Everything changed, and it will change again

I work in higher education and it always seems that Back to School season is an appropriate time to re-evaluate and reassess my first-of-the-year goals. In January I decided to live deliberately, with passion and grace this year. I feel like this is a two-steps-forward, one-step-back process, and it probably should be that way, right? I certainly am not one of those (fictional) individuals who is born with and maintains perfect grace in the face of Life. But, I feel like I am slowly coming to a place of acceptance of the things I cannot change or dictate, while living the hell out of the pieces of my life I do have control over. Sometimes with grace, sometimes with lots of swear words and chocolate. Overall, I think that my ratios are in a pretty good place.


In the first six months, everything changed.

So far this year I have made the unanticipated and enormous decision to leave my job (my wonderful, wonderful job), leave my apartment, postpone a Master’s degree, and move 700 miles away to join my sweetheart. This decision has colored every aspect of my life, sometimes with giddiness, sometimes with fear, and often times with a melancholy sadness. I am simultaneously trying to get the most out of my remaining time here in Salt Lake, to maximize time with my dear friends, to memorize the smells and sounds of my beloved mountains, to go on adventures and cross things off my Utah to-do/to-visit/to-explore list. And then there are days when I refuse to answer the message notifications on my phone, when I refuse to even leave my house, and yes–a few times–when I just do not get out of bed because the idea of so much change is overwhelmingly nauseating and it seems the best plan of action is to ignore everything and everyone until I can breathe again.

Change is a bitch, yo. And so far 2015 has been full of it.

In the next six months, everything will change again.

I will finish up my work responsibilities mid-December and be completely moved to Arizona before we (Blue Eyes and his kiddos) make the long trek to Montana for Christmas. Because the least stressful time to move is right before a giant holiday spent 1,000 from the home now being threatened by towers of unpacked boxes. Obviously. I’ll need to figure out a new job situation and readjust to living with my sweetheart after years of being apart. I’ll need to figure out how, exactly, my role as step-mom will fit into the lives of two busy kiddos (ages 10 and almost 13) (!!!!). I’ll need to figure out the layout of my new grocery store, and understand the complexities of a much larger freeway system. I’ll need to navigate new relationships and finding friends and a new tribe of My People. I’ll need to….

This is the part where my brain gets pretty overloaded with anxiety and I start to shut down. I am overwhelmed and scared and the “What if’s” start to pile up around me. I can already predict that my biggest priority for next year will be to remember to breathe. To take each day on its own terms, and to find something positive in each day.

How are you doing on your 2015 resolutions? Have you made any major unplanned overhauls in your life? Do you have any tips for getting through some major life upheaval while maintaining your sanity?

Harriet sig

The best of times, the worst of times: I'm there

Have you ever been hit with a sudden, overwhelming sense of happiness? Can you pinpoint what person or event triggered the rush of endorphins? For me, it seems that it takes hitting a super rock-bottom low with ugly sobs followed by a few days of increasing positivity for me to really hit the natural high of so-happy-you’re-crying.

I’m there. And yes, I cry a lot. Whatever.

This all started about a week ago when I started packing up some boxes for Mr. Blue Eyes to take to our new house in Arizona. The idea of leaving this place, my home, was suddenly very very real. And it was heartbreaking. I sat on the floor and cried. And cried. And cried.


Now, I am not rejecting the idea of actually living with my spouse, that all sounds lovely. But I am in deep mourning for leaving this place; the city that sheltered me after a really terrible divorce, the neighborhood that has been a tangible comfort to me when I’m stressed, the friends who are my people, and the physical walls of an apartment where I became an adult. I am far more attached and invested in this little space of mine than I am in the house of my childhood. FAR more. Often times the idea of driving away from this oasis of happy and comfort leaves a physical ache in my heart.

Packing and labeling boxes, stacking them up and seeing that tangible tower of “you are leaving this place” sent me into a tailspin. A million thanks to my sweet friend D for stopping in to check on me (you know, after I didn’t answer phone calls or texts for a day and a half; see: tailspin). She invited me to go on a hike, and that was the beginning of my upswing.

Canyon Creek_feistyharriet_June 2015

Hiking a pretty low-key trail with two dear friends and their chattering 3-month old was so good for my soul. The sights and smells of my beloved mountains calmed and soothed my aching heart and watching the sun streak my sky in orange and magenta and gold felt like God was giving me gentle hair pats, telling me it would all be okay.

Desolation Trail Sunset_feistyharriet_June 2015

A day or two later, several hours spent with my oil paints and an audiobook brought me back to my happy place.

Sunday evening was spent with family, not my own siblings, but close enough. I have the same hands as my aunt, the same eyes as one cousin, the same feet as another, and my uncle called me by my childhood nickname the entire evening. There was no anxiety, no passive-aggressive comments, lots of laughing and giggling and jokes, and as much cookie dough as I wanted.

Mr. Blue Eyes will be here this weekend to remove the packed-up-boxes situation and I’m sure a few days snuggling him and laughing with him and just being together. I feel like so much of my life is in this extended period of uncomfortable limbo. Part of me wishes I could just quit my job and move next week, just rip off the band-aid. The other part of me is so grateful for these last few months of savoring my life and friends and experiences here, slowly saying goodbye. The truth is, both are hard, and I’m sure I will continue to have these emotional swings, both until and after I leave.

But, hopefully, I won’t have to pack up any more boxes until December when I actually move.

Harriet sig