Often the Journey Starts Before I Leave Home

Janet at the Kolob Plateau Overlook.

Janet at the Kolob Plateau Overlook.

There are times where the hardest part of the journey happens before one leaves home. This time was definitely one of those. Why does that happen? I am not sure but I believe when I am preparing for a big change or a big trip or a big anything often there appears to be stumbling blocks put in my path as I prepare to leave. Maybe they are lessons. Maybe they are made up by me. Who knows?

Approximately a week before this trip I was cleaning the toilet in my RV. I got a little over obsessive about cleaning it and dropped a sponge down the black water tank. With many RV’s you could drain it out with the black water. With my RV everything goes through a macerator. I was concerned about the sponge breaking the macerator. The day it happened I became obsessed with this. By that evening I was worked into a fine state, thinking I had done something horrible. I ran an errand for a friend and began to laugh. I laughed so hard I had to pull the car off the road. It was such a release.

Nancy in the Desert

Nancy in the Desert

Enter Nancy, my civil engineer friend and one of my closest friends in town. When I told her I was going to have to leave the sponge in the tank she took over (she works with water systems). On Mother’s Day afternoon Nancy and I started to work on getting that sponge. With much laughter and quite a bit of splashing we opened the escape port. Nancy got the brunt of the water coming out. Try as we might, we could not get that sponge from above or below. Despite everything it was fun. Nancy said that doing things with me is always an adventure. I don’t know if that is a compliment or not. I choose to take it as one. I did finally get the sponge out at one of the local RV repair shops.

It is good to be reminded that it is OK to accept help from friends and others. The first year after Jim’s death I thought I had learned that lesson but here I am still trying to figure it out. I ask less often than I did that first year and I don’t think that is a good thing. My friends like doing for others just as I do. If I don’t give my friends the chance to help I deny them a gift. Without Jim here I need my friends and the help of strangers more than ever. I need to ask a bit more often and thank others more often, as well.

Next event. I was planning to leave San Diego County at 9 am Sunday morning. I was still so busy with everything that it wasn’t until 9:30 a.m. that I finally felt I was in a place to take a shower get dressed and ready to leave. I get in the shower and the shower head comes off in my hand. Oh great!!! Instead of leaving at 10 I had to remove the shower head from the front bath and put it in the back bath. I was not happy. I kept reminding myself that Henry, another friend had said to me the day before that I wasn’t on a schedule and I could leave whenever I wanted. I was still frustrated and bit anxious.

I have found that since Jim’s death I get stressed easily by the smallest out of the ordinary experiences in my every day life. I was not like this before he died, now I am. I hope that this is only a phase of grief and that it will stop at some point. I mean, it is normal to have little stressors happen in a day in the life. I just find it hard to deal with.

I want to thank my friends over the past couple of preparation weeks. When Jim was here and I would start to get obsessed about a work trip he would plan things to get me out of the house for an hour or two. My friends are doing that now, even if they don’t know it. Phyllis-going to breakfast with me. Henry and Barbara encouraging me to come to the beach for a walk and a smoothie.  JoAnn asking me to go on a hike. Therese-coming over for  a game of scrabble and bananagram. And Nancy…well she has gone above and beyond the call. Even though my friends did not know they were playing Jim’s role, this is how I see it. So thank you everyone for helping me get on the road and supporting me. I am honored.

I finally made it out of the house and arrived in Mesquite, NV last night.  Elsie is with me. She spends much of the day under the covers but in the evenings when we stop she comes out and looks out the windows and is her usual social self. I am glad she is here. I am glad I am here too.

Elsie checking out the scenery on the Kolob Plateau

Elsie checking out the scenery on the Kolob Plateau

Tonight I am in central Utah at Yuba State Park. My campsite is looking over a beautiful reservoir. There are very few people here and it is quiet and quite beautiful. Storms came through in the late afternoon. Now it is quiet and the storm clouds are moving to the east. I am looking forward to a good day tomorrow.


Yuba Reservoir

Yuba Reservoir

Peacefully settling in.

10 thoughts on “Often the Journey Starts Before I Leave Home

  1. Glad you were able to get on the road and got rid of your sponge. LOL. Always good to laugh at our mistakes, makes great conversations later. We are headed towards Oakley, KS. Presently in Lexington, KY and hope to be in Columbia, MO tomorrow (Tues). Which way you heading? Bypassing St. Louis after reading about Mike. Continued safe travels. Elsie looks right at home! 🙂

  2. post treatments reaction & Rx could also be contributing to the anxiety. took years to get it out of my system. just accept that it happens, & step back! glad you have such a great group of friends!

  3. Oh can I relate! If it makes you feel better I’ve been trying to leave since March. 🙂 So glad you’re on your way, what an exhilarating feeling to be independent and self-contained. I love that you and Elsie have made the bold step of adventuring together. Makes me grin ear to ear. Now you’re officially eccentric.

    Anything worth doing never seems to come easily. The Universe can be a bit generous with its lessons. LOL.

    Asking for help, I appreciate that you shared that. There are so many emotions and baggage attached to that for me. It’s a tricky one to navigate.

    I can understand how little things can trigger frustration. Big things we can rally for where as little things slip through the radar and can become the straw the breaks the camel’s back. Not having Jim to help with tackling, sorting and the camaraderie of diversion is quite an adjustment. No doubt that takes time and it sounds like it will sneak up on you occasionally despite your monumental and courageous approach to healing and life. Cyber hug for you, think of us, canine clan of the Silver Hooligan wrapping you up in a giant furry hug. Just be sure Elsie can’t see. 🙂

    You’re my inspiration!

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