lux et libertas
In terms of time, there are about five months left. I added it up, though, and thanks to the traveling I'm doing, I will only be in this house for about another 45 days. That knowledge colors my actions.
Months ago, I started a spreadsheet. I didn't know what to title it at the time. It was neither a joyful nor a sad spreadsheet, it was just a listing of things that had to be done. I was struggling to breathe at night with the weight of the world pressing on my chest, and the only thing that made it better was choosing to organize my thoughts. I couldn't in good conscience give it a cheerful name or a pissy one, not for a life change as full of grief as this one is.
I named it for what I wanted. Light. Liberty. Freedom.
There are sheets in the spreadsheet for each of the major sub-sections of thought:
- Major things I need or want to buy, broken down by room of house.
- Things in each room of our current house that I want to ensure aren't left behind.
- Major questions I need to keep in mind as the process continues
- Things Jacob can get for me at a steep discount from the 3M company store
- Things better off bought in Portland during my upcoming December trip
- A rough timeline of things that must happen at different times
- Jacob's excellent research into neighborhoods in Portland (his Christmas gift to me is research, and time)
- Recipes Jacob's identified that I both like, and can be frozen in batches (see above about research and time)
There are days that this spreadsheet feels like the only thing holding me together. I don't know how to cope with my current life, I'm deeply frightened of what's coming, and the only thing I know to do is what got me through the past three years: dive into details.
I'm still finding out how badly the past three years have burned me. As I start my October Project -- going through old boxes in closets -- every layer of life I excavate seems covered in ash. What little didn't go up in flames in late 2010, when the accident happened, seems to have smoldered away in the meantime. I never know what boxes are still hot inside, lying in wait to scorch fingertips.
Tonight I found cards I wrote out for Jeff that he never opened. I found the lining for my beloved trench coat, which has been missing for at least a decade and I had long since given up for lost. Stocking holders for my mantelpiece that my aunt gave me as a wedding present. The cake topper for our wedding.
I put the lining back in my trench coat -- I'll be glad of it in Portland -- and I put the right label on the mantelpiece decorations: STORAGE. FRAGILE.
There are rolls of tape awaiting use. I rifle through every box. I discard what I can, file misplaced items, and then make the decision: will this box be part of my new life? If yes, I grab the tape and mark it with what matters:
- bedroom 1
- bedroom 2
- living room
- open first
Anything that isn't labeled, stays.
I'm unsure how much 'fragile' tape I need to put on me, but I think I need to save the last bit for my heart.