Happiness is No Pods

For weeks, I worked on filling the largest POD available with my Stuff. (See George Carlin on Stuff.) Then I moved and waited five days for the POD filled with my Stuff. Then I spent two days practically killing myself getting the Stuff out of the POD. And now I must spend the next couple of weeks sorting and cleaning the Stuff from the POD.

This has led me to see the POD as a metaphor.

I have to work on the proofread for Pink for Bob which I am vastly behind on. I feel guilty. It’s a POD.

I haven’t heard anything about Emily William, and I know it was the right thing to do to leave because the entire neighborhood is on alert and will feed him, but I feel guilty just the same. Emily William is a POD.

I left my daughter an enormous mess when I left NJ, which she and my realtor Sydney are tackling with cheerful non-drama. I feel overwhelming guilt about that even though I know she’s ecstatic about me being down here. My old cottage is a POD.

So here’s the thing I learned about PODs two days ago: If you keep unloading them until they’re empty, somebody comes and takes them away. And the relief is ENORMOUS.

I will finish the proofing on Pink by tonight (Pat and Jon are coming at ten to help me put furniture together first because good friends are not PODs, they are POD unloaders). And Bob is maintaining a polite silence even though I know he wants to strangle me because he knows I’m in chaos and he’s not going to make it worse. He’s a POD unloader.

I can’t do anything about Emily William, but I did adopt a cat yesterday whose owner here had died here and left him disconsolate, and he’s already sat on my bed several times and glared at me for being the wrong person, so I think it’s going to go well. His name is Little Guy, which he is not, and he’s spending most of the time under the bed, but he has other options, and he and Veronica have already gotten to the I-Don’t-Like-You-So-I’m-Ignoring-You stage of dog-cat relationships. Little Guy, whose name I long to change, is a POD unloader.

My daughter keeps giving me cheerful updates on the house and finding things she doesn’t want to throw out so it’s almost a treasure hunt up there, and she insists there’s no reason for me to feel guilty, she wants to help, which I believe. I still feel guilty, but nowhere near what I would if she wasn’t laughing when she tells me about things she’s found. Mollie is a POD unloader.

Bob and Pat and Jon and Little Guy and Mollie cannot make my PODs go away, I’m going to need therapy for that, but they unload a lot of the guilt so that I can function and do better next time. The only real drawback is Bob talking about me becoming a POD person, which if we’re going with this metaphor, I’ve always been: I was raised with guilt and it took me years to stop letting people inflict it on me–see Liz’s come-to-Jesus talk with her mother–but as long as I have my POD unloaders around to help, I’ll make it.

Happiness is no PODs or at least good POD unloaders so that eventually, the PODs go away. How did you make your PODs go away this week?

91 thoughts on “Happiness is No Pods

  1. I thought my brother was a POD but…he did come all the way from Vancouver for a week to help my nephew move from our house to Kingston. And aside from the Car Incident he was very little trouble as a guest and great, unpolitical company all week. And he bought me flowers and a card at the end of the week to say thank you for supporting his son through his undergrad! I now call him a POD unloader.

    1. Yeah, we have to remember that people who do things like leave the car running may have PODs of their own that we don’t know about. I glad the visit finished on a high note.

      1. The visit totally did. Best visit I’ve had with my brother in years and years. I’m elated.

    2. Oh, Tammy, my dear accountability partner – I just showed you all around a POD of mine in the form of Sunday wrap up. 🙂

      I hope you don’t give up on me but I will understand if you do.

      1. I just read this post of yours so went to your Sunday wrap-up email to read that. I’ll only say here that of course I”m not going to give up on you – don’t be silly. And I will respond more fulsomely on email.

  2. Oh, I hope to make some pods go away!

    For a hydroponic gardener, pods are where you plant the pod baskets containing a sponge containing seeds and topped by a pod cover. I have four iDOO 12-pod units, four Aerogarden Harvest 6-pod units, two QYO 12-pod units, and six Smart Garden-3 3-pod units. Tomorrow, I will have two LYKO 12-pod units to place in commission. The LYKOs are identical to the QYOs except for color. QYOs are black. LYKOs are gold.

    The LYKOs will be replacing the six Smart Garden-3s. I’m posting about this including an “advertisement.”
    FREE To Good Home
    Six Smart Garden 3 Hydroponic Gardening Units
    Plus Grow Pods and Accessories
    Units each include power supplies and lights with extensions, pod baskets and covers, level-indicating float.
    Accessories include spare level float, spare pod baskets, spare wicks
    Grow pods include:
    Romaine Lettuce
    Green Lettuce
    Chives
    Leaf Mustard
    Red Sweet Peppers
    Yellow Sweet Peppers
    Cherry Tomatoes
    Chili Peppers
    Wild Strawberries
    Basil
    Some other stuff

          1. I remember there being an article about a motorcycle rally in Virginia Beach a while back that took over the town and caused a lot of havoc. Maybe check the town’s events list to make sure you’re not there for that.

    1. My LYKO units have arrived and been assembled. Three of the Smart Gardens are decommissioned and awaiting cleaning in the deep sink. I’m giving the other three a few more days to see if the red sweet peppers will turn red.

      If there is any doubt, let me dispel it. I really am offering these gardening units free to a good home. I’m not sure about shipping costs.

  3. I found, re-found, a local pod unloader, or two.
    First few months in this city I offered help to a woman unloading a van load of stuff, not hers, into a charity shop. We clicked so well she invited me to ride with her into the country to pick up furniture also not on her own account. In the course of this she introduced me to a man in a shop who also struck me as interesting, and what could now be called a POD unloader.
    But I had no idea where in the city I was when I met him. And she didn’t answer two email invitations in a row. I chalked it up as a great day and tried to let go my wish for more contact.

    His shop is right next to the passport photo place I needed! And I managed to recognise him, very, very bad with faces as I am.

    We talked for at least an hour. He gave me half a dozen recommendations for people who do things well that I need done or will need soon. And he told me the woman I liked so well is just “like that” and she’d be pleased if I kept trying til I caught her in a less busy moment.

    It was great! And timing! He moves shop in a month. My passport has 3 more months on it, I could so easily have missed him.

  4. ad doesn’t include anything about money?
    I’d be “me! me!” but I can’t imagine international shipping being anything but astronomical.

    grow lights seem like a idea. My new country’s summer is very cloudy.

  5. If you start calling Little Guy LG for short, it would quickly segue into Luigi which would appeal to me as a cat name.

    I had a good week in some ways but a couple stupid things (including me being stupid) created and partly filled pods for both me and boss. Very annoying. Not sure how to empty them. Hence the sudden fascination with other peoples’ cats names.

    Did have a nice dinner and lovely visit with a cousin I seldom see. I have leftovers. I have cake. I am counting blessings.

  6. Mollie laughing as she finds things is great. She can talk to you and it is a joyful thing. And you have a new cat.

  7. My sons I would consider three peas in a pod. Even in their fifties they still hassle each other. Yesterday during a New England supper (franks, beans, brown bread and potato salad) No. 2 son, still in recovery but never letting go of his sense of humor, told No. 3 son “oh, by the way my kids are coming over tomorrow to mow the lawn”. This was after No. 3 finished mowing the lawn. Thank the skies above they don’t wrestle any more.

  8. This was a POD week. However, I’ve realized I have weeks like this from time to time and the PODS usually get unloaded and/or evaporate when I don’t obsess about them – exercise, drinking water and eating properly help too.

    DH and I spent a lovely afternoon at the Botanical Garden in Montreal. Gardens are always POD unloaders for me. We did a slow wander through the seasonal and vegetable beds. Based on the experimental beds, black tomatoes will be a big thing in future seasons. The garden donates the vegetables to a local foodbank. My nephew and his GF recently moved to an apartment near the garden so we saw their new place and took them out to supper.

    I made a few cards to send to friends. Crafting is also a POD unloader.

  9. I finished Much Ado last night. We got a great crowd, finished it, I did not flub ANY lines, got compliments, huzzah! Today is cast party, followed by another friend’s party.

    I loved having a big role. I am going to miss that.

  10. The Buddha may or may not have said ‘the root of suffering is attachment,’ and even if ze did the statement is undoubtedly oversimplified, but I’ve been trying to live by it ever since it sank in (about 18 years ago). This might be a good topic for me to blog on, but I won’t overblather here.

    A friend of a friend is currently approaching psychotic break as she attempts to pack up her 1-BR apartment filled with a 9+ year hoard of collectibles, craft supplies, self-made things, etc in preparation for a cross-country move to the new house she just bought with her fiance after 7 years of weekend cohabiting in LA. Our mutual friend has been trying to help. When one finds it very difficult not only to let go, but also to make decisions about what should be let go, there comes a point when one must simply throw everything into boxes, budget for the extra loading & shipping costs, and say ‘I’ll deal with it later.’

    With my own cross-country move on the horizon, I am dealing with things now. Jenny, I’m so glad you have a team of POD unloaders to help you. <3

    Happiness today is my decision to take DH out for dinner, to blow off watering till tomorrow after work (I planted drought-tolerant things for a reason), and to otherwise spend the day organizing myself for the Steamy Lit Con.

  11. I’m relieved I managed to encourage my friend to do all the sorting-out she hoped to last week. My job was to listen to her stories, keep her focused on sorting out, and make piles for charity, recycling, selling, giving to friends, etc. I hope this is going to help her to move house next year.

    I escaped to Wisley for a morning and spent a voucher; then bought three more plants at a couple of nurseries on the way home. I enjoyed the drive back – I got away early enough that the motorways were flowing, and did the second half on A roads, through the Cotswolds and across Shropshire.

  12. My Pods are not going away anytime soon, unfortunately. I was really irritated by my coworker, who has been using the software we migrated from 1 1/2 years ago. 1 1/2 years!

    My parents have decided they don’t like their retirement place and are thinking of moving to the PNW near my brother. We are balancing the cost of us moving them versus a POD or another mover. I had hoped my days of driving across the country were over.

  13. My daughter is off to Minneapolis tomorrow morning on a student exchange for a semester and she spent a good week agonising over what Stuff to take with her.
    When I went to the UK thirty years ago for a semester exchange, I took one small bag and that was that.
    I went into a student hall of residence with my little bag and there was my future husband, not that I knew that at the time 🙂

    1. Well, we pulled off the three parties. My house is full of the wedding flowers which will make me very happy all week. We are slowly cleaning up from the drop in brunch.

      Highlights included my son’s toast to his sister where he shared the three books she read to him when she was 10 and he was 4: a book on Greek myths so full of violence that when someone warned him about violence in the Percy Jackson books when he was maybe 10 he thought “what do you mean, no one has stuck a knife in anyone yet!”; Hexwood by Diana Wynne Jones, which set the groundwork for his passion for Terry Pratchett; and the photographic book “A Child is Born” which, he claimed, had such graphic pictures of women in childbirth that it turned him into a “flaming homosexual”.
      (He is gay but he was joking about the reason why.)

      She really did read him all three books.

      I am not sure whether that tells you more about her, him, or our parenting.

      We also had some very right wing relatives of DH that we had to invite once they heard about from others who were invited —so while DS was already out to most of the guests that was a dramatic way to come out to those folks….

      A low light was an an-otherwise delightful guest bringing to the celebration an oil painting he made that was not yet dry. Fortunately no one got paint on them but I need to go pick up the picture after it got set aside in the venue to keep it safe and forgotten.

      At today’s brunch my daughters partner, who is a clarinetist, and my son’s violin teacher, gave us an impromptu playing of Albanian music .

        1. I thought folks here would appreciate it.
          He brought two of the books as visual aids.
          It was probably the shortest and most memorable speech of the night.

          1. My DD got him to write it out and it starts “books are my sister’s main drug of choice, and she’s a massive pusher. And that’s been the case pretty much from day 1. So I thought I would tell you all about some of the first books she pushed on me.

            And these are before I could even read myself, so…

      1. I bought that book when I was pregnant, and the photos of the fetuses are amazing! I don’t remember any photos of the births, but I may have blanked that out. Ewww! I congratulate you on holding those special events without any serious problems! You deserve a nice long rest.

  14. I really need to explore Diana Wynne Jones.

    If epiphanies that lead to growth can be called happiness I was very happy this week. Yikes.

    I was definitely happy in the pool.

    And I had fun on my Tuesday night Zoom. My FRIEND, (I stress friend because he is a male who is attractive but I have no intention of ever acting on that attraction – even though he plans on visiting from Brazil in 2024) and I started in on the chat thing from the get go. We usually get halfway through a meeting before we go there.

    The moderator caught on that we were chatting silly because we were both exhibiting a lack of skill at hiding our state of almost bursting into laughter. He wasn’t chastising but wanting to join in so then there were three of us being silly. And it continued on in an email repartee the next day.

    Fun. That makes happiness.

    1. Apart from her books, which are an adventure in themselves, and quite full of variety, it’s fun to read Neil Gaiman’s blog when he talks about her, which he did quite a bit around her final illness and death. He was an acolyte of hers, in a way, and eventually a good friend.

  15. Just finished Lavender Blue … I had to force myself to only read a few chapters a day after having it shipped to our beach vacation rental on launch day. Oh I’ve missed your books Jennifer Crusie!! I just decided to binge out the last 100 pages today, while my husband and 3 kids were gone for the day. I’m now at a loss until Rest In Pink is ready … and when will that be?! And in response to the “About the Authors” section, welcome to PA! If you’re anywhere near Bucks County where I am, I’ll gladly show you around!

    1. Rest in Pink is coming out in the next couple of weeks – somewhere around the 23rd, I think. And One in Vermillion a month after that.

  16. I unloaded a POD this week-the board of elections project. It’s not done but it has moved to a bunch of POD unloaders.

    My sister is moving and is trying to get rid of some stuff. Problem is, she decided she likes her stuff.

    I decided that I like my stuff, too. Just not ready to do the death cleansing thing yet.

  17. We made brunch for niece and her husband this morning. Lovely, lovely time. I emptied a POD. I gave her eight new Jennifer Cruise novels. The ones with single image on white background. I still have the same novels in hardback and audio. She discovered Jenny’s books last year. She is very happy and loves your writing, Jenny. I am pleased the books go to someone special to me. H and I went for a long walk, cracked the 10,000 steps. Knee was not happy.

  18. My toenails make me happy because they remind me that I had a good time having side by side pedicures with my sister. This is especially timely because I have a massive infestation of fruit flies (I think they came in on a case of mangoes I bought) that are driving me crazy. Perhaps I’ll treat myself to a manicure when I go back out there for my next cat sitting gig.

    1. Thank you for this! My sister has used these in the past, but I couldn’t remember the specifics. You have saved me a lot of time that I would have spent Googling.

  19. I think this week I have been a POD unloader. We haven’t made as much progress in Mum’s garden as I was hoping we would have, but it was in a much worse state than I had expected at the outset, and we’ve cleared out what was probably the worst corner today. The rest should be more manageable for her to keep working on alone.

  20. I am glad you rescued another cat. When we lost ours, I thought I wasn’t ready but my hubby insisted and it was such a help. Definitely change his name. He probably doesn’t like it either. Besides, cats only really answer to the shaking of the treat bag.

    This week I am taking steps to deal with my job, which is a POD. I am going to tell my boss that I am applying for the other position, which makes me feel guilty. I don’t really know why. It’s complicated. And then I am going to do it, which makes me feel nervous.

    And my husband is still out of work, which I fear is becoming a POD. I know he feels bad about it, but I am starting to have resentment when I leave for work everyday and he is still in bed… We are probably going to have to have A Talk, which I feel bad about too.

    But I painted this weekend, which makes me feel more like a person. Hopefully good times ahead.

    1. Lupe – I understand completely about the resentment. My DH and I work at the same company, which allows for a hybrid schedule. I am in the office almost every day, while he works from home almost every day. I do get a little irritated that he’s there, probably because I’m jealous. But I find it is easier on me to have the separation of work and home. Meanwhile, I know he’s loading on the guilt for not coming in (and he’s working much longer hours than I because he doesn’t know how to stop.) I need to help him kick that habit, if I can.

      It really is good to have a creative outlet!

    2. Good for you, Lupe. I hope you get that job. Good luck dealing with all your PODs, in the meantime.

      1. Thanks Jan. I don’t think that I will get it. They are looking for someone with experience rather than someone to train. But at least I feel like I am trying to make a change.

    3. Congratulations on deciding to apply for the other job! Let us know what happens.

      Ah yes – the resentment toward non-working spouse. I had that last summer when my husband decided to take the summer off job hunting because a company had said they’d give him an offer in September. I said um, that’s not a sure thing. If it were, they’d give you the offer now. My expectation is that you’ll keep looking. Anyway – it was A Talk.

  21. I started a Person of Interest re-watch. I’d forgotten how much 9/11 is present in the early eps. Also corrupt cops. But its reassuring watching them make the world a little better one number at a time.

  22. Happiness was making music, with friends, in a big stone church, with a thunderstorm accompaniment. We sang well! Our audience was small-ish, but loudly appreciative.

    Now this week, we have company in the house, and down the road, and a wedding on Saturday in the yard. My feet are bit up by mosquitos so I can’t put on my shoes, so I’m cleaning house barefoot. If I put on a bra, I know I’ll be more efficient.

    1. Omg ‘if I put on a bra, I know I will be more efficient’ – that is just so hilarious 🤣. I am sorry to hear about your mozzie bitten feet though. That sounds very uncomfortable. I hope you have an effective treatment for them.

  23. Congratulations for rescuing another cat. Cats are my pod unloaders. You know, except when they aren’t. Koshka, my fuzzy black boy, is going back to the vet yet again for allergies we can’t seem to control, despite finally having done the tests and identifying fleas as the culprit. Everyone got flea treatments two weeks ago (they don’t go outside, so I haven’t bothered in years) and he was better…until yesterday, when he chewed off a large swath of fur on his back. This is after trying two different versions of a very expensive anti-itch medicine that he won’t take because apparently even when compounded into treat form it tastes like death. Sigh. He is already hiding because I took the carrier out of the closet.

    Happiness was having my cousin and his older son visit for a couple of days last week, after not seeing them for 8 years (at which time the son was 11–now he’s 19!). It was tiring but wonderful to have them here. My family is mostly spread out and none of them are interested in visiting me, so it was lovely to catch up.

    1. Oh, and if you don’t like the cat’s name, go ahead and change it. He’ll figure it out. When I got Lilibet from the shelter where she’d been for 3 years, her name was Pierogi. Uh, no.

      1. There will be more. I’m an actor. And I used to think every time I finish the part. Well that’s it. I’ll never not get another job. I’m not alone in this my words, but used to feel the same way. And so many other actors, I know. So rejoice in your wonderful show look at the future and scream “next.”

        1. Same thing with writers. “I don’t know how the hell I finished that book, I’ll never do it again, I’m a big fake, my career is over.” And then, “Oh, wait, I have an idea . . . ”

          The good thing about writing is that we don’t have to wait for somebody to give us a job.

          The bad thing about writing is publishing.

    2. Deb, have you tried using Zyrtec on him? My cat has allergies and was losing fur on his belly. The vet tech I trust, suggested giving him 1/4 tab of Zyrtec a day for 2-3 weeks ( the 10 milligram size). I have been going to this vet clinic for 20 years and she’s been with them the whole time. She’s been amazing for all my cats over the years. It took a while, but his fur has finally grown back in.

  24. My PODs are the lawn which still needs mowing where I stopped when the two mower batteries died of exhaustion, cleaning house for company that is coming to dinner tomorrow. and gearing up to cook dinner for two picky eaters, a pescatarian like me, and a carnivore. The carnivore is out of luck. I am still dealing with this sinus problem, and my hair still looks more and more like Einstein every day. And something I volunteered for came due in the middle of this, and I can’t do it until it might be too late, once I get past the dinner. That fills me with guilt.

    POD unloaders are my kids being back from vacation, a cool day for a walk, the mower batteries recharging just fine, and feeling a little better each day.

  25. I’ve going through my Stuff lately as my sister ran-off with her college boyfriend – we are all Boomers, so you do the math – and left me with a lot of her Stuff. Since beginning the process I have found quantities – boat load?? XXit ton – of empty Stuff Holders. Two complete canister sets, not counting all the Cambro ones I bought to hold all my flour(s) and sugar(s) purchased and not used during lock-down. Tiny bins, big bins, bins with flip lids, bins with lids, bins with no lids. Don’t even get me started on my yarn bins. Every time I pick up an empty container I think about George Carlin and His Stuff and I wonder if My Stuff will like it in this new place. P.S.: How much of your POD contained your Stash??

    1. About one quarter. One quarter yarn, one quarter books, one eighth clothes, three eighths furniture. All of it heavy.

  26. I’m so grateful to be able to go walking whenever I want, read whenever I want, watch anything whenever I want, cook, clean, organize, make a mess, draw, not draw, sleep, stay awake, whatever and whenever I want.

    I’m not sure life was like this even as a kid, maybe a bit when playing outside, but not in school or at home.

    I hadn’t realized that most of my life was one big POD full of what other people wanted me to do and what I guiltily felt I was supposed to do, and all the things I truly had to do, until I just stopped doing most of it.

    Many people keep asking me if I’m bored since retiring 4.5 months ago, and urging me to start a business or volunteer somewhere 40 hours a week or get another job or travel extensively.

    Other people, far fewer, really seem to understand how miraculous life is feeling now, despite my health issues. So much lighter.

    1. Diane, I completely understand. I retired a year ago in March and I have been enjoying life ever since then. For all the reasons you list too, as well as laughing at the antics of my newest cat, Pippin.

  27. The elder family pet, a chihuahuahuahua, died a en route to the Vet Emergency Room. Lola was a part of the family for 13 years. She is survived by the dotter, four grandchildren, me, and Zoe. I don’t know what breed Zoe is. She’s one of those who jumps in place three feet.

    Lola will be greatly missed.

    1. I’m so sorry about Lola Gary. It’s so hard when they go while you’re holding them, trying to get them help. Well, it’s hard any time. I’m glad you had thirteen years with her.

    2. many sympathies.
      terriers jump like that. Probably lots of others too but I’m remembering a Jack Russell from a house sit. I only spent a month with him, 15-20 years ago. He is still a happy spark in my mind jumping and running for the shear joy of it.

    3. Chihuahuas are amazing. I’ve never known a boring one. So much personality in such a small package. My condolences.

  28. I’m happy for “Little Guy” who is destined for a new name. That he now has a new, loving and caring human to take care of him.

    Good luck with the unpacking and organizing of your new home!

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