i can’t remember whether this is supposed to be the definition of bravery, courage, or stupidity, but this is going to become my new mantra.

i have a great friend- a real bff- who asked me a few days ago if i am afraid of anything. like all good friendships, she is better at solving my problems and i am better at solving hers. we were talking about something in her life that really unsettles her, and lucky for me, that happens to be an area where i am strong. so, she was marvelling at that and said, “is there anything that scares you?”

that’s kind of funny, since my husband and kids could give you a long list of my fears, including, but not limited to:

-someone leaving the front door open while the air conditioning is on

-holding open the screen door and letting flies in

-forgetting to return library books on time

-putting muddy shoes on the seats of the car

-running out of toilet paper

-not buying enough cereal when it’s on sale

the list goes on and on, but you get the idea. i think i am really afraid of what most moms are afraid of: that anything bad would ever happen to my kids. i live with a chronic illness that gives me some good days and some bad days. and then i have some really bad days. i am always afraid of being incapacitated, and even though i bounce back eventually, any time i have to go into the hospital, i pretty much just cry out of fear and frustration. i am afraid that anything would happen to my husband, because whereas he has managed to be patient and understanding with my illness, i don’t know if i could do as good of a job if it were him. also, i don’t think i could watch him suffer. so, those are always low-level simmering fears.

but this cross-country move is scaring me out of my wits. it’s the kind of fear that sits in your belly at 2am and just makes you stare at the ceiling and say to yourself, “ok- breathe. just breathe.” it’s the kind of fear that you don’t want your kids to see because it will get them in a panic. it’s the kind of fear that i can only share with 2 million of my closest friends on my blog 😉

or something like that.

i have never moved to anywhere in my life. i did live abroad for a while, but when i went there, i was planning to stay for a month, so i never had the idea that i was packing up to go away. i grew up about a mile and a half from where we live now. our first apartment was less than a mile away, and our first house was about 5 blocks over. so, i never left a place with the thought of only returning to visit.

i have tapped the brains of many friends. i have researched my head off (yes, how could i not, right? hahahaha). i have made lists, both mental and in various notebooks that i leave scattered around the house. i have started packing boxes and obsessively labeling the contents with such thrilling and exhaustive lists as: tights (mommy), hot water bottle, extra aprons, extra tablecloths, extra pens.

yes, i really am moving my extra pens across the country. because who knows if they will have pens in seattle, right?

there is nothing in particular that i am afraid of. i deal with this stress much like i deal with others in my life: by staying in denial. i get busy with details (like which boxes my extra aprons are in- how could i survive if i couldn’t find those aprons? what if a whole family of amish girls shows up to help me cook one day and they forgot their aprons at home? then what???). i avoid the big picture. i do this when my husband goes away on business. i stock up on essentials (5 cases of kleenex, anyone?). i plan out snacks- mostly homemade baked goods- that my family will not actually eat. i usually pawn off some on my neighbors, and throw out whatever is about to spoil- usually exactly the day before someone will decide that they actually want to try whatever it is. this past week was coconut custard pie (only my husband likes coconut, but i had some in the freezer…). this is always in addition to whatever we have in the freezer already- currently chocolate chocolate chip cookies, ginger cookies, chocolate cakes, and 2 or 3 other desserts that i will find throughout the week as i force everyone to eat the extra bread we have.

i have heard great things about seattle. i am pretty sure the community we are looking into will be a great fit for our family. i found someone to adopt the compost pile (yay, S.K.!!). my neighbors are happily willing to eat anything i can pick from the garden, since it looks like i won’t be doing too much canning in the weeks to come. we have enough clothes, enough shoes, enough boots and scarves and hats and gloves. we have enough dishes and pots and pans and school supplies and books. we won’t want for anything, and my bestie from canada has already invited us to come to her and crash if i can’t get things together right away when we land in seattle. so, there is nothing to worry about.

my husband will be working for a wonderful company. he is super excited about the job. we will avoid michigan snowstorms and michigan’s boiling hot summers. on every level, this seems to be a step up in the world.

but i just have that nauseating fear of………… nothing in particular.

so, today i am managing details. we haven’t even met with the moving company, and i already have about 20 boxes packed. my house is starting to look like a warehouse with too few staff to stock the shelves. i’m feeling like the rooms are starting to resemble mini-costco, but without the free food samples (my mom’s favorite) and the great deals and stuff you kinda sorta might need, but don’t really (can you say 6-pack of food scales?).

oh, and i haven’t told my grandma yet.

yes, it has now been in the detroit news and on a local radio station. i have told other people in my family- even the ones who don’t live in town. my friends know, and my neighbors know, and i just keep finding reasons not to tell my grandma. i know i have to pluck up the courage soon- definitely before she hears it somewhere else- but i think that telling her will just make it too real.

so, she and i are in denial together- except that i know and she doesn’t.

i know things will be fine (probably even better than fine)- how could they not?

sidenote here to folks who work with the star husband- you guys need to plan him a really awesome good-bye party, cuz he loves that kind of stuff! and it will be our little secret, since i don’t think he reads this blog… (no, really!)

ok. it’s getting to the point now where i have to go pack a few more boxes.

i will definitely continue to keep you all apprised of any breaking news as it happens.

and you guys can do the same for me, ok?