Wow, there's nothing like living out of a bag for 10 days to hamper one's blogging activities!
I'll be brief (because this is a rare opportunity to have a nice cup of tea whilst I am in one spot) and summarise.
Tuesday - 5 days before moving:
- Had arranged to see a bedsit which sounded ideal, but was pipped to the post by the girl before me, who was given first refusal. Felt strangely un-bothered by this.
Wednesday - 4 days before moving:
- Went from feeling strangely un-bothered, to extreme panic and had an enormous meltdown. Realised that I was completely in denial about moving. Hadn't packed a single box, nor found a place to stay. Could not decide whether to invest time on packing or looking, so did nothing. Very nearly broke down in tears to my teacher (my goodness me, I nearly cried?! who, me?!), who advised that 4 days was more than enough time for something to happen, and that I should start packing.
- Bumped in to a friend who immediately offered to help me load the van on Sunday.
- Stayed up until 4am.
Thursday - 3 days before moving:
- Up at 8am and starting to pack. Uh-oh. This is taking longer than I thought.
- 22 listings ended on eBay: needed to arrange collection on 4 items of furniture, and post 10 parcels. And box up the rest.
Friday - 2 days before moving.
- Early start again, starting to see through time.
- Posted eBay items.
- Toyed with the idea of sorting out my clothes and the airing cupboard, which resulted in 2 huge bin liners for Charity, and 4 for the dump. And I couldn't put them outside, because it was pouring with rain.
- Had a chat with a man in the garden next door and discovered that his wife worked for a charity, and would be happy to take various items of furniture and pots and utensils from the kitchen. He also promised that he would come round on Monday to pick up my enormous bookcases, a couple of tables, and that any small electrical items that I didn't want to keep he would happily run down to the dump. An Angel, surely, out of thin air?
- Started to post items on FreeCycle - a website where you can offer things you no longer want and take things that other people no longer want, all for free. Was then tied to the laptop arranging for people to collect these items too...
- My friend, Hen Lady, arrived to help me clear out the kitchen and said that she was concerned that I still had so much left to pack. 'Honestly, it's fine', I assured her, then stayed up again until 4am.
Saturday - 1 day before moving.
- Up early again.
- Most items from FreeCycle and eBay collected by this time, including the sofa, which meant I had nowhere to sit.
- Still no idea what to do with the wardrobes. Rats.
- Packed 'the office' and separated my clothes in to ones that I could store and ones that I would need for the next couple of weeks. Dismantled the wardrobe at 2am. Went to bed at 4am, feeling a teensy bit tired.
Sunday - Move Day.
- Woke up at 8am to the sound of pouring rain. Realised that I had left my umbrella at the Kabbalah Centre. Reminded myself that things could be worse.
- Picked up the van at 9am and then continued to pack boxes. The van looked a tad small.
- My friend arrived at 11:30, with enthusiasm but little direction, and a bad back. We carried the furniture downstairs, where I received a call from Hen Lady, asking whether I still needed her help. She sounded rather disappointed when I said that we had only just started loading.
- 1pm, Hen Lady arrives with enthusiasm, focus, and the authority of a Sargent Major. She decided that I should do two trips with the van. Beyond the ability to think for myself, I just nodded.
- 11pm - two trips to my Dad's workshop (traipsing across a flooded mud-bath of a lawn) I arrived home, exhausted.
Monday - the day of the charity collection.
- Or maybe not. I swear I only went out for an hour, and I left a note on the door. And the man didn't come to take away the bookcases, tables or kitchen items. Hmmmm... Never mind, maybe he'll show up tomorrow.
- In any event, I am too tired to take action. I was meant to be cleaning the house, but was motionless with exhaustion until 5pm. Started to clean the house and carried on until 4am.
Tuesday - final day of tenancy.
- I'm screwed. I have a small van load of items to be collected and no transport. I have an entire house to clean. I'm knackered.
- 10:30am - Dad rings out of the blue to tell me that he is coming over to help. Between us both we take the items to the dump and clean the house, finishing at 7:30pm. My hands are raw from cleaning.
- Dad is the real Angel - what a star.
So here's the thing, I was told that once I let go of my past, big things would start to come in. In the last few days I was giving things away to lighten the load - there is nothing like watching your sofa go down the street on top of a car roof rack 5 minutes after you've been sitting on it to make you realise what you take for granted in life. I was giving so much stuff away that I wasn't really sure what I had left. My life as I knew it simply disappeared.
And for several days I was lost. From the kindness of friends and family (thank you Lulu) I haven't been turfed out on to the street, but with most of my belongings and paperwork being stored in my Dad's workshop, I had a slight panic going on.
And still I wouldn't cry. Still I kept up a front. Still I listened to everyone else telling me that everything would be fine and it would all work out. But deep inside was a voice screaming "YOU HAVE NO JOB, YOU HAVE NOWHERE TO LIVE, YOU ARE NEARLY 40 YEARS OLD AND SINGLE, YOU ARE LIVING OUT OF A FUCKING BAG, FOR GOODNESS SAKES! - HOW IN THE WORLD DID YOU LET IT GET TO THIS?!?!" The reality hit me and all at once I was baffled. How did I let it get to this? Okay, so maybe then I cried a little.
Now let me tell you the good part. The part that teaches me to trust and be patient that the Universe is unfolding as it should. In the past 48 hours I have found a place to stay - for free in the immediate future - until I find the room I am looking for in the area that I live in. This was a chance introduction on Shabbat morning. I will move some of my stuff in this weekend.
On Friday evening, again at Shabbat, I sat next to a woman who said that she knew a guy who ran a company providing IT solutions for not-for-profit companies and charities, and when I was ready, she would have a word with him and mention my name.
Yesterday morning, I received a call out of the blue from the MD of the motivational training company, saying that he had a permanent position open if I was interested. Just like that. No action on my part.
This morning the woman from Friday night rang me to say that she had spoken to her friend and he has a couple of vacancies, and that I should give him a call immediately. Not believing in the remote chance that the vacancy would fit my skills, I casually called him, expecting a short conversation. And guess what... it was a rather longer conversation.
So it may take a little while for the story to truly unfold and things to manifest, but that's not such a bad turnaround, is it?
And if this can happen in ten days, imagine where I will be next year....
The possibilities are endless.