Day 19::Love Is Everything.

I haven’t gotten around to responding to all the comments I’ve received, but I’ve read them all and am planning to when it’s NOT 12:30 am! I’m especially really touched by the replies you took the time to send after yesterdays blog. It’s easy to right about the fun stuff, but when I unload my psyche like I did yesterday I usually end up wondering if it’s a mistake to go there with you, dear internets. But hey, life isn’t all gumdrops and balloons, right?!

Truthfully, by about 6 pm tonight, I felt pretty defeated. And just to document what it’s sometimes like to undertake getting rid of 80% of your worldly possessions in 19 days, I present this:


Most of the time I feel fine, but by the end of the week I’m pretty exhausted. Today I made some biscuits and gravy for dinner by around 5 pm, then stumbled upstairs to take a nap. I tucked myself under my covers without even taking off my boots. My emotions are high, my endurance is stretched, and my skills are not made to get rid of things…I’m much better at acquiring it. I miss Todd, I miss having my family together, and it’s hard trying to balance packing everything up for our move while still taking care of the kids. All of that seems to hit me by Friday night.

When I got up from my nap I went into the basement with some friends who are helping me sort through everything I’ve put down there that I want to keep. There are some real gems there. For instance, I found an old note I wrote when I was 8 years old that says in newly learned cursive, “Love Is Everything”.

Love Is Everything.

And a lot of things have changed, but that hasn’t. It really is everything. Everything important, anyway. When Todd and I were planning out how to handle this new job and the move, I remember I really didn’t take it all that well. I got quiet and stopped talking to him, actually. I didn’t want to think about moving away from my friends or this house or this state. So I gave him the angry silent treatment for a while, which made him miserable, which made both of us miserable.

They say a big move, on the stress scale, is right up there in the ‘big three’ along with death and divorce. And while I was in the silent treatment mode, I seriously considered all the options. But then I had a big thought while stomping around angry, which made Todd stomp around angry and hurt….I thought to myself, “Hey, sexy lady (again, I really don’t call myself that. But it’s a good filler!) who are you married too? Your husband or this house with the best kitchen you’ve ever seen? Are you married to the boxes of stuff in your basement? Are you married to your friends? Where is your commitment pinned to? Your family, or all these other things you’re upset about leaving?”

Of course, you know my answer, because I’m mostly finished with packing up to move out. My commitment is to love, and I’m married to Todd, so I sucked it up. Mostly.

The one thing keeping me going through the last few weeks of organizing and packing while Todd’s been gone has been amazing support of friends and family. When I have the energy, I’ll upload the fun party pictures I have of the women who come hang out with me on Friday nights to offer me moral support and whatever else I need from them. In the meantime, I have discovered the world of Skype and have been having a good deal of fun connecting with people all over the world! It’s been my treat for finishing packing or cleaning a room. Today they were all my friends I’ve met through Flickr.

Xanthe, in England:

party in the house!

Amy in Missouri:
Hello, lovely!

and Kristin in Maine:
Love at first Skype.

A lot of giggling ensued!

When you really need it, it’s such a blessing to have friends and family around that love you and you love back. I don’t know why I forgot something that my 8 year old self knew all along…Love IS everything.


15 Responses

  1. Tiff, I think u should write a book. You kept all of us on line for 19 days ! And just see ur cluster map , one can barely see the map!

    Love is what drives us all. People whom we love and who love us ! And anything is worth it to follow your heart.

    We all know how difficult it is for you to leave behind such a beautiful house and all those beautiful things you have in it. But You accepted it boldly . And we appreciate it. I am sure this experience of yours and sharing it with the world will help me and so many others in different situations of our lives !

    My hats off to all the women in this world who make a home what it is and who can move a mountain if needed, to keep the family together or to see them all smiling !

  2. After reading through your blog these last few days, I was building up quite a picture of you. Then on Flickr, you mention this note, written at age 8, is 19 years old. You’re only 27? As a fellow 27yo, I’m in awe. You are wise beyond your years. Love is everything, and everything you are doing, even the goodbyes to sentimental
    items, is done in love.

  3. I so want skype just to have pretty mardi gra glasses!

  4. What an incredible journey you are on. Filled with so much self-discovery — and sharing it with us too. so awesome! The note you found is the sweetest thing ever. The friends and connections you’ve made on the internets is just as sweet. Hang in there, sexy lady:)

  5. Tiff, I didn’t respond to your last post, because I didn’t have anything special to say, but it was one of my favorites. I was thinking “You are so Zen!”

  6. It must be hard. I’m sorry I didn’t acknowledge it when I talked to you on Skype. I can’t imagine. I love my stuff too. But, camera girl, how about taking pictures of some of it before it goes away? Maybe that will help? It’s not the solution but maybe it will make it easier. Or you can just mail it to me and I’ll store it in my basement!!
    Call me anytime, okay!! You are undertaking an amazing feat. I’m sure it will be scary and exhilarating all at the same time. Hang on and try to enjoy the ride, with all of its up and downs!!!

  7. Thanks for sharing this… the other day I was writing in my journal and asked myself… Who or what is going to miss me when I’m gone? That is where I need to focus my priorities…
    You are so wise… even at eight you were a wise girl!!

  8. tiff..

    I’m so sorry you are going through this alone..when you first said you were moving, I thought it was like a quick thing. I didn’t think your husband had to leave already and you had to do all the packing and cleaning up yourself. I can’t imagine how hard that is…really. I understand that “silent treatment”, cause that’s how I handle things, some of the time. But you are a great are not going through this alone. I think of you often..and I think you are AWESOME for CHOOSING to go through with hard as it seems. We are given the free will to choose, and it’s so hard at times to choose to do what is “right”, instead of what “feels good”. Lots of hugs and kisses sending your way!!


  9. Oh, this and yesterday’s posts made my heart ache for you. I have so much empathy for your situation & and I am so impressed by the lighting speed at which you have tackled this mountain. The daughter of a tosser, I am an inveterate keeper and saver. My favorite childhood books were always the ones where there were treasures hidden in ancient trunks in Grandma’s attic. And all of the emotional weight that objects held for me pre-kids is nothing compared with the attachment I have to the things that remind me of special times with my children.

    But we live in a small house, too small really for 4 people and all of their 21st Century stuff, and I have been forced at multiple times to go against my nature. NOTHING on the scale of your current endeavor, but clearing out a full room for each child upon its arrival and then a major pass through the house about twice a year to preserve a little open space and my sanity, and I have a monthly charity pick-up scheduled.

    It’s a little easier each time. I’m getting better at discriminating what little I need to keep from the rest I can really let go without regret. It’s so much more than I ever would have guessed. I can honestly say that I have not missed ANYTHING I’ve let go. The space and the freedom that space allows us to enjoy the what we do have is far more precious.

    I absolutely believe that great joy awaits you on the other side of this impossibly difficult task.


  10. Hey, the rain here has stopped and the sun has come back out. It’s shining brilliantly!! Perfect for drying up tear-stained cheeks and putting a spring in your step. There’s more love waiting for you- just come and get it!

    Love IS everything. Remember that it is also everyWHERE.

    Love is patient so give yourself the same gift and be gentle with yourself. Big, big hugs!!

  11. Gee, this post is (as we say in spanish) “round”.
    Hey, I get you. Completely.

  12. XOXOXOXOXOXO big hugs and kisses and wet ones for skype!!!!!

  13. Wow–Naturalist looks just like you! I didn’t notice it until you cut your hair. Awesome!

    Thank you for sharing both your ups AND downs. We care.

  14. i just love this, brave girl.

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