What the heck have I been up to?

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. 🙂

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15 Responses to What the heck have I been up to?

  1. Debra Hanggeli Doda says:

    Well, you know where you’re always welcome, should your fancy new car take you in that direction :-).

    See you Thursday!

  2. PetBoySherman says:

    And when will you guys be hitting Canton? We arrive Thursday night – so I imagine we should be in charge of tropical drink makings………

    See you kids then!

  3. Roxanne Ruane says:

    okay, i blinked and missed something! LOL
    a few days in a row, you posted that you’re still here, just swamped in work, and then suddenly now POOF you’re going to be GONE! OUTTA STATE, FLYING THE COOP BEFORE THE SUMMER HEAT GETS HERE!
    my goodness woman, when you set your mind to something, you’re definitely a GITTERDONE kinda gal! woot woot for you!
    BUT WE ONLY HAD LUNCH ONCE!!!
    i don’t suppose i’ll get to see you one more time before you go eh?
    just to solidify our newfound friendship a bit?
    you are an amazing woman, and i give you so much credit for always following your heart and going whatever it takes to make your happiness happen.
    even if we can’t get together, please keep in touch.
    i wish you an exciting journey, and remember, whenever you get a hankering to get you some of this dry heat again… by all means, come stay here!
    love and light lady!
    safe journeys!
    (still, let’s do sushi ONE MORE TIME)
    hugs,
    roxanne

  4. Julie says:

    Wow, Beth! Another lightning fast move from a “permanent” abode?! It seems bound and determined that you be a traveller! Well, “May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be ever at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face and the rain fall softly on your fields. And until we meet again, May God hold you in the hollow of his hand”. Safe travels and wishes for wonderful times ahead!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Right on, my friend. See you soon.

  6. LoriH says:

    HA! Well, looky you! I love, love, love your stiff spine, chicalita! I cant wait to hear some new traveling stories. Tell, the friends and family hello, and hopefully Ill get to lay eyes on you at some point in 2011! Enjoy your travels, your new fancy schmancy car, and that lovely life ahead of you! You deserve all of the deliciousness waiting for you in the unknown!
    XOXOXOXO,
    LLH

    • Beth says:

      Not so sure it’s a stiff spine. A thick head, maybe! 🙂 Def planning to hit your neck of the woods this summer – we’ll figure out how and when. And thanks for the kind words – we’ll catch up soon! xoxo

  7. deb d. says:

    Riddle:
    What do rainforest trees and beth hanggeli have in common?
    They both have shallow roots.

    And these trees have adapted to their environment, are beautiful, and the world is a better place because of them ~ some other commonalities between the two!
    Enjoy where you will be planted next!

    • Beth says:

      You’re the best, Deb. I can always count on wise, calm support from you. Looking forward to seeing you later this summer! Thanks!

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