1. I’m officially less than one week away from moving and I. Am. Stressed.
I have never found moving to be a relaxing occasion, so I can’t say I’m particularly surprised. In fact, when I planned my move this year, I took two days off work from the get-go: one for moving day itself (since I prefer to move on weekdays, when movers are easier to book and parking tends to be simpler), and one for decompressing the day after. I fully expect to cry at some point on moving day, because I can only recall a couple of moving days that didn’t involve stress-induced tears.
I’m not nearly as ahead of the packing game as I wish I were, but since I have very few plans for this weekend aside from packing (and even took a half day tomorrow to buy myself some more time), I think I’ll probably be okay in that department, at least eventually. My unrestrained purging has definitely helped make packing easier than sometimes. I’m more stressed out thinking about unpacking, which I find to be infinitely worse than packing. I obviously have space in my new apartment for my things, and I have a vague idea of where those things will go, but I know full well from every past moving experience that I’m going to get into my new apartment and become paralyzed by overwhelm at the amount of stuff I have and the number of places where I could put said stuff. (This is likely where the stress-crying will happen.)
I’m also stressed about my new living situation in general, not because I anticipate that it will be a bad situation, but because the circumstances are so different from past moves. I moved in college out of necessity–the school year ended, or my semester in Chicago ended, and I needed to move out of my housing–and really, when I moved from my first apartment in Chicago to my current apartment, that was out of necessity, too. I didn’t feel safe in the building, particularly after we woke up one morning to an inexplicably smoking oven, and I really, really could not tolerate living with one of my roommates anymore. That’s not entirely the case this time. It sort of is–my landlord has decided to sell the condo because the condo association wouldn’t allow him to rent the unit again–but I had made my decision to move well before my landlord decided to divest himself of the place. My new living situation makes a lot more sense that my current living situation from a variety of standpoints–lifestyle, financial, commuting–but I’m sad to leave my current apartment and neighborhood behind. I really like my current apartment, and I really like my current neighborhood, and I’m not chomping at the bit to get out like I was when I moved three years ago. That, also, is part of it: I’ve lived in this apartment for (almost) three years (it’ll be a couple weeks short of three full years, but close enough). Aside from my childhood home, I’ve never lived anywhere for that long, and I’ve certainly become attached to my current address.
It’s bittersweet, I suppose. I’m excited for the change, but also nervous about the change. I’m looking forward to having my housing make sense for my life, but I’m also having a hard time wrapping my mind around no longer having the current arrangement I’m used to. I’d really like to fast-forward six months or so, after my new situation is no longer new, and skip the adjustment period entirely. But life doesn’t work that way, as much as I wish it did, so I’ll have to push through it and get to the other side.
After I finish packing, that is.
2. After ranting last week about the inconsiderateness of my coworkers for scheduling a team outing in a location nearly impossible for me to get to by public transportation, I 1) was informed by my boss that I could expense the trip out there, thus making an Uber infinitely more appealing and viable and 2) ended up having a great time!
We went to Top Golf, which, I will admit, I was not particularly thrilled about. I had never touched a golf club outside of a putt-putt setting, so the idea of spending my afternoon at a gamified driving range did not sound like a good time. As it turned out, most of my coworkers weren’t golfers, either, so we were all in this discovering-which-club-to-use-for-which-purpose boat together.
I’ve never been to a real driving range, so I can’t compare Top Golf to the actual thing, but at Top Golf, there are several areas out on the range, each designed more or less like a target. Your goal is to hit the your golf balls (registered to you via a microchip inside the ball) into the areas of the targets with the highest point values to rack up the highest score and win the game. While I certainly did not excel at that aspect of Top Golf (I routinely hit my golf balls into three point areas, which was the lowest point areas on the range, if I got them into the target at all), I was quite excited to discover that I could at least hit a golf ball a decent distance (by my standards, that is), and I ended up having a lot of fun. It certainly beat being at the office on a Friday afternoon during the summer, and it seemed like everyone–including me–really enjoyed themselves. Team outing success!
3. Some updates from my pride and joy, aka my garden:
Update #1: I HAVE TOMATOES!!!!!
I discovered these little guys for the first time last Wednesday, and I could’ve cried for joy, I was so excited. I also had a third tomato pop up sometime between Sunday morning and Tuesday morning. These ones pictured have swelled up a bit more since Wednesday, as one would expect them to do, but they’ve still got a ways to go until they’re edible. I did some research on my particular plant later last week and learned that some people have had one of these plants produce 300 tomatoes. If that’s the case, everyone I know is getting homemade tomato sauce and salsa for Christmas, whether they want it or not. But right now I only have two and they aren’t even ripe, so let’s not put the cart before the horse. Plus, as far as I’m concerned, I’m definitely still not out of the woods in terms of Things That Could Destroy My Tomato Crop (bugs and disease, primarily), so I’m definitely keeping all of my optimism very, very cautious for now. Regardless, it’s still exciting to see progress.
Update #2: I no longer have dill.
So, this is quite the story. I went to check on my plants over the weekend, and I noticed that the bathtub looked emptier than usual. It didn’t take much studying to realize a decent number of my wildflowers had disappeared. I looked around for evidence that a creature had dug them up, but I didn’t see anything: no scraps on the ground, no paw prints, etc. While looking around, I also discovered that my dill plant had been completely torn up from the ground and had also disappeared.
Now, my dill, like my other herbs, had grown quite prolifically, and while I was starting to worry that everyone was going to get tomato sauce, salsa, and pickles from me for Christmas, I certainly didn’t want my abundance of dill to be remedied by the disappearance of my plant in its entirety.
I started to suspect my plants had been uprooted on purpose, and cautiously made my way over to a trashcan that sits in the courtyard. I looked inside, and sure enough: there was my dill, along with a bunch of other greenery.
Because I am far too emotionally invested in my garden (this has been an ongoing problem for me in my gardening life, haha), I immediately burst into tears. While I was partially upset at the cruel and unusual murder of my dill, I was even more upset at that idea that someone intentionally did this. Raccoons, squirrels, rats, or other vermin don’t dig up dill plants and put them in trashcans. This was obviously the work of a human, and I was so hurt by the fact that someone could be so willfully mean to me, especially since I really didn’t care at all if the neighbors helped themselves to some of the herbs growing in the garden.
I put on my gardening gloves and fished the biggest dill plant out of the trash. It still had some of its roots attached, so I attempted to replant it, though it has yet to be seen if the plant will survive such trauma (I’m not holding my breath). As I did this, I noticed that some of the other greenery in the trash looked a lot like the weeds that had been growing in the cracks between the pavement in the courtyard where my garden grows. All of a sudden, the pieces of the puzzle began to fall into place. I know for a fact that my (future) landlord was in the courtyard that morning. Looking around the courtyard, it was obvious that he had done some work: weeding in the pavement cracks, rearranging some of the things he has in the area, etc. These efforts to tidy up the area, I concluded, led him to my garden, where he likely recognized the tomato, the basil, and the oregano as things I meant to have in that space. In not recognizing the dill or the wildflowers (the ones that disappeared did have a somewhat dill-like appearance, in that they had short, thin leaves like the dill), he assumed these were all weeds, and, in an effort to be kind, thoughtful and helpful, pulled them up and threw them away. He was, after all, the person who suggested I use the bathtub for gardening in the first place AND the person who, without me asking or even suggesting it in the slightest, took it upon himself to completely clean out all the weeds and overgrowth that had accumulated in the tub since it was last used for gardening purposes so that I’d have a clean area in which to plant, so I can’t imagine he intended to be mean or in any way harmful when he accidentally pulled up plants I was, in fact, trying to grow.
I haven’t addressed this with my future landlord, partially because I don’t have the heart to (I mean, how can you yell at someone who’s just trying to be nice and helpful?), partially because I don’t want to get off on the wrong foot with him, and partially because if he had to pull any plant out of my garden, my dill would’ve been the first choice, since I’m not worried about finding ways to use oregano or basil, but I definitely had concerns about how I would use how much dill I had grown. But if I plant in the tub again next year, I think I’ll put some cutesy garden labels in with all my plants to hopefully avoid a repeat of this in the future.
Have you ever been golfing? Or to a driving range?
Any tips on how to make a move less stressful?