13 June 2019 - 5:21 pm

Chaos and Catharsis

Here we go: another big update on where I’m at. The last few weeks have been interesting, hard, stressful, and incredibly busy.

The first part of it all was logistics. With so much to fit in over these few months, getting everything lined up so it worked was a huge challenge, particularly because I’m balancing so many different sources, needs, and requirements. The house move was largely dictated by lease dates and when we could get services done. The work trip to the US is ruled by a bunch of people’s availability and our release dates. The hospital stay is determined by waiting lists and surgeon schedules.

The good thing is that I got it all lined up. It’s hectic and a bit of a nightmare, but I’ve made it all fit together and I think it’ll work. Okay, everything is crossed and I really hope nothing (else) comes out of left field, but on the whole I’m feeling pretty positive about it all.

See, my time works out roughly like this:

  • 2 weeks: move house
  • 2 weeks: work: get everything for the next release done, including documenting new features, writing release notes, and working on training courses.
  • 2 weeks: work trip to the US, visiting two different offices
  • 1 week: work: make sure everything for the release is done.
  • 1 week: hospital stay for surgery.
  • 1 week (hopefully): recovering from surgery at home.

That takes me to mid/late July. I’ve reached the end of my ‘move house’ window and am almost to the end of the first ‘work’ period, so now is a good time to pause, catch my breath, and take stock.

The move went okay. It has been a huge undertaking, because we were not only moving house, but also taking stock and downsizing. The new place is maybe half the size of the old one. Also, a lot of our furniture and equipment is getting old (most of it 10+ years old now), and not worth taking with us even if it all fit (which it didn’t).

We had a huge amount of culling to do. With very little storage space in the new house and a determination not to have things sitting in boxes for a few more years, we had so many things to find new homes for. I really hate throwing away anything that is still perfectly good to use, so we’ve been donating stuff, selling stuff, putting things out for others to help themselves to, and giving things away to friends.

It was a really challenging and wonderful process. It was tough, because I tend to get emotionally attached to things and I don’t like to let things go. But giving myself permission to ask ‘do I really need to keep this? Has it done its duty with me?’ was also very freeing. Not caring about whether we made money on the things we were getting rid of also freed us from the stress of trying to eke out what things are ‘worth’ and focus on simply getting things into new homes. We’d got our money’s worth from them already, so anything we made through the process was a bonus.

Another aspect of the move was getting a heap of new furniture. Some of it was because of the size of the new place, and some of it was replacing old, tired furniture that was no longer truly usable. Which meant some careful measuring of the new place and coordinating deliveries for it to go directly into its new home. And then, because I got flat packed furniture, construction time to put it all together (even the new couches came in pieces!).

There were the cats to consider, too. This process has been ramping up for weeks as we went through boxes and sorted things into ‘keep’ and ‘move’ piles. Lots of things have been slowly packed away or removed. Rooms have been emptying as we’ve sold off surplus furniture. So our poor furbabies have been getting stressed and required heaps of reassurance. And then we moved them to the new house and had to settle them in there. The good news is that they’re getting used to the new setup and making themselves at home.

On top of all that was closing down the old house, including arranging cleaners, gardeners, carpet cleaning, and so on. We’ve just finished with that (and it has cost an arm and a leg), and I was so glad to finally hand the keys over and be done with that house!

Getting it all done in 2 weeks was a challenge, particularly when it’s just my dad and me (with my fatigue and other issues). We’ve had to pace ourselves and make sure we didn’t overdo things, and while we were mostly successful, we’re still both sore and exhausted.

I’m blessed with wonderful friends, though, who helped move the lion’s share of the boxes and packed stuff in exchange for lunch. So grateful for them! And for everyone who helped us find homes for stuff we couldn’t take with us.

And of course, we had some complications show up to try to derail things. The first was a nail in my car tyre, on the day the mover’s came to shift the big furniture for us. We changed it out for the spare just before the truck arrived, and I had to squeeze a garage trip into my time off work to get it fixed. Luckily, not too expensive, but a pain in the ass I didn’t need with so much else going on.

The second big one was the fridge that didn’t fit up the stairs. The new place is a bit upside-down, with the lounge and kitchen on the top (3rd) floor. Our old fridge was wide (about a standard fridge and a half) and wouldn’t go around the corners to get up the stairs, and our other option would have been some kind of lift to get it over the balcony up there. I wasn’t keen on spending a few hundred more dollars on an old fridge, so it got to sit in the garage while I went about buying a new fridge. It was a few hundred dollars I hadn’t particularly wanted to spend, but better spent on a new fridge than an old one. We spent 2 weeks running up and down stairs to the fridge, but the new one arrived last week (and made it up the stairs!), and it’s all good now. We finally have a fully-functional kitchen!

It has been a lot and I’m so happy to have got through it. We haven’t finished unpacking everything yet, but most of it is done. I’m taking my time picking away at the rest.

Since I’ve been back at work, it has been all systems go to catch up with what happened while I was away, squeeze about 6 weeks’ worth of documentation into 2 weeks, and get all the prep done for my work trip to the US. I have so many balls in the air, I can barely keep count!

Right now, I hardly know what day it is. The wheels haven’t come off yet and I think I’ve got everything lined up and heading in the right direction, so I think I can say it’s going okay.

Hope you’re all doing okay out there. I’ll be back soon with another update! Onwards and upwards, my friends.

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