelming to me.

So...I'm trying to breathe a lot remind myself that I WANT this to all happen and that it will ultimately be a good thing. The way it's all unfolded makes me think that it's a God thing, and if that's true that the details have already been worked out.

That's the theory, of course. The practical, well, it's not so rose-colored and sunny.

For those of you in close proximity who are putting up with me right now, thank you for your patience and your encouragement and your amazing, amazing love and support. I know that I can get pretty tightly wound (yes, I just admitted it), but I hope you know how much I appreciate you!!

WooHoo! Bring on the packing tape and bubble wrap!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Upside Out. Inside Down. And Beach Bound!

So…WOW. What a difference a week makes! Two pretty major things happened in the past seven days that have effectively turned my life upside down and inside out in the blink of an eye.

First—I sold my house! And had it inspected and started down path of the gagillion little details that go into selling I house. I’m a first time seller and my poor realtor is earning her commission—I’m guessing I could win an award for asking the most questions ever. I just like to know how everything works and why it works that way.

Pretty much like a two-year old with an escrow account.

My friends like to tease me that I don’t do anything partway. I don’t just get sick…I get H1N1 or obscure medical conditions. I don’t just hurt myself…I do something to require stitches or pins or some other surgical intervention. And apparently I don’t just do a little something to add chaos to my life…I go a few steps further push my sanity completely to the brink.

You might remember the job I mentioned that fell through at the 11th hour? The whole situation was seriously sucky and I was definitely disappointed about the whole shebang. That’s probably an understatement on both accounts. ANYWAY…in a completely surprising twist of fate, they came back and asked me to reconsider an “enhanced” offer. (Which isn’t as fancy as it sounds, but is what I needed to be able to actually pack up my life and go live in a bankrupt state that was already ridiculously expensive to begin with).

And I said YES!

So I’m moving to Orange County, CA and am completely thrilled with the whole reversal of fortune thing. And shocked. And reeling. And terrified. And already completely in over my head at a new job that I can’t wait to do. I think I just got a seat at the grown-ups table and, well, it should definitely be an interesting ride!

Not sure exactly when I’m headed West, but considering that my house closes in two weeks and I’m moving out 2 weeks after that, my guess is that it’s going to happen pretty fast. There is so much I will miss about Austin (and Texas!), but I'm really excited for this next adventure.

And if 'fate' is listening, while I’m delighted about the recent events, perhaps this week could be a little less eventful. And maybe I could get some Christmas shopping done.

(P.S.—In case you’re wondering, I knew all of this when I posted this. But I had to post it anyway…when I wrote it I didn’t have a clue what was about to unfold!)

(P.P.S--I think that's what 'fate' likes to call IRONY.)

Christmas Countdown

Christmastime when I was kid always began on December 7th—my brother’s birthday is the 6th and my mom strongly believed that he should get to have his day in the sun before we jumped into the Christmas chaos. And we couldn’t blame her—my mom’s birthday is Christmas day and she definitely got what it was like to have your birthday get overshadowed by bigger celebrations.

One of my favorite things we did to prepare was the countdown calendar. As I recall, there’s was a candy cane everyday when we opened the next little window…and I’ve always been a girl who likes my sweets! I love a good countdown when the anticipation builds and the journey to get there becomes as much fun as the eventual destination (this is my complete MO with vacations, too).

The countdown to Christmas is still my favorite part of the holiday—planning gifts, shopping, wrapping. (OK…not wrapping. I actually hate that part.)

I also try to prepare my heart for Christmas on a spiritual level. For several years now the main theme for me has been the reminder me that God keeps his promises…even when it seems that he’s gone away. After generations of Old Testament prophets, silence fell on the Earth and God didn’t “speak” for 400 years. It’s not hard to relate to the feeling they must have had that God just disappeared.

In my own life, it also seems like I’ve been living in silence. For a while now it’s been very difficult for me to hear God’s voice. I’m guessing that it has more to do with me not listening than him not talking— but either way, all I’m hearing are crickets.

And the silence? It’s deafening.

And then Christmas comes. And with it a powerful reminder to me that just because I can’t hear him, it doesn’t for the tiniest moment mean that he’s not here or that he doesn’t love me just as much as he did when I had the frequency dialed in.

I read something that pointed out that God showing up in a manger is a reminder that he can show up any time; any place. That he would choose to do it the way he did is mind boggling. I fully get why it sounds so foolish to someone who doesn’t know God. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that sometimes I feel a little foolish telling the story because I KNOW how it sounds.

And yet…God decided to do something that, honestly, we couldn’t begin to make up. I really love that about him. Hello…a virgin? A manger? But in coming as one of us he rolled up his sleeves and jumped into life with all its messy, painful, JUNK. He became one of us (well…a fully loaded, upgraded version of us).

I can’t wrap my brain around God—and I’m so glad for that. I’m completely uninterested in a God that I could understand or who only works in ways that make sense to me. A god small enough to fit in any box I could make would be an awfully wimpy god.

And I don’t do wimpy. Unless you count the way I wrap gifts.