So today is the day before our big trip to California. The kids and I are going to spend five weeks with my family in San Jose. Of course, I should be doing the millions of things that I need to do to prepare for the trip, but I am blogging instead. I do believe that writing has become my morning constitutional, my way to prepare for the day (I’m trying to avoid the metaphor of unloading, but oops, I just said it). One of my favorite bloggers, Pretty All True, recently mentioned that she is afraid to skip a day because if she does, she might stop altogether. I understand the sentiment. It’s becoming a ritual, and I am already fantasizing about whether or not I will be able to blog tomorrow while I am on the plane. She also mentions that she worries that the readers will go on with their lives in her absence, and I get that too (as if you dear people don’t have other ways of entertaining yourselves without my musings). But, never fear, I hear that there is mile high wifi these days. Maybe I’ll join that club.
I hate the day before a plane trip. I feel so ungrounded, like I am neither here nor there. I have so many little details to attend to, I am feeling sad about leaving my wonderful friends, I am wondering how I will ever sleep without my bed for five weeks, I am worried about how my ex will hold up without the kids for that long. I know. I’m being a silly whiner. Who wouldn’t want to take a fabulous trip to California? Once I get there and am with my energetic, fun-loving family and get to bask in their love, I will be so happy (isn’t it annoying that I didn’t have a torturous childhood?). It’s just the transition day that bothers me.
My yoga teacher is always reminding us to “be present” in the transitions between the poses, and he pontificates about how that applies to our lives off the mat too. I am always thinking, “It’s vinyasa flow. There are like 5 seconds between the poses. It’s not that hard to focus on the present for 5 seconds.” Today I have a whole day to think about my future trip and what I need to bring to make it fun and to get nostalgic about how much fun I have had with my friends lately and how much I will miss them. I’m not really here.
On top of that, I can’t help thinking about how all of my life I have had a hard time with the notion of change. Once it happens, I find a way to be really excited about it and it always leaves me feeling refreshed, but while I am going through a transition I have the tendency to be anxious. I know you are wondering when I am going to get to the part of this piece that has to do with my peaceful divorce, and here it is. The most difficult time of my life, hands down, was when my ex told me that he was moving out but hadn’t done so yet. That month or so, which seemed like an eternity, was the most awful transition of my life. I was depressed, I felt like a failure, I kept thinking of reasons why he should stay. We made a horrible family trip to IKEA to buy him new furniture (Why the hell did I suggest that we accompany him?). We spent a whole day crying together at Jonah’s ballet performance. I made sure to keep the kids out of the house so that they couldn’t see him moving his stuff out. It was bad.
Once he was gone, though, I felt this tremendous sense of peace come over me. There was no more tension in my house. I could breathe again. My kids and I felt a new sense of bonding. We were now a trio instead of a quartet, and you know what? We sounded good. I felt a delicious sense of freedom that I had never anticipated.
So maybe I am not so skilled at these transition times. Despite yoga five days a week, I still haven’t mastered Brandon’s motto about staying present. But the good news is that I can do the poses. I am skilled at making change my friend. I can make lemonade out of lemons. I just don’t like making a shopping list of things to buy and thinking about the utensils I’ll need to make it and any other prep work.
So instead of being fully present in Northampton today and focusing on the tasks at hand, I am singing in my head that great Burt Bacharach ditty, popularized by Dionne Warwick (or Nancy Sinatra, depending on your favorite version). “Do you know the way to San Jose? I’m going back to find my piece of mind. San Jose.” I know. It’s not as cool as a Pink song, now is it?