crabby

We’re all like crabs. We develop shells that harden and protect us from the world, but then also keep us from growing and start feeling uncomfortable.

Those shells, for humans are called “identities.” Oh, I don’t mean of the “identify with” kind, which is artificial and frankly a bit daft. Like “constructed” and centralized societies those tend to be brittle and a bit insane and confining. Like a crab deciding, say, that they really want to wear a tin can, instead of growing his own shell naturally. Which now I think about it, used to be a thing for cartoon crabs of a certain type. More on that later.

It’s just that as life kicks us around, and things change, we fall into another ‘identity’, another way to spend our lives, and then get used to it, it hardens into becoming ‘that’s just who I am’ until the next round of kicking comes about.

In between we feel out of sorts, and for those of us who are writers, artists, creators, its a hellish time to try to function and do things, though also — often — when we produce our best stuff. There are reasons for this.

Um…. one of the strongest examples of these identities leads to what I call “Laid off middle aged man syndrome.” If you’ve been working at something forever and a couple of decades more, when you get laid off, particularly if you’re over sixty when finding new jobs becomes difficult, you often go through a year or two when you just can’t figure out how to function. Mostly, because all your ingrained responses and what has become instinctive to you to do, have become counterproductive. And because losing a job means losing your identification and also your daily routine, your contacts, what you do when you get up in the morning, how you dress, etc.

I found myself going through this when I was — ahem — laid off (to put it politely. When they lay you off they don’t put an interdict on your collaborating as a contractor on small projects you’ve been a part of since the beginning. Unless of course it’s personal. Never mind. That happens in real companies that aren’t part of the Mickey Mouse world of trad pub, too, so much more in trad pub which is like a family quarrel with contracts.) by Baen, at the end of 2018. For those wondering at the sudden long silence, and all that (which was dissipating at the end of 2019 and then…. More on that too) it was basically laid-off-middle-aged-man-syndrome.

I’d been a Baen writer for 20 years. It’s definitely an identity in the field, and a costly one, because it gets you ostracized by every other company. My life, my friends, the type of projects I even considered was bounded by Baen. I had in fact grown uncomfortable in the identity for a while (Not for political reasons, for the poopy heads who insist on reading MGC for hits. Though Baen is more of a conservative house to the extent it has any politics at all, and I’m instinctively more of a sans coulotte from the other side, valuing freedom above stability and not above cheering for a certain amount of “burn it all down” (which I found out to my dismay when I cheered the GME “stonk” buying kiddies on.)) I looked longingly at my friends playing in the vast open space of indie, while I was consigned to the kiddie pool of trad pub. They were making more and had more creative freedom, and more ability to set their own schedule too. But the identity had become me, to a great extent, and I felt I owed a debt of gratitude, too, for pulling me up after the horrible year of 2003 and for help in a couple of pinched situations.

So finding it withdrawn suddenly was startling and dismaying. And it was a problem because, rationally, I knew I hadn’t lost much of anything, and that I could build a better career (and in terms of life expectancy with a clear head, 50 is the new 30, so no problem.) But my entire rhythm of life was disrupted, and my back brain locked down hard because suddenly it didn’t know what it was. And frankly for those of us with lots of voices in our heads, to quote Terry Pratchett, it’s always important to know which voice is yours.

I identified the syndrome, and started working through it only by seeing friends about my age getting hit by this stuff (if more impersonally) from companies they’d worked for all their lives. (One of the big issues of tying health insurance — I could go on about how health insurance is stupid, except for catastrophic, and distorts the market, but that’s not the point of this post — to employment, is that around 60, when they deem you to be a high health risk, you’re liable to find yourself dumped, even if you might be offered a contract position after. And my friends range in age 10 years or so either side of me.)

Figuring out what it is, and that what just cracked and fell was the shell and not you, yourself, helps.

And part of the problem, is that more and more of us are going through this, not just through layoffs and the like, but because every profession, as far as I can tell, is in a state of flux due to rapid technological change and stupid government tricks.

But aside from those identities, there are others, very specific to our time or place in the world. These usually co-exist. I mean, where constructed identities chafe and fail is that they tend to be monorhythmic: they are artificially built to concentrate on one aspect of life and self. Which honestly tends to make people into cardboard cut outs. Say, for instance, you decide to become Vegan and build your identify around that. (Yes, most of you just rolled your eyes.)

I was once a little girl, and honestly I don’t know how my identity was, because it’s hard remembering things back in the Jurassic. It probably involved dinosaurs.

But my identity as a young woman included: studious scholar; free lance employee; glamorous guest at embassy and consulate parties (look, they served, for the top students in languages as a sort of audition for diplomatic jobs), fun friend with unexpected ideas, and the friend who pulled you back from trouble and from doing stupid things. (And if you think the last two are contradictory, yeah, maybe, in the abstract, but not really.)

Later as a young mother, I was mother, struggling writer, furniture rehabilitator, rescuer of cats (and occasionally wild life), Victorian house remodeller. They weren’t exactly distinct identities, since they merged into who I was, but at any given time, I could put the other hat on and a set of responses/ideas/how to act were built into it.

Which of course is both how we develop identities and why they’re useful. We develop identities out of habit. My habit of listening for the guys at any minute became the “young mother” identity. It was so much part of me that when they both were in school the breaking of that identity even for a few hours a day left me weird and discomfited. i couldn’t settle to work, and then I realized it was because I was listening for sounds and not hearing them, and silence is scary when you have littles.

And that is why identities are useful. They “automate” a lot of the things you need to do till they become second nature, and you don’t have to think before you respond.

Of course, those identities passed and were replaced by others. And others.

Some of it happens slowly, and when the identity hardens and starts to chafe, you’re not aware at first of where the discomfort comes from. And even when you are, you might choose to stay in there, because it pinches, but it’s known. You know how to do a ton of things without thinking, from what to eat in the morning, when to get up, how to dress, etc. And you have a circle that is comfortable with you that way.

But what’s become obvious to me is that if you do stay inside that shell, too afraid or too comfortable to leave behind the identity that has hardened to stone, you die. You might stay alive, mind you, technically. But part of you dies. You lose the ability to change and do other things. In a way it is the process we associate with “getting old” because in a more stable world of life long careers, it was.

Well, 2020 smashed most people’s identity with a hammer, including at fundamental levels like “will I ever wear anything but sweats again” and the identity of “I drive this route in this car to this office, and relate to my co-workers thus.”

And then — and yeah, I know what NPR says about how people will, more than ever, want to live in places like Silicon Valley. I’m surprised I’ve only seen a handful of such articles but I know their tone. Various publishing trades were printing these a decade and more ago, whistling past the grave yard of trad pub, insisting that those indies would come crawling back, crawling back, they said — the annus horriblis proved that people didn’t need to work in offices to produce, and might in fact be more productive outside offices. (I told them this would happen.)

Which means people are moving. People are moving to places they like, to places they think they might like, to places that will give the kids room to run, away from places where the rules were arbitrary and stupid, because we won’t be fooled again, etc.

BTW no one is paying attention to this. No, I mean, seriously. There are signs that this is a massive movement, perhaps as massive as “the expansion west.” I am more aware of it than most, because we’ve been looking for a landing place (Found one. Why I forgot to post last Wednesday. Or rather, I forgot it was Wednesday) from teeny tiny to medium sized towns in another state. And holy heck, the tiny towns are increasing in price at a rate that dwarves even where we are. And btw the locals have no clue what to make of it.

One of the symptoms of this, btw, is that thrift stores are being bombarded with donations. To the point that going to the local Goodwill to donate will take us an hour, because we have to count on staying in line. And re-selling used furniture is almost impossible. Heck, giving it away for free has become difficult.

I read a baffled article on this that attributed what’s happening to…. Marie Kondo. Because they think the trend to simplify is “in the air” and causing people to dump out their lives.

You know that, that’s like trad pub attributing writers’ desire to go indie to us not wanting to get copy-edited. Which is mental, but they tried.

Marie Kondo was a) always a bit of a figure of fun, and only adopted by very young people looking for simple solutions to life. b) is now a meme. It’s that old. No, no one is taking her seriously, if indeed they ever did.

What we’re doing is moving, many of us unexpectedly — because we never though we’d have the chance to — at the last minute, and perhaps not as flush in the pocket as we’d like to be, which means that we’re dumping a lot of things that are sitting around the nooks and cranies of the house, and for which we find no use. Or if you prefer, we’re discarding bits of our identity, some of which frankly is useless or silly after 2020 (I bet they have ton of nice “work” clothes on those thrift store racks.) Or stuff we were going to get around to refinishing, really, but now won’t have time before moving, and don’t want to carry. Or– well, in our case, unless it’s a piece we love, we’re discarding all the “fake wood” because it’s — by and large — HEAVY. We’re retaining the modular, small, easily assembled, because it’s lighter and easier to cram into a small U-haul. I doubt our decisions are that strange.

Anyway we find ourselves on the verge of a new identity. I find it funny when people ask if we have children (meaning if children will be living in the new place) to answer “no.” But we don’t. So…. this will be a household of adults with cats, one of whom would like to garden again, because these last two houses nothing grew, and both of whom work from home, often crazy hours because we have no logical stopping points.

We’ll also be forming new routines: what we do for fun, where we go on weekends/date nights, where we shop for certain things, whom we call on when in trouble, and where we have writing weekends. It will take a year or two probably for it to feel quite comfortable.

But the weird thing is to see other people doing it along with us. Like the entire country is in flux. At least in our friends’ groups the only ones not totally altering their lives are the ones who did it early (waves at tiny town Texas) to beat the rush.

I don’t think anyone knows where the music stops. Or what it means after. Like the country itself is going through a massive identity crisis, which is dangerous, in countries.

Look, we put our characters through this all the time. And you know why: because we force them to change and grow.

It’s not a lot of fun to go through it.

It’s easier, honestly, to form and discard cartoon identities. To crawl into a can, so to put it and convince ourselves that’s who we are.

But it’s also less flexible and it prevents us from coming out bigger, better and shinier.

Of course, soft shell crabs are also easy prey for birds and humans.

So pardon me while I find a place of shelter till the shell hardens. Because the transformation I wish for is not to be fried in butter.

58 comments

    1. Think of Marie Kondo as a modern variant of William Morris: Do not have anything in your home that is not useful or beautiful.

  1. For myself, I hate to think of moving. I’m still tinkering with my house and garden – fixing this or that, planting fruit saplings in the back in the hopes of eventually being able to harvest fruit from them.

  2. My husband was triggered by this. His thought: yesterday we took a day off from traveling/sightseeing (the reported 5-hour wait to get into Arches National Park had a lot to do with it). He’s an accountant and we own a small accounting service. So yesterday he reviewed a tax return and returned it to the preparer with comments. By now, she’s emailed the return to the client and hopefully he’s signed and returned it so it could be filed.
    Oh, yes: he reviewed in Utah a return prepared in North Alabama, to be sent to a client in Korea. All he needs is a good wifi connection, his laptop, and the correct software and he can work from anywhere. And during the pandemic, all the employees got the chance to work from home and a lot of them are continuing the practice, meaning their bookkeeping/accounting clients essentially have 24-hour service.

    1. I have a technological security friend who just moved to Puerto Rico because he could. I think he figured out how to get his custom trailer (home and office) there, too, but even if he didn’t, he’s been mobile for years and wanted to try PR a year ago (and COVID happened.)

  3. Good luck on the move. Still bearing the scars of our move from two years ago, I have to say that while I’m so, so, SO glad we did it when we did, the six months beforehand and on full year after SUCKED… so I’ll predict that after the year of struggling to find the thing you need in the stuff you brought, wondering why you left some stuff you desperately need, but brought some stuff you for which you have no earthly use… it will all settle.

    And hugs. Hang in, get through it… and afterwards, just be really nice to yourselves for a while, while the chaos slowly crawls away.

  4. Good luck on the move! I’ve been downsizing stuff in my storage unit and similar because I’m hoping to move into a smaller unit in the near future. I could probably do it now, but I’m holding out until we start getting bad weather just in case Mom decides she wants to get any big house renovations done before the seasons change-and the more I get rid of, the easier I can get in and out of the unit when I want to get something. But I’ve been seeing the same thing around here-lots of places that accept donations are turning away furniture donations because people need to get rid of it. When I went to Half Price Books for the first chance I could, they were busy in the donations section and I was lucky to get out with about $80-and they still gave me back about one container out of six because they had too much stuff.

    Around here, I think it’s the combination of people having to downsize because they are needing to move into smaller places because rental costs have remained the same or gone up (seriously, there was a small drop in SF during the Crow Flu, but it’s come back to the same and even gone up in in the “trendy” spots) and their incomes have remained fixed or gone down. It’s also hard to find a job that isn’t entry level/warehouse/restaurant because there’s a glut of people applying for those jobs that have those skills. I might even apply for work at Costco or such in a few weeks, because my unemployment will be almost gone by then.

    I’ve thought about moving, but the thing is…I’m not going blind. I can’t. I’d have to have a job that would allow me to afford a single bedroom, and everybody keeps suggesting Texas and I’d need air conditioning and most of the places that sound good are cheaper than here…but that’s damning with faint praise, isn’t it?

    (Need to write faster. And, figure out how to affordably advertise what I’ve written. Maybe finish a story and submit it blind to Baen Books. Who knows? I might be able to afford a meal a week at Taco Bell if I do that…)

    But, I might move at this rate. Where is the question and I’m looking into that. We’ll see.

  5. I’ve been fighting myself, because I’m torn between Day Job and Writer Job, between Miss Red and Alma Boykin. I suspect that’s why I have not hammered away on the Merchant book the way I should – it’s a little too close to what I’m cramming for Day Job. The only solution is self-discipline and rump-in-chair time. No write, no get paid, no eat good bratwurst (as compared to the ‘might as well be vegetarian it has so much filler’ bratwurst.)

  6. Honestly, I like Marie Kondo. I read her book and watched the show and the heart of what she said, don’t hold onto things that no longer serve you and do not bring you joy, was actually really freeing. My stuff is there for me and if I’m working more to support the stuff than using it to support me and my family, it needs to go. This has created the ongoing purge that’s made my apartment much more pleasant to live in and makes the thought of moving next year not completely overwhelming.

    And there’s a reason my About Me blurb was “Her life, like this blurb, is a work in progress” for a very long time. When I can feel an identity calcifying around me, I break it. Sometimes in big ways (I quit my job with no backup! well, not really but that’s how it looks from the outside) and sometimes in small ways (I dyed my hair reddish…). When something no longer serves you and helps you grow, it’s time to change it. And that’s hard and scary.

  7. Seems necessary that one must develop an “identity” before it can be broken, destroyed or changed. I chose Mr. Natural for my “character identity” — R. Crumb and I are very much alike, and Mr. N fits me well. But I’ve never held on to a job lomg enough to feel that it defines “me.” I’ve disposed of all my belongings with joy many times and lived out of a suitcase in foreign lands….

    ‘Who are you?’ said the Caterpillar.

    Alice replied, rather shyly, ‘I β€” I hardly know, sir, just at present β€” at least I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.’

    ‘What do you mean by that?’ said the Caterpillar sternly. ‘Explain yourself!’

    ‘I can’t explain myself, I’m afraid, sir’ said Alice, ‘because I’m not myself, you see.’

    ‘I don’t see,’ said the Caterpillar.

    ‘I’m afraid I can’t put it more clearly,’ Alice replied very politely, ‘for I can’t understand it myself to begin with; and being so many different sizes in a day is very confusing.’

    ‘It isn’t,’ said the Caterpillar.

    ‘Well, perhaps you haven’t found it so yet,’ said Alice; ‘but when you have to turn into a chrysalis β€” you will some day, you know β€” and then after that into a butterfly, I should think you’ll feel it a little queer, won’t you?’

    ‘Not a bit,’ said the Caterpillar.

    ‘Well, perhaps your feelings may be different,’ said Alice; ‘all I know is, it would feel very queer to me.’

    ‘You!’ said the Caterpillar contemptuously. ‘Who are you?’

    1. “I woke up in a SoHo doorway,
      The policeman knew my name.
      He said, ‘You can sleep at home tonight
      if you can get up and walk away.’
      Whoooo are you? Who, who?”

  8. Even when you want the transition, it’s still a challenge. We had six months to plan for Bill’s golden ticket at the end of 2012. He left the day job and simply relearning our house routines because he no longer kept newspaper hours took months.

    Good luck with the new house. If you can manage it, watch your yard for a full year before you start to garden: look for low spots where the rain puddles, the arc of the sun, the hot spots in the winter, annoying headlights from nighttime cars, too much sun in July, etc. etc.

    Then you’ll have a better notion of what to plant where and what will do better or worse in a given area.
    Waiting a full year will also give you time to improve your soil overall: set your mulching lawnmower to its highest cutting height. Taller grass = deeper roots, allowing better air and water penetration into the soil. The clippings will decay and likewise improve what ever awful dirt you are working with.

    If you’ve already got a garden in place, take the year to decide if it works for you and why.

    I still regret my choices along the north side of our yard. I removed the forsythia hedge and planted a hedgerow of mixed natives. Fifteen years later, it’s finally starting to do what I wanted.

    If I could go back in time, I’d have planted a wall of yews to block the north wind and not bothered with anything else.

    1. Yes, I agree – sit and look at your new garden for at least a year, before committing to any plans. Now, if I knew then about my garden what I now know … I’d have hired a small bulldozer to scrape off a foot of the crappy clay topsoil, take it all away and replace with good, soft, fertile topsoil … but alas, I have now to settle for a lot of raised beds and mulching religiously.

      1. If you put plants with psychoactive properties around your garden, the wildlife will hardly touch it.

        1. Hmm. I was thinking more along the lines of bees, butterflies and birds, and it being a good thing. However, I have a horrible deer population and am wondering what you mean by psychoactive properties. Please, I want to know more.

          Or should I not ask?

          1. I don’t know about psychoactive but a big dog, an eight foot high fence, a rifle and a freezer work wonders.

  9. Very Very Off Topic but the blog title reminds me of Crabby Appleton, whose motto was “I’m rotten to the core!” πŸ˜†

    Now, to make me feel old, how many people here know who was the hero who fought Crabby Appleton. πŸ˜‰

  10. Took me five years to get around to gardening. Several years after that to look good

  11. D’aw! Adorable mollusk is adorable-!! He’s sooooo kawaii!*

    Oh. You were saying something meta about how my life-long identity as a child of God is bogus, and I have to mess about with all the rubbish identies the world that has been beating me up for being a freak wants to force on me.

    Hard pass.

    *No sarc. That is one cute little crustacean.

    1. Er…. No? It had nothing to do with your identity as a child of G-d, but with the roles you fulfill and how to transition. And how a lot of people are transitioning right now, and changing their routines.
      I have absolutely no clue how you brought religion into this, actually.
      I don’t think religion means you’re not allowed to grow and fill different shoes.

        1. But it’s not. We’re not just creatures of spirit. We’re creatures of the body. (Which is why resurrection of the body is a thing.)
          So, the body falls into habits. I chose to put that under “identity” because there’s no other convenient name. You do this, you wear this, you get up at this time, you have this group.
          When you break that, even intentionally, it’s a wrench, and you have to be ready for it.
          No amount of faith can circumvent it, because the body is a STUPID beast.
          And as for being a child of G-d, sure, but is your relationship with Him what it was when you were two? Surely not. Even in the greatest love, the closest of marriages, relationships change and evolve. So …. It’s like I was talking about turnips and she came in upbraiding me for not speaking of sparrows.
          I was also not asking her to adopt anything. I wasn’t telling ANYONE to adopt anything. I was pointing out a way to mind-hack yourself through the changes, and tell yourself it’s normal. Weird but normal.

          1. Recognizing you’re a child of God can pull you out of those habits when they go from comfortable to dangerous, though.

  12. The “crab” metaphor is brilliant, and fits me quite well. I don’t fit inside my “shell” anymore (I don’t fit into my pants that well either but that’s another story.) Looking for something new. Haven’t been laid off yet (fingers crossed) but definitely looking out for that on the horizon. Good luck to you with all the changes!

  13. THE PAPERWORK HAS MOVED! Sorry for shouting but apparently the log jam on the paperwork has been broken, and the house that’s been under contract for nine or ten months should close in weeks!

    And buy title insurance, y’all, please.

      1. Thanks, y’all; we actually moved in with my mother eight years ago, and the old house has been empty ever since. Tried to low key sell it off and on and finally were blessed to find someone with the courage to take on the project.

    1. We always do.
      And right now we’re holding our breath for appraisal. Realistically, the house has outdated finishes, so we MIGHT be “overpaying” by 20 or 30k. That doesn’t matter as in six months it will be that price anyway (Inflation). We just want out soonest and our house on market soonest.
      So, keep fingers crossed for us.

  14. Welcome to the exodus! Ruby and I made the move in 2015, ending up in a small town in east Tennessee, in the foothills of the Smokys. I’m about as happy here as I’ve ever been, and I hope it shows in how people respond to me (with anticipation rather than trepidation at my incipient arrival…). Come on over and visit sometime!

      1. By heart! “Corn don’t grow at all on Rocky Top, dirt’s too rocky by far; that’s why all the folks on Rocky Top get their corn from a jar.”

  15. Downsizing and mid-life laid off issues? Been there, the T-shirts wore out. Laid off in 2001 when the semiconductor industry dot-bombed and moved overseas. Found a well paying job that lasted a year, but financed the house-fixup, and we moved to rural Oregon in ’03.

    We were looking for 5-10 acres with a tolerable house. Not a thing in our price range. Got a larger property (13 acres), but we had to do a fair amount of building. Contracted some major stuff, but the rest depended on my construction skills. We had donated excess furniture before we moved (we were at the leading edge of the Silicon Valley exodus that time), but I still had excess books. Some found a space in the shop, some got donated. Our county library system will take books (*not* encyclopedias) that they can sell, either through their own store or via rummage sale.

    Internet was an issue. There are many more choices now, but back then it was dialup or satellite. Couldn’t afford satellite at that time, so had to make do. Wireless broadband was available, but we had a big hill in the way. Finally got satellite internet in 2012, though I’d consider the StarLink system as it rolls out. The phone company put in DSL finally, too.

    It’s theoretically possible to live here without DIY skills, but one needs either a large pocketbook or the ability to live with really low expectations. A certain amount of planning skills helps too, when the round trip to town is over 80 miles.

      1. Yeah. After we bought the place we figured we had $65K to get it to our specs. (Both of us were retired, but too young to tap retirement income, so we were living on savings.) A bit over half went to the garage (large–stored two trucks, a trailer and the utility tractor) and to getting power to the shop. Beyond that, it was me. I built a workroom in the barn and the next year did my wife’s sewing shop. $SPOUSE made new curtains and a bunch of other items as needed. She’s also a better painter than I am, though I do the high work.

        Already had DIY skills, and (perhaps unusual for an EE πŸ™‚ ) am actually good at house wiring. I can do basic carpentry (learned some from Dad and Grampa Pete, who taught his son-in-law). I can plumb, but prefer to have a pro do it.

        After retirement income became available, we’ve done more work. Mixture of DIY and contracting. I love to have someone do a roof that’s higher than I’m willing to work. I’ll do low roofs, but…

        One thing that’s sort of new is that we now have a few neighbors who are willing and able to help each other out. (At one time, there were three empty houses around us. Now all are occupied.) One neighbor helped a lot when I injured my knee (got me out of commission for 3-4 months, and am still not fully recovered). The ability to trade favors has been a Godsend.

  16. “Say, for instance, you decide to become Vegan and build your identify around that.”

    I prefer “Alpha Lyraen”, thank you very much. ” Vegan” has such negative connotations.

  17. I worked toward “faculty member” for years. I got to tenured faculty member. I was going for “full professor faculty” and got hit with internal politics. My original idea had been to get to full stay for a couple-three more years and then leave. The internal politics put the promotion out about two to three years past where I wanted to be. I got a sabbatical and started writing fiction. After working it out with husband, and living on just his salary for a year and banking mine, I’ve change my identity from “tenured faculty member” to “author.” We’re now looking to change it from “PA residents” to “some other state residents” and in a small to medium sized town. That part is still a work in progress.

    None of this is easy nor is it stress free (obviously). But we did four moves in four years and two of those were cross-country. We’ll manage this one way or another.

    I know that husband strongly wishes he were faster/better at getting a new job. That’s been the sticking point. Lots of interviews, no offers. We want to be somewhere else by Thanksgiving at the latest. All our fingers and toes are crossed!

    1. Luke — morning glories? Jimson weed? We had lovely Datura trees in Ecuador….

      Becky — yup; done that too. I bowed out in 2008 after the snow started to fall in the student body: already been through that in the late ’90s with a generation of students who had been taught that all group generalizations are raciss.

      A German friend mentioned Wilmore KY as a good hideout, but it’s a secret so don’t tell anybody. My friend’s email is maximillian dot (you know his last name) at yahoo if you would like more information.

  18. Great metaphor. Helps me realize why I’ve been so out-of-sorts of late. You have a tendency to write the right thing at the right time. It’s a bit disturbing, actually.

    Three more major steps: First moving trip. All ducks are in a row for next weekend (a week until my first night in the new place – how exciting). Denver closing. There have been insane technical difficulties exchanging documents; I’m about to wire them $500 and ask them to just messenger/Uber everything to me – but it’s moving along. Last moving trip is the same day as closing, so those ducks are not in a row, yet.

    Potential hurdle: Buyer’s inspection. I can’t imagine that anything will surprise ME, but hopefully the buyer will not be surprised or scared. We took an under-asking price just to get out of here, so here’s hoping the buyer will put up with whatever the inspector finds.

    Recommendation: Buy a printer/scanner device! I couldn’t have done this without one and having one is just serendipity (it’s the FAX machine from the company’s old office that they gave to me a few years ago when we moved offices).

    Factibble: It’s costing about $100 more to hire truck unloaders in Rapid City (3 hours on Sunday) that is costing to hire truck loaders in Denver (3 hours on Saturday). I’m wondering why and several possibilities come to mind (e.g. who wants to unload a truck on Sunday? Certainly not me, hence the hiring). Probably all of the above.

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