Thursday, April 28, 2016

What We Are Working For

For community. For closeness. For more time together and less time in a car. Those are the things we work for.

I wrote the words above just a couple of weeks ago. We had met up with my sister and her family to track down the baby great horned owls at one of my favorite parks, which also happens to be within walking distance to their house and in our dream-for-where-we-are-at-the-time location.

After we saw the owls and the kids played we picked up food to go and while they girls happily ate together so did we and everyone got all snuggled into their pjs before saying our goodbyes. It was such a wonderful few hours and the kind of random get-together we have been dreaming of and that has been one of our strongest motivations for moving, to be able to randomly call up any number of friends in the area we are aiming for and have spontaneous time together rather than having to have everything planned out and have it all feel like such a production, because, for us, this sweet time together was capped with a 40 minute drive each way and though it ended beautifully with pj-clad cousins saying goodbye, that 40 minutes can add a little grime to any occasion.

That night, on a high from such a fulfilling time, I was finally able to let go. To finally not feel any attachment to staying here where we are and feeling all in when it comes to moving forward. I had been waiting for that feeling, knowing it had to come eventually and when it came I felt such relief as I knew we were one step closer but not realizing how true that was at the time.

That all happened on a Saturday and on Sunday we buckled down for more decluttering with a renewed motivation, being able to really taste what we are working toward and as the week started my sister texted me saying a house down the street had a coming soon sign and we kind of laughed thinking, wouldn't that be crazy, ha-ha, not really thinking it was a contender.....buuuttt then we started looking more closely. I drove by and stared out the window. We found out more. Oh, three bedrooms, a covered porch, a nice backyard...hmm..right where we want to be..we know multiple people on the street...could you imagine? But...really? They go so fast...there's probably no way...but let's let our realtor know we are interested? And pictures were sent and pre-approvals were confirmed, a personal letter was written, earnest money was transferred and we had our feet in the door at the very earliest available showing and our offer on the table soon after and while we ate dinner that night some negotiation happened and another call came in and we ended with the winning offer and with a closing date of early June.

Fast. It all happened fast, but also so slowly as this moment has been years in the making. Finally. Finally. Finally. It all lined up. Everything that happened over this past month set us up to be exactly where we should be and it's happening. It's actually happening. Our community is waiting we just have to click in. We have been living as if we lived somewhere else for years but in actuality with most of our closest friends and favorite places kept at a distance and while I think this time has allowed for a lot of growth and I choose to be grateful for those lessons and this time, it will end soon and I am so indescribably thrilled!

My girls. They will thrive. We all will. I'm already planning our first Mama and I date to one of our favorite parks. Already imagining trips to our new library. Already dreaming of cousins running about together on the regular and of friends being able to drop by. Already dreaming of dropping by myself and getting to finally get back to little sneaky treats on peoples doorsteps on a more regular basis. Already planning my garden beds for next Spring. Already imagining a summer full of reconnecting with my ladies all around and E with his best friend that will also now be a short drive from our home. After so many years (going on eight) of having to drive so far to get to anyone or anywhere I want to go, I sat one night on google maps and put in our new address. Typing in any place I could think of wanting to go, I would smile and fill with joy when the answers would pop up. My favorite knitting store? 10 minutes. That friend? Six or seven minutes. Another? 12 minutes. Sister? A short walk. Hmm...the coffee shop I love? 13 minutes. The park we want to walk to all the time? Under a mile. And on and on and on until I got my fill. All the while knowing that even with the longer times of travel it was only because it was on little local roads rather than me having to speed down the highway at 60 miles per hour. That even when I would be 10 minutes from home it could really only be a few miles. Knowing that I will no longer have to spend hours in my car with unhappy children each week makes me feel elated. It all does. All of it. So much elation.

It's happening. At last, it is happening.

And as you can imagine we have been hustling even harder since we received the news those short five days ago. There is so much hustling to be done. So much stuff to get rid of. A current house to sell. Lots of steps and lots of work, but it's all for the greater good and all reaffirming bigger lessons that we need to continue to learn, but more on that later.


Sunday, April 10, 2016

Moving Forward by Letting Go

This afternoon I put flames to the page and watched years and years worth of words slowly burn away. For so long the small green suitcase that used to hold them has felt like a heavy boulder on my back, something that would nag at me from time to time to deal with it but that was pretty manageable back there, where I couldn't see it, only noticing from time to time when I had to move it around. I would move it this way or that, sometimes take a couple out to rip out pages I wanted to save, like what I wrote after my grandmother died, the letter to my dad after he died, a few notable moments or nice sentences that I wanted to revisit, but mostly looking at them would make me hurt and when something makes you hurt in such a big way I feel it's good practice to remove it from your life. 

So, at a certain point I stopped looking and a couple days ago while working on the art room I tossed them all into a canvas bag to hold them until they could make it to the fire pit this afternoon. It was a bit bittersweet to see them go, but mostly just sweet as I felt that boulder crumble and knew they wouldn't be hanging around anymore to taunt me or to remind me of the hurt and the confusion. Writing in journals for me is therapy, a way to process my darker times and help to find ways through them. And, just as I wouldn't want to revisit a therapy session over and over again or have them recorded for others to listen in on, I felt much the same about these pages upon pages of writing. Some would argue I should save them so my daughters could learn more about me, and I get that, but not with this, not with these. My daughters will know my stories and hear how we can do hard things, overcome obstacles, not have to let our circumstances define us and on and on, but they don't need to read those, I don't need to read those, nobody on this earth needs to read those. They served their purpose, they got me to where I am, and for that I will always be grateful, but now? Now they have received their viking burial of sorts and I feel so much freer for having sent them on their way. 

I Want to Remember... take my glasses off more often and nuzzle into the faces of my girls. I have often contemplated contacts for this reason alone - more chances for spontaneous nuzzling without glasses in the way.

...I riding around in tiny circles on her tricycle in her birthday suit. That girl and that bike - she's always been so skilled at it and so all about it.

...all the times I catch I saying "us" and "we" lately in reference to her and O. Rather than, "can you read me a book?" it's now sometimes "can you read a book to us?". A little change but a good one.

...completing I's first sewing machine project (a play quilt for her) and her spontaneously turning around to give me little kisses, telling me the time together with her learning and creating was just what she needed to fill her cup.

...I running around pretending to be a skunk and saying she's going to spray me with her "stinky mist" and then pretending to do so many times over the course of a few days.

...O taking off walking everywhere and making the switch from crawling and mostly just how happy she is, like when I had her help carry puzzle pieces back to me one by one and they were just going back and forth together as a team, I with her hand on O's shoulder and guiding her and them coming smiling back toward me. Oh my how sweet and wonderful it was. much I loves her mama mades. Her first three pairs of 'moon pants' are in constant rotation. great it feels to shed all of the extras and to do the hard work to get where we want to be - the reward will be that much sweeter for having done so.