Okay, it’s Saturday night. I worked for 11 hours straight today, then gave up. Now the evening stretches ahead, with a long list of things that haven’t been done in – well, forever. And this is at the top of the list.
Life has been more of a whirlwind than usual recently. For a year, my online job has been either feast or famine. During the famine times, you tighten your belt and hope for better days. During feast times, you work 25 hours/day, 8 days a week because you’re not sure when the next work is going to show up, and you have bills to pay.
Anyway, in the last few weeks the workflow has steadily improved. But after a year of the feast/famine cycle, I still kept up the 25/8 schedule, not believing that the drought was finally over. Hence, way too many days of little or no sleep, no showers, few meals, and staring at the wall like a zombie during those precious minutes I wasn’t working. The company is growing, and it looks like we’ll have plenty of work to go around for the foreseeable future. Although I still can’t convince myself to follow a regular work schedule just yet…
Next, I decided that it was time to get back on the road. So I asked my landlords if there was any way to get out of my lease (which ended in November), and within 12 hours, they had listed the condo and three days later, a lease was signed. Which meant I had four days to pack and move. Doable? Yes. Grueling? Hell yes.
But I did it. I bought boxes, found a storage shed, rented a UHaul van (thanks to my cousin Chris for helping me haul the little stuff!), scheduled movers, and started packing. And on Tuesday, as I was packing the car, the new tenants were pulling up in their moving van. My hands hurt for days, and I didn’t have the chance to say goodbye and thank you to my beautiful, peaceful little condo. But it’s done.
Everything I own is back in a 10×15 storage shed. The car is packed and ready to go. Tuesday is my last day at the temp job. Forwarding order has been placed with the Post Office, and cable/internet/power have been stopped. My friends in CA are expecting me. And this time next month, I’ll be back home in Coeur d’Alene for the summer.
I can’t tell you what will happen after that, because I have no idea. At this point, I’m too tired to care. On Wednesday I fly east to see my sis and attend my 30th college reunion. Then it’s back here to pick up my fancy new car and head west, and then north.
It’s been a bittersweet time in the desert. There were good times and sad ones. Made memories, learned lessons, made a friend or two, and avoided winter one more year. Now the heat is approaching, and while I was curious to see what “dry heat” felt like, I’m okay with that remaining a mystery. Although Phil is right – 90 in AZ is a lot cooler than 90 in Florida.
The humidity was at 5% last week. Yes, FIVE percent. My skin is dry and cracked, and I’m always thirsty. My allergies have been awful here; the desert is NOT a good place for folks allergic to dust. I feel like the life is being sucked out of my pores. And it has barely hit 100. The desert has its own unique beauty, but I’ll always be a green grass kind of girl.
I’ve learned that I really like cactus, and the abundance of flowers in the spring. The mountains that ring the valley are stunning, especially at sunset, even though they are brown and treeless. There was no dearth of shopping in the valley, and there IS a Margaritaville. I’ll leave with good memories of Phoenix; it has been relatively kind to me, for a big city.
Am I sorry I came here? No. Am I glad to be getting back on the road? Yes and no. As much as I love seeing new places and familiar ones, I also enjoy having my own little nest to nestle in. And will miss that this summer. But Ali and Kevin will be sharing their nest with me, and I’m very grateful for that.
I don’t know what the future holds. I know I’ll need time to get my feet back on the ground, and make some decisions about my next steps. But first, friends wait. There’s wine to be sipped and laughs to be laughed and long days alone on the road, thinking and processing and understanding and healing and planning. And maybe even relaxing a bit.
I’ll try to post as often as I can. I need to learn how to juggle travel and friends and writing and fun and work again. So check back often and see if I’ve found a wireless signal, and had time to share stories and pictures of my adventures.
My first goal is to find some rain…and watch a sunset over the ocean.
Thanks to my cousins Chris and Nicole for sharing their home – and kids! – with me this week, and helping me avoid homelessness for a few more days. 🙂