Friday, December 27, 2013

Crunch Time!

The heady mix of anxiety and excitement that we are experiencing right now is hard to compare to anything else. We're rapidly approaching the day of our flight, and even sooner is the day we move out of our apartment. The list of things to do is long, and the shifting landscape of our lives can be overwhelming.

When I say "anxiety" I don't mean the run of the mill nerves one might have in reaction to stress. Perhaps for me, the anxiety is more commonplace - the butterflies-in-the-stomach feelings about moving and worry over not getting everything done in time. But for Shannon, it's much more complicated and difficult to deal with. She has managed an anxiety disorder for many years. Most people don't understand what a serious anxiety disorder means. It can play havoc with your life if not carefully controlled. And to carefully control it is exactly what Shannon has learned to do over time. In fact, recent years have been remarkably improved for her, and I've been so happy to see it, and so impressed with her strength. The panic attacks that used to plague her life and interfere with everything she did haven't been happening anymore. The impact of that change is indescribably positive for us!

However, we're finding that a big part of those positive changes has been the stability of our home and our routines together. The fact that we are transitioning to a new home (and will have to break our routines temporarily before reestablishing them) is bringing up a lot of fresh anxiety for Shannon. All of the little changes, not to mention the big ones, are making it all worse. Fighting off panic attacks while we are both so busy - working and moving - is really hard! Imagine it if you can. We both anticipated this could happen but were hoping it wouldn't be so bad.

Of course, Shannon and I are so very excited for all of the changes we're making, and this move to Berlin is all about improving our lives and bringing us new happiness and inspiration. Neither of us would change our decision to do this. And we are as prepared as anyone could be. We've spent so much time getting ready and organizing ourselves (even if it never feels like enough!). Don't get me wrong, we're thrilled to be making this journey together!

So it's ironic that the source of our excitement and our joy is also the source of anxiety and fear. We're going to look back on this as one of the hardest things we've ever done together. Organizing our wedding was the only similarly difficult experience. And we find ourselves thinking of our wedding and remembering that it was so hard, but that once the work was done, it was the most rewarding and happiest moment of our lives. This is what we'll be saying about this move, once it's done. But for now, we've got to just keep connected and supportive of each other, and keep checking those to-dos off our list!

Days to Takeoff: 16

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