525,600 Minutes | Confessions of a Stay-At-Home Mom

June 27, 2011

525,600 Minutes

One year ago yesterday, Hubby and I rented a U-Haul truck and with the help of our friends and family, moved into our first house. A house that we bought. With our own money.  Er, the bank's money. A few days prior to The Big Move, we had gone to settlement, signed 6,341 documents, and were given the keys to our new home.

That we owned.

We then left the settlement office and proceeded to throw up.

Just kidding!

(But seriously)

Since yesterday marks the anniversary of our Big Move, today marks another very special day in our lives as well:  as of today, we've officially lived the longest in one place than we have in over 5 years.  

366 days.  

A year and a day.  

Hard to believe? That's right friends: for the past 5 years, Hubby and I have changed addresses at least once every year, if not more than once a year.

Let me take a minute to count addresses.


Ok.  If memory serves correct, in 5 years we've had 7 addresses.

That makes my head spin.

But, for various reasons, we've had to move at least once every year during the span of our almost 5-year marriage.  I chalk much of this up to the fact that we were renters, and leases run 1 year.  Jobs and children were other contributing factors.

I'm not sure who is more happy about our stalwartness: Hubby and I, or all the friends who dreaded getting emails from us once (or twice) a year soliciting moving help in return for beer and pizza.

So, we can finally say that we've stayed put for over a year.  This is quite an accomplishment for us.

1 year.  And I will be honest with you: it was not an easy year.

Right before the Move, I shared my excitement and anxieties about the buying of our first home.  Even more than taking on an incredible amount of debt, there was a struggle for me over leaving my hometown and moving somewhere that was close but unfamiliar.

Last June, when the last piece of furniture was put into place and the moving van was returned, I was forced to accept that this was our house. Our home. Our new life. For at least the next 3 years, anyway, since we partook in the First Time Buyers credit so graciously offered by our government.  I was hit by the fact that I was 30 minutes away from most things, most notably the comfortable and familiar things, as well as friends and family.  Hormones were off-kilter since I was 3 months pregnant. And it was one hot Summer.

So, I spent the better part of last summer with a mixture of Buyers Remorse and Homesickness.  I wouldn't say I was depressed, but I was not happy.  I couldn't come to grips with the fact that we'd paid more money on one thing than we ever had in our entire lives.  I hated I was "far" from home.  I don't like change. And this was a BIG change.

It was hard to talk to people about it, although I tried.  I came off unappreciative of what I had and unaware of how lucky I was.  Most friends attempted to refrain (though some failed) from rolling their eyes at my talk of wanting to move back home, since Hubby and I had already been labeled as restless from our countless other moves.

"You need to stay in one place for a while!  Stick around for MORE than a year!"

"You have an AWESOME house and you live in an AWESOME town!  What's there to be unhappy about?"

"You're there for a reason."

I knew how lucky I was to have a roof over my head, and a nice one at that.  I knew that we'd moved a ridiculous amount of times, and it would be good for us to be settled for a while.  But changes of the heart don't happen over night.  They take time.  And growth. And maturity.

A lot happened over the past year: We lost 3 grandparents we loved. We welcomed our second daughter into the world. We struggled financially.  We were blessed financially.  We griped about the commute.  We started to appreciate the beauty in the roads between here and our hometown.  We had good days.  We had bad days.  We cried a good bit.  We laughed a lot.  We rearranged furniture. We painted our bedroom.  We acknowledged the fact that most days our town smells like poo (it's big into the mushroom farming industry). We despised how NOT CLOSE we are to everything.  We had a gorgeous Autumn.  A cold and dreary Winter.  A fresh Spring.  We are looking forward to what I hope is a radically different Summer than last.

And I've learned a lot about accepting circumstances.

Something innate in us bucks against circumstances that we don't like. It's just how we are wired. If things do not go the way we had intended, we struggle and fight and mope and mourn over what was supposed to have been.  I spent the better part of this year struggling. Fighting. Moping.  Mourning.  But I do not think that is bad; I think it's part of the process of acceptance.

I'm not sure if you've ever seen the movie The Abyss, but this clip comes to mind when I think about struggling with our circumstances:

Breathing in fluid is unnatural, and everything in our body rejects the notion of liquid being brought into our lungs.  But (for the purposes of this sci-fi movie) it works. It's breathing. Just a different kind of breathing.  The more you fight it, the harder it is to breathe.  But if you relax and accept it, it works.  And becomes the new normal.

So... I'm learning to breathe.  I'm getting used to the new normal.  I still fight it sometimes, I still struggle.  But I'm on the road to acceptance, and it's quite a journey.

Here's to 366 days of the New Normal, and the 365 days to come. 

Thanks for being along for the ride.

How do you measure a year?

1 comment :

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