Sunday, July 22, 2007

Getting Back to Normal

A recap of this past weekend:

I had a great time with my sister, but I am SO glad that Gregg is home. It was really hard not having him around, tougher than every other time he's gone away. The conference that he went to kept him ridiculously busy every day, so that he barely had time to call me. When he called again later Wednesday night, he was still at one of the workshops or trainings and didn't know when it was going to be over. He had trouble hearing me over the noise going on in the background. On Thursday I came home from work, had a quick dinner, folded laundry and packed for my sister's, then went to watch tv around 8. I ended up falling asleep waiting for Gregg to call and was woken up by the sound of my cell phone ringing at 10:45. I was totally out of it, so we didn't really get to have much of a conversation which was a disappointment.

On Friday I left work a little bit after 1, and ended up getting to Valerie's at 2:30. We hung out for a while at her apartment while we waited for her fiance to get home from work so that we could go out to dinner. We played with her puppy and sat outside on the deck talking. She also showed me pictures from the engagement party Bill's family had for them last month. Shortly after Bill arrived home, we headed out to the Inner Harbor and stopped in Baltimore's Little Italy section to eat. We ordered an appetizer of calamari and two dishes to share (they treated me!)

Bill had free passes to this comedy club downtown, so we made our way there after dinner. I had never actually been to a comedy show before, but since I love watching Bananas and Last Comic Standing I was excited. I have to admit, though, that I was disappointed. The comics were funny but crass, dropping the f-bomb nearly every other word. The place was also really loud and crowded. After it was over, we had dessert at an Italian pastry shop on the way back to the parking garage. By this time it was after 11, and I still had not heard from Gregg all day. I started feeling anxious so I decided to call him when we got back to the car, almost an hour later.

He was still out with the people from King Street who were at the conference with him, but because of the time difference it was only 11pm there. They were having dessert somewhere after being at a praise and worship concert with freaking Avalon and Sonic Flood! Gregg said that he got to meet them personally after the concert. I was like no way, I am so jealous. But mostly, it just made me feel worse that he was so far away and that I missed out on this amazing time of worship with my husband. I missed him even more after we got off the phone.

I was exhausted when we got back to Val and Bill's apartment. It doesn't help that I'm not used to staying up past midnight. After showering and eating breakfast the next morning, I packed my stuff and got ready to leave. Before we headed downstairs Val gave me my birthday present, a really cute short sleeved sweater. They helped me bring my suitcase down to the car so that I could leave right after we took a quick tour of the high school where she works. I was anxious to get home and see Gregg, who called on our way back to say that his plane had landed. I said good-bye to my sister and Bill in the parking lot, jumped in the car and headed home.

I got back to the house a little less than two hours later, and it felt big and empty. I decided to unpack and get something to eat while I waited for Gregg to come home. At 2:30, I called him to ask where he was figuring he had to have been right behind me. He said that they had stopped for lunch somewhere and would be back within the hour. I hung up the phone and lost it. I sat at the kitchen table sobbing and couldn't stop. The stress of being apart from him for the past four days, barely getting to talk and having choppy conversations over our cell phones finally caught up to me.

I started feeling overwhelmed with life- the stress of my job, feeling like I have no friends here in Chambersburg, missing our house in Florida. I cried for the next hour before Gregg finally came home. When I heard the garage door closing, I greeted my husband in the hallway and fell into his arms. We both hugged each other tightly, not wanting to let go. I cried some more.

I told him what an emotionally taxing few days it had been with him away, and confessed some of what I was feeling. We spent the next hour talking it all out, and he told me more about the conference while I shared about the time I spent at my sister's. I told him I never wanted him to go away ever again, which I know is impractical. I just didn't expect it to hit me that hard, though. That time apart made me realize that, as glad as I am we moved here, this transition continues to be difficult for me. We had to literally interrupt the flow of our normal lives back in April to pack up and move. Then I had to adjust to living in a whole new area, get used to a new church, find a new job, make new friends, give up our dog. Those are things you don't just bounce back from right away, but I thought I was handling it pretty well. How many times can I start over in my life??

I look around and everything reminds me that I'm in transition. The myriad of boxes that beg to be unpacked, a house full of pictures of people who aren't in my family, the Florida license plate on my car. I just want to feel settled. I think it will really help once we move out of here into the townhouse, being able to completely unpack our stuff, having Tess back. Then we can start to return to some sense of normalcy.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

We're Mooving Again!

At least this time it will only be across town, not 900 miles away. On Monday Gregg called this guy, Rob, who's renting out the townhouse to ask him what the deal-io is. He basically said, "Oh you're the people from Frank's church, right? Yeah, you guys have the place." Apparently we had it from the moment we said we'd take it two weeks ago! Yay! So we can move in at the end of the month- no more living out of boxes, no more dial-up internet connection, no more broken water pipes or clogged drains (yes, this is the latest problem we've encountered; the bathtub won't drain and fills up quickly with water, causing the ceiling below it in the basement to leak. I think the owners are more convinced than ever that they just need to sell this place once and for all).

We're excited! We get to have our doggie back too. The townhouse is in a very nice residential area which will be great for taking her on walks. I'll finally be able to unpack everything and have stuff at my fingertips again instead of saying, "Oh where is that stupid thing? I guess I'll have to go dig around in a box for it." I have to say though, that even with all the mishaps we've had with this house for the past three months I am going to miss it. When we first "moved in" I was so homesick for our house in FL, but then I started feeling comfortable here. I guess if you're anywhere for a certain amount of time, you get used to it.

Gregg left at 5 o'clock this morning to catch his flight. It turns out that he was able to ride with one of the guys from church going to the conference, instead of renting a car to drive to the airport, so I won't be picking him up from BWI after all. His flight home on Saturday is scheduled to land at noon. He called me about an hour ago to tell me he had gotten there okay and would be heading off to the first event in the next few minutes. He promised he would call again later tonight. :)

It's always hard to have him so far away. Thank goodness he only does this about once a year. The first year we were married he went to Chicago for a week, and I remember missing him so much one night that I almost couldn't breathe. I appreciate him every day, but when he's gone for a while and then returns home I realize just how much he is a blessing to me- all the little (and not so little) things he does for me, snuggling beside him on the couch as we watch our favorite shows, having him sleep beside me. Okay, need to stop. I'm getting all teary eyed.

I'm going to go plant myself in front of the tv for a few hours and await his phone call...

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Another Update

So we might have finally found a place. We went to look at a townhouse a week and a half ago that will allow a dog. It's an end unit about five minutes from where we're staying now with new tile, new carpet, a brand new dishwasher and nice spacious backyard. The man who's renting it out is a friend of someone we know from church who basically lobbied for us, since this guy was reluctant to let us have a dog there. His friend was persistant, and Gregg got a call one day asking if we'd like to come see the rental. We both really liked it and sent back the application a few days later. We're still waiting to hear from the guy whether or not we've been approved, but we're hoping!

This week was really tough for me professionally. We found out that the state put a temporary freeze on funds allocated to our program, so I and my supervisor had to scramble to come up with a plan to reduce spending which included shifting a staff member over to another department. The executive director now also wants me to take on more clients in order to meet budget requirements and manage the program at the same time. I've found in the last few weeks that I'm doing so many administrative tasks that I barely have time to focus on the clients that I do have already, and they require a lot of time and energy. We serve a very difficult population with many different needs.

I'm starting to wonder, again, if I'm really made for social work. I took so many years off from it exactly because it stressed me out so much. I think I needed to know though, if I could go back; if I wasn't just selling out by not using my degree. I'm completely comfortable saying that this is something I am not cut out for and don't want to do long term. That doesn't mean that I'm going to quit tomorrow, but it has become clear to me that this really is not the career path I want to follow- which is a relief in some way.

This Wednesday Gregg is leaving for Nashville to attend a worship arts conference and will be away until Saturday. So I'll have this big house all to myself while he's gone. I hate when he goes away on business because I can't stand to be apart from him. I'm going to spend some time with my sister in the meantime though, which I'm looking forward to. Straight from work on Friday I'm driving down to her place and staying into Saturday. We plan on going into Baltimore that night to have dinner and see the sights. I'll also get to see her new puppy, Sophie, and talk about wedding details! Since Gregg will be flying out of BWI, I'm going to pick him up from the airport on my way back to Pennsylvania and we'll ride home together.

I'm hoping this week will go smoother and that we'll hear something soon about the townhome. It would be nice to move out by the end of the month!