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  • Writer's picturemaggiehsmith07

Grit, Tenacity & Sheer Force of Will

We’ve reached the point in the move where my body aches, I cannot store one more detail in my head and when the buyers make a seemingly reasonable request I’m like: No. Stop. Just - no.

Don’t ask me for another thing - reasonable or not. We’re doing the best we can here - stretched between two homes. A privilege - I realize and I’m incredibly grateful to have a respite from the chaos that consumes the home we’re trying to move out of. Without the respite, I’d constantly be trying to bring order to the disorder. My arm aches. I think I lifted something the wrong way.

I read a Ladders article recently that indicated that the age when most people begin to feel old is 47. 47 is breathing down my neck - a little over three months. I feel moving must bring this geriatric feeling on sooner. But the fact that I need readers firmly planted to my face to read anything adds further credibility to the article. The Ladders article referenced a study to support their findings and 61% of respondents said that having to ask someone to read small print/squinting to see small print were signs of getting older. Other factors that made respondents feel older were hearing a familiar song on the oldies station, involuntarily grunting while getting out of a seat, seeing a celebrity they never heard of and not being on TikTok. Check. Check. Check. Check.

My cat Lola isn’t getting younger either. She developed an ingrown toenail. Why the hell she just let a rogue nail pierce her fleshy toe pad is beyond me. But - she did. She walks around fine but it obviously hurts. She yanks her foot away when I attempt to look at the toe. This hastened our acclimation to the city in terms of finding a vet for our brood. Lola expressed her displeasure the entire 20ish minute ride to the vet. Once we move, it will be a 6 minute ride to the vet. I’m sure she will still yell but at least I’ll have to hear it for less time. The vet asks if I feel she will need sedation for the procedure and I say, “Look. Someone’s getting sedated for the ride home. Her or me.” They laugh as if I’m joking.

They read me the standard disclosure of how there is a small chance with every sedation that your pet could die. I feel confident that Lola will keep it together - she has grit, tenacity, and force of will. Traits I admire in pets and people.

We head back to the Forest house on Saturday for a final push before the movers arrive. It echoes in there. I sometimes think back to our time there and it feels like a fever dream. Did I really live in a home in Forest, Virginia during a pandemic? What the fuck was that?! I stumbled across this meme and it made me think of my mom. She will refer to different parts of her or our life as an era or chapter and it seems fitting.

While in Illinois, we went to a restaurant in her town to have some Chicago style hot dogs. The building has been there for many years but the purpose of the building has evolved. Mom recalled how at one point, it was an ice cream shop when she was a kid and she would get a scoop for 10 cents. I immediately think the following thoughts simultaneously…

  1. That was a lot less change she had to find than I had to find for my trips to the ice cream shop.

  2. Inflation is fucking ridiculous.

  3. My mom is old and no wonder she feels old because she’s a lot of years from when people begin to feel old (47).

  4. It all goes so fast. Woosh! The eras fly past. So enjoy feeling old at 47.

I’m happy to tell you that Lola didn’t need CPR because she didn’t even need sedation. Her grit, tenacity carried her through - similar to how we’ll muscle through this move.

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