The last several months have been so full, so far flung and so full of impossibly optimistic dreams. After a summer of new summer camps (sailing/fishing/apple), a quick band rehearsal jaunt to Atlanta, and an epically soul stirring trip to Alaska, we entered a sort of self defined hell.
We are in the midst of moving from a huge house to a much smaller one. We are swimming in crap as we figure out how to fit a family of 5 (all with a wide variety of interests) into a typical suburban house. A family where we are all together most of the time!
We have added a wall, ripped out some cabinets and ceiling and gotten rid of truck loads of stuff. Towards the end I was using a wet vac to vacuum up a sea of plastic detritus from the old play space. I vacuumed up and threw away pencils, lego pieces, marbles, polly pocket clothes, and even change. I could not pick up and sort one more freaking thing.
And now we are settled, sort of, and trying to find places for our pickled shark, and thousands of books, and galleries full of artwork, and vintage linens, and, and, and.... you get the idea.
More and more is going out. Thrown away or given away. There is no attempt to sell anything or pack it away until later. It is out.
And it is liberating and energizing.
What I have realized is:
Acceptance of the discomfort and mess is key. It really does little good to complain or even constantly mention the state of chaos we are in. We know. It works better to accept and put your nose back to grindstone. Every once in a while we look up and realize, "Hey! progress is being made." This is temporary and is nothing compared to what many in the world deal with. We are struggling because of our abundance and affluence. You can not really complain about that with out sounding like a complete shit.
We do not have to do everything ourselves. We do not like to ask for too much help, but sometimes it not only helps with the task at hand, but also give a big energy boost. For example, hiring out some painting at our old house was hard. We never hire out what we can do ourselves. But it was so worth it! It took a professional a few days what would have taken us a week.
It is good to question and redefine everything. I have been met with questions and concerns (Why would you move to that side of town? Will you be able to live in a smaller space? How can you leave your cool old house?) I often wonder about the assumptions and questions that we have each internalized. The type of voices that do not allow us to take risks or strive to live a life closer to our true selves.
We are doing this so my husband can stay home. So we can hang out with our kids and friends. So we can spend our time creating and traveling. The pay off is huge and the work is worth it. There is a risk for sure - if we can not sell our house, for instance. But if we keep flexing our adventurous muscles and trying new things, I think we will be able to fall on our feet no matter what happens.
And no matter how some things get turned upside down, there are many constants that keep us grounded. Movie nights and family dinners, caring for our pets, hanging twinkle lights inside, making art, reading good books aloud, spending time with our friends, being outside and just keeping the conversation flowing all make us know that we are always home, no matter where we are.
(a big reason this house works - a huge acre back yard!)
(and cows to watch through the kitchen window)
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