This month began with a series of changes, some planned and some … unexpected, and I haven’t quite gotten my breath back since then.
- The first change was with work. As The Globe completes its shift to a twice-weekly paper, I was asked to switch to a dayside role. In this new shift, I remotely manage designers across the tri-state area as we produce weekly and bi-weekly newspapers. I haven’t worked an 8-5 shift since… college, actually, and it’s been a bit of a transition.
The hardest part: mornings. Who invented these? Who thought, “I know, I’ll expect people to use their higher brain functions at those times marked ‘early’?” I’m told I’ll adjust, given enough caffeine and a daylight bedtime, but I’m not holding my breath.
- The second change was my living situation. A chance opened up for me to move into a house with some friends, people I’ve begun to know better during the last few years. It’s a good choice, and I’m excited! Still, I will miss my little home with its nooks and crannies and character, its slanted floors and crown molding. It’s been a comfort to me, a safe place when other things have changed, and I am sad to see it go.
And the new house, soon to be home, has a basement and a garage and laundry inside the house — sheer luxury. I haven’t had roommates since college; it’s going to be an adjustment, but one I’m looking forward to. The people you live your daily life with matter, often shape the direction your life holds in the inbetween times.
- The third change came as a surprise. I answered the phone groggily on a Sunday morning to a call: “We’ve been knocking on your door for like 20 minutes! Somebody hit your car!” I sprinted for the door in my pajamas to find the wreckage of a collision in front of my house, hemmed in by a cop car, an ambulance and most of my neighbors. Despite the damage and the impossible physics of the crash, the other car’s driver emerged all but unscathed.
Unsurprisingly, it wasn’t hard to prove liability — “I was in my bed, asleep” turns out to be a pretty good defense. “I talked to the cops in my pajamas” is just a bonus. Still, car repairs take a toll: a dent in the pocketbook as well as extended phone time — several hours of conversations about insurance and estimates and rental cars.
- The last major change is a plan that’s been in the works for several months finally coming together. At the end of May two friends and I booked tickets to Lesvos, Greece. The island is one of the first stops for refugees fleeing across the Mediterranean Sea. We’ll be volunteering at the refugee camp there.
The decisions that led us here don’t revolve around politics or even altruism; this is choice prompted by the faith that exhorts those who believe to welcome strangers, offer justice and treat the oppressed with mercy. It’s easy for me to say the words; perhaps this is an attempt to put them in motion, to let the words take life. I don’t know what we’ll find, and I don’t know how to prepare for what we’ll find. I’ve never been a refugee, never been forced to run from my home with my family. If it comes to mind, please pray we can bring comfort and help to those sheltering at Lesvos.
When all of this came together — a new role at work, complete with a sleep cycle shift; a new home, to move within a month; a lot of car-related drama; and a trip across the ocean that we cannot hope to be fully prepare for — I headed north. I calculated the number of miles I could travel in my rental car and drove to my parents’ home, where I baked cookies and read books and spent far too long trying to figure out how to construct a bed frame from a flat pack and made the rounds to the local nurseries looking for marigolds and coleus. We talked, a lot. It’s always good to see those two.
“Are you bored?” my mom asked me. “We’re not really doing anything exciting this weekend.”
“It’s fine,” I said, turning the next page of my book. “I like this.”
Was I running away? Maybe. Yes. I drove back to Worthington for more car insurance calls and moving in scheduling and a still-skewed sleep cycle and more planning, so far as we can, for the trip to Greece. None of us speaks Greek.
Pause, breathe, and keep running.