I feel like this year has brought with it a shifting of ground.
Many of our friends and neighbors are moving out all at the same time, and it’s given our family a reason to pause and take inventory on what we want and need. Jared’s work has also had a lot of changes and shake-ups, which, for a time we were both getting used to. And, as things have evolved, we find ourselves without much to look forward to in that arena. Our lifeline just one day snapped.
Additionally, the landscape of our neighborhood is changing drastically. Some construction and improvements are for the better, others I could do without. Change is in the air. It’s as if these changes have jostled something loose in my mind. Something I had stuffed in a dark corner, and shut the door. Something I was afraid of, and thus cemented my life so firmly in place; I swore nothing would ever change. But my life is changing. Everything is changing. I can’t stop it, and I’m starting to see its inevitability.
The first couple years that we lived in our small home I looked at changes we made in terms of “when we move”. I saw the quirks (like the lack of entry closet) as temporary. I consoled myself with thoughts of “the next house”. I suppose after moving 7 times in the first few years of marriage gives you this kind of perspective.
But as time passed, we forged connections here. I made some important life-long friendships.
We began binding ourselves to our home…not only to the neighborhood, but also to the investments of time and labor we’ve put into the walls of our home. The new counters, an added dishwasher, some paint on the walls. A freshly paved driveway. A few new shelves.
And that kind of attachment grew to mean so many things.
We fell in love with our neighbors.
Fell in love with the street we live on.
Discovered that our old home was actually built by Jared’s Great-Grandfather.
Anticipated the arrival of two ducks, lovingly named “Bob & Mary” that visit every spring.
Adored the small Arts-focused school that my little boy attends.
Saw the dollar movie theater as a lifeline on long days.
Spent summer days in the park eating picnics and crossing the road for swim lessons.
Got lost in the charming old library down the street.
Looked forward to the neighborhood 4th of July parade.
Danced to the Stratford Big Band every Valentine’s Day.
And found solace in the lovely murals that hang in the old church up the hill.
This is only a portion of the unique things that make our place our home.
It seemed as if I couldn’t let go of all that wonder. So, the next several years, I clung to the beauty that my little area offered. I drew plans on graph paper on how to add a basement. I watched Rehab Addict to see exactly how it was done to a similar homes. And queried neighbors on the methods they used for remodeling. I just knew we had to stay here. To make do with what we had. To make it work. To solve the mystery of every small corner. To live here forever, until we were as old as our home. 100 years.
Maybe we aren’t so different from other families after a time. We first bought this home, unsure if it would be our forever home, but most likely saw it as a starter home. After all, it does only have 2 bedrooms and 1 small bathroom. And though we saw this as an opportunity to be schooled by the past and one hundred years of family life this home has seen, we have maybe learned all we can about fitting modern life into small spaces. It seems like it might be time to move on. Even living simply requires growing and adjusting to the right size. I’m certainly fond of the term Right-Sizing. Not too big and not too small. Just right. With growing boy bodies in our little home I see our space being a little like Alice in Wonderland when she grows so big her head is in the attic and her feet go right through the living room windows. I see that circumstance in our near future
This kind of sounds like an announcement, if it weren’t for the fact that we are living in the space between. A place where our future is erased, and we have no leads on where it might be taking us. Waiting in the wings, as it were. We aren’t even in a place where we can decide with any degree of certainty. To move? Really? I can only imagine that the answer is, yes, soon. Perhaps we will know where and how when we find new employment. To change direction. I don’t know. I’m not sure it will be answered all at once.
So, this year, feels like we are heading toward something big and different, but we are not quite there. What to do while we are waiting in the wings? I’m not sure. I haven’t been able to answer that question with any satisfaction.
These things take time. It’s much like hatching a new baby in a family. You can’t rush these things. So, for now, we are being patient without quite knowing how. It’s uncomfortable. It’s stretching. I wish it could be fixed right now. But it won’t be. It will be miserable. It will be hard. There will be good moments in the mix. But the one meaning I do have is that I am certain we will get there. That place of understanding, acceptance, and direction.
And it’s as easy and as difficult as that. Perhaps it’s been to stop fighting the wave of disappointment, confusion, and misery–just surrender to it. There is no way around it, just through.
And so it goes…
The only thing I am certain of — nothing will be the same.
Seismic shifts are happening. And only time will tell what that means.