Packing Up

I spent the majority of my weekend packing up my house. It’s a daunting task to say the least.

Divorce and moving rank up there as two of the top 5 most stressful life events. What can I say? I’ve always been ambitious.

I found the process to be exhausting both physically and emotionally. I have 2 steep staircases in my big old house. And way too many mementos from the past. Luckily I had help, beer breaks, walks with my dog, and loud music.

At the same time, I found the weekend freeing. The act of organizing, purging, deciding what I wanted to take with me to my next home. My new beginning. It was also the first weekend without my kids for a very long time. Weird, but I could get so much more done.

I am aware of all the good that is around me in my life. As much as the process of divorce sucks, there is also a light at the end of the tunnel. I may not be there yet, but I see it. I feel it. It’s hard to explain, but those that have gone through it know. They know because they’ve shared with me. In the background, through messages, on the street. They share their story.

And there are those that don’t know, but choose to support. They may or may not know the whole story, and it doesn’t matter. They are there.

I am strong and happy right now because of the good that is around me. Because of the good that continues to happen to me. Because I embrace life and continue on the path that I choose.

The happy is there. It has been there from the beginning. And when I need an extra reminder, it comes in various forms. It comes from friends who drop everything and drive two hours with wine and chocolate and books for the boys in hand. It comes from private messages, public comments and hours long phone calls. It comes from impromptu trips to the beach, picnics at state parks, and no judgment secret Facebook groups. It comes from true friends, some I haven’t heard from in years, that continue to check in and offer help. It comes from future travel plans and dancing at the dinner table. It comes from extremely patient real estate agents and strong female entrepreneurial friends. It comes from late night distractions and a bit of mischief.

Boats help too.

boatwithkathrineSo while my mind might be all over the place, I have a plan. I am focused. Maybe I’ll even finish packing before I have to move out of my big old house. Maybe.

Wake me up when it’s all over.

Taking the jump

“You can do it, B!”

It was the fourth time my son’s friend got on the platform for the zip line at a local ropes course. We were celebrating G’s 9th birthday. The plan was to have the boys go through the course, eat some ice cream, and then go home for some pizza and a sleepover.

I watched the boys go through the course with my soon-to-be-ex-husband. It’s one of those activities that I can’t do with my boys. The height and the fear of falling is too much for me. While I have no problem riding in tiny planes to Boston or in developing countries, I get dizzy when I’m up high and nothing is around me.

I could feel B’s pain. He said he didn’t have a problem with heights. He seemed to be fine on the platforms, but he was timid about going over some of the shaky features of the ropes course. He sat out some and tried others. Three times he went to the higher platform for the zip line, got hooked up, and said no.

I stood below watching his grit and determination. I was ready to take a photo and text it to his mom. His fear would kick in, and he’d politely decline to go.

But he kept going back up. He wanted to go on that zip line.

When he got up to the platform on that fourth time, the staff member was determined to get him to complete his trip. She talked with him about how to approach the zip line and asked him about his fears. She had him sit in his safety gear and feel how the line would hold him. The other boys would go up and show him how it’s done on the zip line next to his. Each tried to get B to leave the platform, but he would stand there frozen.

There were many people cheering B on as he stood on that platform. He stood there for what seemed to be an eternity as kids and adults continued to zip by him on the other line. He didn’t leave, but he didn’t jump off the platform either. He stood quietly thinking.

It made me think about how our fears can control our thoughts and actions (or inaction) in life.

Sometimes you hold on for dear life and muster up a smile.

huggingpoleSometimes you stop and let your mind play tricks on you.

waitingontheledgeBut you try. Because that’s all you can do.

If you don’t try, you won’t know what you can do.

gtiresYou listen to those that cheer you on and you quiet them when you need to concentrate.

When you are ready –  if you ever are ready – you take that jump.

And usually it’s not as bad as you thought it would be.


In fact, it might be far better than you ever imagined.

You might just turn around and do it again. Or try something even bolder.


When my son’s friend finally made it off the platform and zip lined off into the sunset (it was getting late at that point!), everyone at the ropes course cheered. It was huge.

B may have been a little embarrassed, but he was mostly proud. And he should have been. At that point, he had gone too far not to jump off that platform. Declining that fourth attempt wasn’t an option.

On the ground, I told him how proud I was of him and how I shared his accomplishment with his mom by text. He just quietly smiled at me. Though I’m sure he wished he was able to do it sooner, it was better late than never.

Courage won out and the fears were quieted.

Have you taken a jump like this in life?


Last I checked, July is too early for back to school shopping.

I was shopping in Target this weekend and found two shocking occurrences in the store. (And, no, one of the shocking occurrences was not that I left the store with only one item. Let’s be realistic here.)

Summer items were on clearance, and back to school items were taking over a large part of the store.

It’s July. Barely mid-July. In Maine, summer has just begun. We’re just now getting used to regular warm weather and frequent visits to the beach.

Do you know what our winters are like? We endure those winters in order to live in Vacationland during the summer.

The last thing I want to see in July are binders and pencil boxes.

G’s backpack is used to bring swimming gear, sunscreen, a water bottle and lunch to summer camp.

welcome back sign

This photo is from a Wordless Wednesday on 9.5.12. September. Not July.

Is it just me or is this back to school stuff early this year? It’s like seeing a giant blowup Santa in October.

Maybe I need to stay out of the stores for a while. I’m clearly not going to find any of my summer needs there.

Are you even thinking about back to school shopping yet?

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