We Made It

I am so tired, and sore, and exhausted that I am struggling to lift my fork to eat this crepe (you read that correctly – there’s a crepe place where I live! And I can eat them!). My little arms are screaming at me but my brain is racing. The past 24 hours have been insane. I think I’d like to take a week-long nap followed by a day-long shower.

But as of this moment, we have a home. We live somewhere. And we slept in our own bed last night for the first time in over three weeks.

We also have too much stuff.

Taking all of our worldly possessions down from the storage unit, out to the truck, down the ramp and sidewalk stairs and then finally up the flight of stairs to our new apartment has left us with this realization. We have too much stuff. We aren’t sure how or why or when we acquired all of these things, but the new way of life is “less is more” from here on out. That or, next time we move we’ll sell everything we own and then buy it all back over time. With each step we questioned the worth of the items we spent so much time, money and physical pain to keep. Over a thousand dollars to rent a truck and drive it halfway across the country (Penske is the way to go), another hundred for a climate controlled storage unit for a month, a couple hundred dollars in boxes/tape/rope/blankets (even with the donation of boxes from friends)…it all adds up. And for what? A life lesson learned the hard way. Less is more.

We did have a garage sale beforehand though and felt we got rid of things, which freed us up to make some purchases that we are so glad we acquired here instead of lugging across the country. Before loading up the truck, we snagged some major craigslist deals. We bought our first washer and dryer, a nice couch set, a bike rack and the hubby upgraded his bike for his new daily commute. We left a car back in Iowa to sell and will try and live on just one car for awhile.

Everything went so quickly, and overall, so smoothly. We’ve really been blessed by that and all we’ve been given. We had great friends help us pack the truck, wonderful relatives providing us with a “home base” (and friendship, meals and muscles too) and have been blessed by the kindness of strangers as we pick up these miscellaneous items and navigate around town. As we made a midnight run to Walmart last night for cleaning supplies and ice cream, we looked at each other and said, We did it. We made it. It certainly wasn’t done alone, but we did it together. We drove across the country, just us. We packed the bulk of our house and moved the bulk of our things and will inevitably unpack all of those things – just us. Hubby said last night that he felt like we were newlyweds all over again. Just figuring things out with a fresh start. Stuff or no stuff, the best thing we’ve had on this move was each other. Call me cheesy, but I’m pretty thankful for my husband and getting to do this thing together, with him. This thing called life.


As we pack up, write to-do lists and make countless phone calls we keep readying ourselves for this move. We’ve each made smaller moves before, and I moved a bit more as a kid. I’ve read the blogs and we’ve talked plenty with other people that have moved. We’re ready, right?

Unlike most practical people, we’ve decided to participate in Ragbrai a week and a half before we move. Ragbrai is a week-long bike ride across the state of Iowa that occurs each year in July. Neither of us have ever ridden it before, so we committed to do a day or two together (prior to deciding to move). For months we’ve tried to get some miles in and work our way up and down hills. We’ve read blogs, talked to others who’ve done it and bought some supplies. We’re ready, right? 

What I’ve come to find is that whether or not we are ready cannot really be determined before we do it. We could try and compare to others and say, “if he can do it, so can I!” or “We’re in far better shape than they are!” But does it matter what they think or how we compare? Whether we’re ready or not, we’ll still have to actually do it. And guess what? I have a feeling my miles on the bike will help, but that it’s still going to be a challenge tomorrow. I’ll still feel the pain in my knees and sweat on my face. I’ll still be exhausted at the end of it all. And on mile 36, it doesn’t matter if I’m better off than someone else, because regardless, I’ll still have another 50 miles to go in the day. 

I think it will be the same with this move. We can try to prepare and talk to others. We can read up and be told we’ll be fine. But we’re still going to have to do it, and it’s still going to be hard. With it comes stress and pain and exhaustion. No matter how much we prepare, that can’t be avoided. And we’ll have to face it. We’ll have to get through each mile whether there is wind, rain, sun or bumps. We’re going to do this move and feel all of the elements against us. It might be fine in the end, but there’s no denying that it’s a real part of what we’re taking on. I think I want to embrace that and acknowledge that, as opposed to trying to overlook it. With this adventure comes a lot of challenges and risks. There’s no point in sugar-coating it. We’re going to do it though, and do it together as a team and be stronger in the end.

Whisper & Fade

With quitting a job and leaving a state comes a few changes. Some will be gradual and some will be immediate. As we start to pack our lives and mentally prepare, those around us also make a shift. It’s the way it goes. We knew this would happen and really, it’s healthy. But sitting around your co-workers as they whisper and plan their next steps, you can’t help but feeling like your time is already over. Your opinion is no longer needed as you slip through their lives and memories. Sure, these things need to happen. Honestly, I’m so glad that they are able to move forward without me. It alleviates some of my fears and stress with how this move would affect those around me. Now that people know what our plans are, not all plans made are ours. Other plans will be made, and they will be made without us. It’s good, it’s as it should be and it’s a sad realization all at the same time.

Like a lot of things to come this month, it’s bittersweet. Nothing about it should necessarily be different, but I want to acknowledge it’s very real and noticeable presence. This move is an adventure and a blessing, but it’s not all a romantic comedy.