The Process Of Doing

☆ July 6, 2011

mountain poof flower

I am so exhausted right now (or, I was last night, when I started writing this post and could not finish; I’m sure the feeling will return by the midnight hours).

I’ve noticed that every time I do something “drastic,” I go through certain phases, in a certain order.  I am filled with pure excitement, pure belief, when the idea hits.  This carries for a while, and transitions into a slightly calmer but still fueled-by-excitement organizational phase.  Then, when I’m hip-deep into making arrangements to put the plan into action, the terror strikes.  I am pummeled, not so much by fears but by the discomfort of change.  I float for a few days in ‘what the f*ck was I thinking?’ but continue to work on arrangements – and this is mostly due to momentum, not some noble strength – though perhaps without the calm and without the excitement that had fueled it previously.  And, through that continued action, it always happens that the anxieties run their course and are simply gone one day, poof, and I enjoy another period of calm-excited preparation, this one cut short when it dawns on me that the time to actually go draws nearer by the second and I still have 400,000 things to do in order to be ready.

And so begins the panic phase, the manic phase, which I’m in right now, and it’s miserable; this phase is always miserable.  It’s a race against time and the body’s energy capacity but the beauty of this stage, the gift of this stage, is that it ends when the adventure begins.  Not a moment before and not a moment after.  And it is such a relief to be done with this particular stage that the adventure itself begins with an absolutely glittering feeling of lightness, of bliss, of flying without even having to work at it ~ not because the adventure is easy but because the contrast from the panic phase is so drastic, and heading off into the adventure feels a lot like being released.

Today (yesterday) I finally got a cell phone after not having one for six years.
I think I will miss ice more than I will miss a flush toilet.


36 Responses to “The Process Of Doing”

    July 6th, 2011 @ 3:46 pm

    You are sooooo ready for a new adventure and you will get there soon enough. It’s like a rebirth of freedom for your soul and it’s your spirit that is the driving force! Enjoy it my dear! Cheers and keep us posted <3

  2. montanarose
    July 6th, 2011 @ 4:52 pm

    Shreve, you put words to the rollercoaster of feelings that I, too, experience when planning for a new experience. I love the way you framed it, and will try to keep it in mind next time I think I’m just losing my mind. Of course, there IS always that possibility . . .

  3. Steph in Oregon
    July 6th, 2011 @ 5:03 pm

    Short comment takes less time to read:


  4. Scotty
    July 6th, 2011 @ 5:09 pm

    comment regarding leaps of faith and phases…only later after the adventure is over can you compare what you thought it would be like to how it really was. during the adventure you can never compare how you thought it might be because no matter how different it might be, it is always what you anticipated it could be. huh? lol. no worries pass the ammo.

  5. catherine
    July 6th, 2011 @ 5:40 pm

    I am in the panic mode as well, for Ricardo and the cats and Charlie and Chloe all of them going ” up there”. But I know you will do well as you think ahead and if does not work out, you go back down home where there is ice.

  6. Ava
    July 6th, 2011 @ 5:58 pm

    Ah, the uncomfortable transition phase. That one’s a bear, or it is if you’re doing something that matters. You do adventurous, Shreve, but you don’t do stupid. Good wishes for strength and as much serenity as you can muster up until you’re in your nymph meadow.

  7. Patr
    July 6th, 2011 @ 6:19 pm

    Close your eyes, center, and breathe. Repeat as needed.

  8. Renee
    July 6th, 2011 @ 6:40 pm

    Catherine, me too!

  9. bonnie
    July 6th, 2011 @ 6:58 pm

    the good thing about the panic/manic phase is that no one gets in your way :-)

  10. Dana
    July 6th, 2011 @ 8:34 pm

    Breathe Shreve. I go through those same phases when I am planning on tackling a huge task. You have a lot of courage though and I don’t know if I could handle the adventure you are about to undertake although I am sure it will be fascinating. I couldn’t imagine the undertaking it is! I know that you will keep the animals safe and sound though.

  11. Bernice
    July 6th, 2011 @ 9:04 pm

    Race against time? To go into the woods?

  12. Cindy
    July 6th, 2011 @ 10:26 pm

    Yep, this post reads Manic. Go for it!!

    You . . .
    shoot the breeze
    fly higher than a kite
    reach for the stars
    take the cake
    beat all
    are the cat’s pajamas
    and meow
    couldn’t be more interesting
    are beyond compare
    have spoiled everybody rotten
    are the best Coyote Mom on earth
    save lives, save lives, save lives
    are loved, loved, loved . . .
    Yip yip yip yipyip yip Shreeeeeeeeeeeeeeve . . .

  13. Lisa
    July 6th, 2011 @ 10:28 pm

    Thanks, Shreve. I needed to hear the details of this process. It matters a lot in my personal life right now particularly.

    Soldier on.

  14. Cindy
    July 6th, 2011 @ 10:30 pm

    P.S. So. Things are not just sew, sew with you, we see. They are so . . . SOOOOO! See?

  15. Gertrud Stockton
    July 6th, 2011 @ 10:31 pm

    Shreve, I hope this adventure will be successful. It will be, if I know you as the trooper you are. 2011 will be a banner year. I will miss your voice, but I know you will win whatever battle you are undertaking. I love you and wish you much happiness.

  16. Cindy
    July 6th, 2011 @ 10:32 pm

    Yeh. Sewldier on.

  17. amanda
    July 7th, 2011 @ 2:12 am

    Oh I am so excited!!! Can’t wait to hear what you do!!

  18. amanda
    July 7th, 2011 @ 2:14 am

    oh silly me, guess I should read your posts in forwards order when catching up.

  19. Tracy
    July 7th, 2011 @ 7:38 am

    Oh, yeah, I’d really miss ice.
    You continue to inspire me all the time, thanks!

  20. Mary
    July 7th, 2011 @ 7:47 am

    I have missed something; where is Shreve going?

  21. Monarch
    July 7th, 2011 @ 8:32 am

    WOW. You completely described exactly what I am going through right now, and you did it so well. Thank you and thank you to the universe for providing me with this understanding.

  22. Karla
    July 7th, 2011 @ 8:35 am

    Good luck with all of this. I would be worried that one of my pets would take off in the unknown territory and I’d lose one of them. I hope the farmily stays together through this new transition and everything goes smoothly until you return back home.

  23. mlaiuppa
    July 7th, 2011 @ 9:03 am

    Well, at least you have recognized your phases and are dealing with them. That is way ahead of probably about 75% of the population.

    Here’s to enjoying the moments and relishing the grand adventure.

    Me, you can keep the ice but I’d miss the flush toilet.

  24. Keitha
    July 7th, 2011 @ 9:11 am

    Really looking forward to this new adventure. Great idea! You’ll “git er done” Shreve, I have every confidence.
    So exciting!

  25. Bruce
    July 7th, 2011 @ 9:44 am

    Just don’t forget the TP.

  26. Theresa Szpila
    July 7th, 2011 @ 9:46 am

    Cindy (# 12) said it all.

    Does your new cell phone have a built-in GPS? That could come in handy if anyone needed to find you quickly. Here’s hoping no one will need to.

    Have a fabulous summer!

  27. MCJ
    July 7th, 2011 @ 9:49 am

    Ha ha, Bruce! Indeed!

  28. Mariana
    July 7th, 2011 @ 10:15 am

    Crazy. What you described is EXACTLY what I went through when I started doing my solo road trips. But you’re right — if you survive the panic/manic phase, the reward follows right away. And to my experience, it’s always worth it.

    Good luck with your preparations, and enjoy your time on the mountain!

  29. Leisel
    July 7th, 2011 @ 10:33 am

    I have BEEN THERE . . . DONE THAT – and can so identify with you right now. There’s just one thing – so remarkable – so commendable in you . . . it is your great ability to put a miriad of thoughts, feelings & emotions into one concise description . . . like one perfect package to be read and enjoyed by all. Well put, Shreve!

  30. Cin
    July 7th, 2011 @ 10:42 am

    @Cindy HAH!

    Shreve we all do that. You’re perfectly abnormal :)

  31. SuburbanPrairie
    July 7th, 2011 @ 11:57 am

    This may have already been asked and answered, but… what about the EMT work?

  32. Nathalie
    July 7th, 2011 @ 1:51 pm

    I get the same way and it is such a feeling of freedom to finally achieve what you’ve been mentally preparing for, even if it doesn’t seem to be happening through the chaos of preparing. Then it’s there. I love that feeling. Now breathe…

  33. Corrie
    July 7th, 2011 @ 5:02 pm

    I’ll bet you won’t miss either! Humans have such an amazing capacity for adjustment. My husband and I lived without a refrigerator for a year, just used an ice chest. It became completely normal really quickly. Have a WONDERFUL time!

  34. Jessica
    July 8th, 2011 @ 9:14 pm

    I love how well you captured this feeling in words. Have fun! :)

  35. Ree
    July 11th, 2011 @ 10:36 am

    A listener to my husband’s radio show sent me a copy of The Daily Coyote after he heard John talk about the new litter of coyote pups on our place who like to sun themselves on our driveway and steal twine and stakes from our carport to play with. Loved the book and appreciiate how you are so willing to share your experience and insight with us. I, too, am an adventurous soul, and your description of “The Process” is spot on! I will add that it gets easier, on yourself and those around you, the more laps-around-the-sun you accumulate! My daughter calls me A Leaper and gave me a beautiful plaque that hangs in my front room that says “Leap and the net will appear!” so, thanks for the lovely explanation of “The Leaping Process”!

  36. pansypoo
    July 16th, 2011 @ 5:27 pm

    i could not live without ice. i think. it would suck.

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