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Still Hovering Midair

Who’d have thought that moving BACK to Seattle would be as much a part of the experience as moving TO Milano?! It’s taken me by surprise how daunting and unsettling it has been to move back into my own home.

I’m slowly plodding toward resettlement. Here’s a journal entry from a week ago.

– – –

7 Settembre 2010

Sitting in the silence of the morning hoping to gather and calm my tornado of thoughts… I’m feeling pulled and strewn by personal, emotional, physical and professional imperatives. There truly are many things I “should” do, I must do! I try to keep myself level and focussed, spare in my “priorities”, but still the overwhelming swell builds.

It took me a year to dismantle the structure of my life here, and then a year to begin some semblance of solidity in Milan. It should come as no surprise to me that it could take a year to resettle here!

My body has indeed left Milan and arrived here in Seattle, but my mind/spirit are still hovering midair, somewhere between here and there. I haven’t quite really come back yet!

After a little more than a month back here in Seattle, my house remains spare. Only absolute essentials have been unpacked, brought up out of the basement as I’ve needed something. The walls are bare. And the remaining boxes feel oppressive with their weight and presence. Too much stuff!

My daily routine is not yet routine. It hasn’t yet developed a sustaining, supportive rhythm of waking, sleeping, eating and exercising. Lacking a pattern in my days points out the value of such a pattern.

Seeing family has been a high priority since I returned, and I’ve seen one or another several times. But seeing friends will have to wait. I hope they can be understanding about that delay. There is a list on my desk of a hundred names of people I’ve “got” to see. Tell me: how long will it take to have a rich conversation with 100 people while still settling my house, tending to family AND trying to get some work done?! If they are offended that a month has passed and I haven’t seen them, then apparently they haven’t envisioned the logistics (and I apologize).

The few encounters I have enjoyed have either been long-ago-planned, convenient by proximity (neighbors), spontaneous, satisfying of a need or selfish preference.

And, of course, in the midst of all this, I need to keep my clients satisfied and run my business! I’ve only recently recreated my work space so I can work, but have yet to get my systems back up and functioning. I haven’t even finished reinstalling my desktop computer system and so continue with the simplicity, and limitations, of my laptop.

At any moment, I ask myself “What’s the best thing I could do right now to make headway, putting a dent in my list?” Sometimes the answer is to pick just one box to unpack. At other times, sorting and filing paperwork gets it off my desk finally. And sometimes, just going for a walk is what I most need to do.

In view of “Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs”, I realize that all of this is a lofty, privileged collection of concerns. The economy is in record crisis. Friends are struggling to find work. Many are faced with genuine issues of survival. “Gee Maureen. You’ve just spent a year in Italy and have now moved back to your home and your life. How tough can that be?” It’s hard to find an empathetic ear. How many understand this state?

In the meantime, I put on my apron, which puts me in the right frame of mind, and just keep moving.

  1. GaryOctober 4,10

    Maureen, this all sounds pretty understandable. I’m really glad that you had such a remarkable time in Italy and met so many wonderful people. It’s great to have you back in this area. I hope that you are able to find effective means of self-care during this transition.

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