There’s a quote that’s stuck with me over the past few years and the analogy has helped me a lot with this move:
“Always behave like a duck – keep calm and unruffled on the surface but paddle like the devil underneath”
At no point in the past year has that been more true or more important than in the last month. Moving, traveling, unpacking, continuing to work in a remote capacity, and staying positive throughout it all has truly tested my ability to behave like a duck. Each turn has thrown things in my path that might have derailed me, had I allowed that to happen. Staying focused on the positive aspect of each challenge has taken a conscious effort. My “happy yellow lab” side has been pushed to its teary limits from time to time, but being able to take comfort in the firm belief that this move is our destiny has made all the difference.
Please allow me to share a few examples with you:
- We were sent two amazing movers… a Marine (Irvin) and his aide (Billy) who walked with me all four days of our packing/moving. The challenge came when their “reinforcements” arrived in the form of two guys, one of whom was both allergic to dust and cat hair. Both of these were especially plentiful in our bedroom, which was his only focus for a day and a half, so when the choice came between laughing and crying, I had to choose the former.
- I had to resign from the most amazing job I’ve ever had and leave coworkers who were some of the most incredible, loving, and wonderful people in my life. Rather than turning my resignation into a difficult and uncomfortable situation, they have continued to allow me to work from my MD apartment and allowed me the ability to help in the transition for my replacement. While it’s a challenge to be so far from a business and people that are so dear to me, they’ve given me the gift of time… time to get used to not being on property… time to allow someone else to learn how to respond to event requests… time to cook and write, which I’ve come to love. How many people can say that about a job? How many people love their job so much that they’d rather do it for free (or nearly free) than not do it at all? That, my friends, is how much I loved my job at the winery… yet, I know that it was time for me to move on to other challenges…
- We chose to bring our two cats along on this journey to MD. They’ve handled the situation as admirably as we could expect… especially since the only time either had ever been in the car was to go to the vet. Thankfully, M took our girl-kitty, who voiced her frustrations during the entire trip while our boy-kitty chose to bravely travel without whining (much). It’s taken a week in the apartment for them to calm down enough to sleep at night and not jump on our heads (apparently to make sure that we were still there) but things seem to be smoothing out for them.
- Our apartment’s positioning in the building added so many challenges (which I’ve already mentioned in previous blog posts), but even that seems to be falling into some sort of a rhythm. I’m slowly getting used to grabbing my cane to traverse around the building and the distance is thankfully becoming a little less daunting for me. It’s the little things…
- My Little Red Wagon… it rocks.
- I’m learning to cook on an electric stove! I’m not at all happy about it, but it’s a challenge and I’m learning how to adjust to make meals for us within the parameters of the items found within the apartment… and I’ll be even more grateful when we finally move into a place that has a gas stove, cuz we’re not going to buy a place that can’t be plumbed for gas.
- I still have wine in the apartment… and I’m still cooking with wine… this makes me ridiculously happy!
- After all the problems we experienced with the apartment complex during our check-in, our relocation guy just sent me an Amex gift card… won’t change the past, but certainly will give me something positive and happy to do tomorrow. It’s all about perspective, people… focus on the positive.
See? It really is all about how you view the situation. We’re now deep in the “wait and see” mode with regards to the sale of our home in VA. There’s absolutely nothing we can do about it but pray… and pray, I will. It’s how I lived through our move from Michigan to Virginia in 2001 and it’s how I’ll live through this move from Virginia to Maryland. It’s not my preference, but it’s how things must be done in this time of uncertainty and chaos. I’ll strive to face each day in true “duck” fashion, looking calm and collected, while fervently paddling/praying like a madwoman at every opportunity.
Shouldn’t we all strive to act like a duck from time to time?