Four and half months ago, Scott and I made a plan. A big plan. We found our dream home! Actually, our dream property. The dream home part is a work in a progress. The challenge was that I was still in Oklahoma for work.
With a portion of our home goods and necessities in tow, Scott drove from Oklahoma to Vermont to close on our new house. Making the decision to live separately for a period wasn’t made lightly, but it was made with a longer-term goal in mind. We’ve “visited” each other since his drive North, but with COVID, we didn’t want to be recklessly traveling either. So, we each hunkered down and did our jobs that would bring us together soon enough; Scott single-handedly demolishing the entire first floor of our home (he’s now in construction phase) and me taking on a new, bigger role at work. I’ll post more about the demolition/construction later.
I felt confident going into this temporary arrangement that we would each be so busy that any loneliness would be tempered by the thrill of moving towards our goal. And I was mostly right. We've had great stretches and we’ve had challenging stretches. FaceTime has been a godsend.
Early on, I felt like the universe was plotting against our new arrangement. Within the same one-week period back in October, Oklahoma had a historic ice storm that left trees in a shamble (they’re still cleaning up in February!), Bella got sprayed for the first time by a skunk, and the garbage disposal backed up.
TRAGIC. ALL OF IT. Or so it felt.
I initially became pretty overwhelmed by it. I cried at the universe, “How is all of this happening right now when Scott’s not here?!” Full out pity party of one. One challenge at a time, I peeled away the overwhelm and the frustration I was feeling and addressed each challenge.
Ice storm? Scott had most of our tools, so I drove to the local hardware store and bought a small hand saw before everyone else snatched them up. The next day provided a perfect weather day to get outside and cut up the branches in the front yard.
Skunk-gate? Faced with a frozen spicket, I couldn't bathe Bella outside. I brought her inside and whisked her over to our amazing boarding place for a professional de-skunking. Best $25 I've ever spent.
Backed-up garbage disposal? After cursing my landlord who basically said this was a “me” problem (she was right), I ran out to the store for some Drano. Best $7 I’ve spent since Skunk-gate. Worked like a charm.
Today, I’m faced with shoveling 8” of snow with more coming,
hoping the negative 27 degree wind chills don’t freeze the pipes or force a
power outage, strongly
encouraging pushing Bella to go outside to do her
business, starting vehicles periodically to prevent battery drain, and just now
wrestling with a garage door that decided to stay in the “open” position.
I GOT THIS.
None of what I’ve shared here has been tragic. None of this has been as dramatic as it felt in the initial moment. As of now, I still have power and heat and working pipes. And I won the garage door fight. Go me!
Somewhere over the last four months, I’ve added a new, thicker layer of skin. I feel like I’ve always been gutsy/adventurous, but admittedly have grown soft when I knew Scott would just take care of the problem.
We have partners for a reason, and I can’t wait to be back with mine. But I’m grateful for this reminder of how important it is to be able to take care of myself and to not panic or get overwhelmed when shit happens. Because shit will happen. A lot. Except when I want Bella to go outside. That shit ain’t happening anytime soon!