It’s something I’m no good at, being in-between things. I have no zen. I rush to finish things, and can’t wait to start the next thing; my eye always on the horizon, scanning it for rainclouds, packing an extra umbrella just in case, because I am really good at planning for the future, always expecting the worst. And I am really bad at living in the moment.
It might come across as efficiency, but it’s actually neuroses. Actually, it probably does come across as neuroses. And somehow people love (and employ) me anyway.
I was reminded of this zero-zen quality of mine this morning when I had an almost-freak-out in the toilet paper aisle of Dis-Chem. Because I always buy loo roll in bulk, a pack of 18, every time. But this time I couldn’t. Because we’re not going to be in our house long enough to use up 18 loo rolls. And I’m very cheap in a lot of ways, so I didn’t want to spend R89 (if you don’t already shop for your 2-ply loo roll at Dis-Chem, btw, you’re paying too much) on loo roll if we weren’t going to use it all. So I bought a four-pack and nearly burst into tears.
We are less than a month away from our move to Johannesburg. We have signed a lease on a house that ticked absolutely every one of our boxes (don’t ask me how – it is a mystery); we have kids enrolled at schools nearby; we are about to book the removals company to come pack up and transport our couches and beds and books and so many things that we didn’t even know we owned until we had to give it an estimate value for insurance purposes (worst. job. ever); and plans for our It’s-Not-A-Farewell parties are afoot.
But we’re not gone yet. We’re still living in our house, which is where Ava took her first steps and Aidan took his first crawl and where we fell in love with the shadow of the mountain that slips over our garden at sunset and the briny sea air that flows into the house when the wind is blowing the right way and became a family of three, then four. Ava is still at her school with the friends she’s known since before she could talk, still going for sleepovers at grannies’ houses, still walking to the beach with us and the dogs, still riding her bike to the chickens down the block to feed them long blades of grass through the fence, still seeing her nanny every day (“I wish Naume could stay at our house forever because I love her”), still climbing her jungle gym in the afternoons, still living her best life.
But now me and my zero-zen side are impatient to get going. To start our new life. To unpack boxes on the other side and make a new home. Because this living in-between deal doesn’t suit me at all. And also because – wow – Joburg people are REALLY friendly. We have had so many offers of help and company and dinner parties and just an outpouring of happy vibes about our move there on the part of our Joburg-based friends that I can barely believe it (living in Cape Town for 7 and a half years will do that to you) and I am so, so grateful.
So sad that I nearly weep over a four-pack of loo roll, but also grateful. Excited, even?