Three Weeks Ago:
Some days my life is such a whirlwind and other days it is more like floating the lazy Chena River with white wine and honey dijon potato chips. I’m not quite sure how I feel about moving off to Elko. I’m excited, but nervous. I don’t mind long work days. I’ll be busy and I’m anticipating a good group to work with. It’s funny though – my thoughts immediately go to ‘how will my training fit into my new schedule’. Do I have it in me to get up at 2:00 am to run for an hour before work? I guess I can sleep on the bus which will be a good thing. I can listen to podcasts or read a book – use the bus ride as my downtime. Will people want to chit chat? I doubt it. I’ll be an admin geek on the bus with a bunch of crusty truck drivers and mechanics. I worry about Wayne and Chelsea. Just my natural tendency to think about how things will be while I’m gone. Will they fret about me? Is Wayne going to worry? Will they take care of each other and get along? Will anyone ever mop the kitchen floor?
This is the beginning of my next adventure. I find myself wondering if I’m doing the right thing. Am I just chasing the almighty dollar? Maybe. Or am I chasing something else? Or am I running away from something? I have to admit that the thought of leaving the house where our life with Brice ended is soothing. I feel like it’s time to move on and build new memories somewhere else. Moving to Elko may not seem like an adventure in the real sense of the word. Maybe it is just a means to an end. I feel like good things will come from this move. I am mostly very excited to start the new job. I hope I can remember how to use the software. I hope I can help make good changes for this group like I did in Alaska. I hope I have a good relationship with my new boss. I hope I lose 10 pounds and make a new running friend.
I’ve been in Elko for 3 weeks now and I love my new job. I feel like the person coming out of a coma and remembering new things every day. I enjoy the work and the people that I work with. My work days are long, as anticipated, but the 3 day weekends are the best! Monday thru Thursday I wake up at 3:00 am, leave my room at 3:45, and get on the bus at 4:05 am. I arrive on the mine site at about 5:45 am. I work until around 4:00 pm. The bus ride is what I was most anxious about. Everyone pretty much stays to themselves. People bring blankets and pillows – I have both – and sleep on the way to the mine site. The road isn’t bad and the bus is actually pretty comfortable. Some days I sleep, some days I meditate, some days I play on Twitter and read the news. None of my companions are crusty or cranky. When I loaded the bus with my box of office crap, there was no shortage of people offering to help me get on board.
Wayne and Chelsea seem to be doing fine. They have sent me pictures of the food Wayne is cooking. I have no idea if the floor is getting mopped or vacuumed or if the kitchen is clean. And honestly, it doesn’t matter. They are both fully capable of taking care of themselves, and no one ever died because there were dishes in the sink. Last weekend, on the spur of the moment, I went home to visit and it was great to spend time together. It was so low key and relaxed. When life is ‘normal’ – whatever that means – it’s easy to get wound up about the weekends and what to do with your time and what chores need to get done and who wants to rest and who wants to be busy. But that weekend home was just us enjoying each other’s company with no demands or expectations. It was nice…really, really nice.
This is the first weekend I have spent alone. I got my workout in, treated myself to Starbucks, got the oil changed in my car and then went to the local bowling alley/pizza place for salad, veggie pizza and a couple of beers. Purple Rain comes on the jukebox and I start sobbing in public – I started thinking about Brice and feeling lonely. Grief still sneaks up on me, usually in the most inconvenient places. I guess if I have to cry in public, a bar is just as good as any place.
I headed back to my hotel room feeling sad and kind of lonely. As I sat there drinking a glass of wine, I realized that it was the same feeling as that dark place, that rough patch that comes during a very long run. And like those dark places, these feelings will pass. You keep moving. You don’t stop. And eventually that dark place will pass. The feelings of despair and loneliness and failure or whatever it is you feel passes and the sun shines again and you feel hope and realize that you can choose to live in that dark place – that place of loneliness or you can live life for the moment you are in. You really can choose happiness. Maybe living alone in a hotel room isn’t my ideal situation, but it is where I am right now. It is life as I know it today. And I can choose to enjoy this time for what it is or I can choose to be miserable only wanting to live in the past or the future – wishing the time away. But I can’t get the past back and I’m not guaranteed the future. What I have – what we all have – is THIS moment.
THIS moment, I am standing in the laundromat at the hotel, washing my dirty clothes and writing on my laptop and I am happy. I went hiking with my soon-to-be former boss this morning (that’s a whole other story) on a trail I’ve never been on and saw a beautiful mountain lake. I saw some does being chased by a buck, and a herd of wild horses. I could piss and moan about the laundry or having to haul my groceries up and down the stairs or how mushy the hotel oatmeal is – or I can live in the moment I’m in and interact with the people that are around me here – in this place.
Every event in our life prepares us for something we don’t know about yet. The good events and the events we wish we could change or undo – they all serve a purpose. I believe in THIS moment, that running long distances has helped to prepare me for this time – as my husband so gently reminded me, You can do hard things, Angela.