After a few weeks of shifting and sorting, packing and moving, cleaning and working, crying and laughing, the dust is starting to settle after our big move. It took a good 3 weeks or so to regain some comfort in our new environment. But now it’s really starting to feel like home. And the boys and I have had several fun afternoons playing and painting in our new backyard.
Moving was hard for me. And truly, there were a few nights when I seriously contemplated selling our new house and staying in the old one. I think mostly because of the fears I was having from all the change. And then there are all those unexpected things that happen when buying an old house. On our very first day in the new place the toilet started leaking, the dryer plug wasn’t compatible with ours, the dishwasher was acting quirky and we discovered spliced wires and fire hazards. We’ve spent many, many late nights trying to regain a sense of normalcy – unpacking box after box. And after several trips to the thrift and hardware stores, calls to electricians and plumbers, and asking family members for help, we are finally at a place where things are starting to feel a little more manageable. The toilets are working, the dryer is drying, the dishwasher is running smoothly, and most importantly, the essentials – like underwear and toothbrushes – can easily be found once again.
Yes, knowing where my things are and getting out of boxes has helped. And another thing that has helped quiet my fears and bring up my comfort level is that our new neighbors have been incredibly kind and generous! It seems almost every day we are greeted by yet another smiling face, pumpkin bread and scented candles. Many of them have brought treats for our doggies, too. And they all sing the same tune. We’ve been here 34 years and LOVE it here. Once people move here they never leave. One nice man even told me, You are going to find that everyone here allows you to be who you want to be.
In just a few short weeks we’ve already been invited to a BBQ & Blues potluck, and Cocktails in the Cul-de-Sac party and a Halloween cookout. When we said we wanted to find a place in the woods, that had more space but was still connected to community, we had no idea we’d find something like this! It seems to be a diverse neighborhood, with people of all ages. There are several older couples that built their homes here, and there is a whole new generation of young families moving in, too. I’ve even met a stay-at-home mom who walks with a group every morning (yes, I’ve already been invited to that, too!), a homeschooling mom of 4, and a woman who has a passion for art-journaling. I think I’m going to like it here.
This home seems smaller than our old one in a lot of ways. We’ve been forced to simplify our “things.” And since I started my Reduce Clutter; Create Space mantra a few years ago, this experience of reducing even more has reminded me just how attached we can get to the past. But man, I feel so much more alive and free with LESS. And that is what I’m learning from this new home. Having less “things” makes it easier to find and enjoy the things we do have. Take for instance, clothes. Our closets are immensely smaller in this home, so we’ve decided to only keep our very favorites. And having less to choose from, for both the boys and myself sure makes the mornings easier.
What the home is providing us with is MORE experiences. There are walking trails right out our backyard that lead to open pastures. More trees to explore and more land to camp on. A lake to canoe, swim and walk around. A sun porch and deck perfect for entertaining or snuggling up with some knitting, a quilt and a warm cup of tea. And a neighborhood that exudes a love and enthusiasm for nature, connection and solitude.
I’m thrilled about our new space. It feels amazing to be here. And I’m grateful that I didn’t let fear keep me from moving.
Life can be scary and stressful and overwhelming for sure. Will our house ever sell? How long can we survive paying a double mortgage? Can we bring our work and family life more into balance so we can make more time to play? Will that dang home warranty pay for anything or is that toilet problem considered yet another “pre-existing” condition? How long is it going to take us to rake an acre of trees?!
But what I’m continually reminded of when I don’t let fear cloud my vision, and when I’m not too rushed to stop and listen, and when my heart is open to feel, is that joy and peace and wisdom and stillness and safety and security and happiness and abundance are all within reach – even during the most chaotic and stressful times. Because those things never go away. They move with you, because they are within you. Because they ARE you.
Now when I walk through the doors of my new home, I don’t focus on the spiders (haven’t seen any since we moved in – woo hoo!), or the paint splatters that the painters never fixed, or the cracked driveway that will soon need to be repaired. No, what I see is a gift. A peaceful place. A place where birds sing, where squirrels frolic, and where the sun glistens on the dancing leaves. Don’t get me wrong, this ain’t Pleasantville and I’m not living a life without its set of challenges, frustrations and stressors. Sometimes I experience so much stress at one time that I wonder how I am going to make it through. I have to remind myself to breathe. But what this move has done for me is create a bigger shift that I cannot ignore. I’ve been forced to shift my attitudes and my behaviors that don’t serve me anymore. It’s provided me with the reminder that peace, joy and happiness can and do come from connecting with nature, living more simply, doing less, and BEing me. This move has once again reminded me that I have a choice in this life – to live more fully, boldly and freely – right here and now. My thoughts and my attitudes control what I see. What I focus on grows. So I’m choosing to focus on the gifts before me so I can continue building the courage I need to create a life I love. This old house is teaching me things and I’m certain there are more lessons to come.
Your Personal Reflection:
What is missing in your life right now? Are you feeling stressed and disconnected from your own inner joy, peace, creativity, connection to others…? Remember that what you need most is within your reach, too, because it is within you. Allow yourself the space and time to get quiet enough so you can hear the messages in your heart. Focus on the little things you are grateful for in this moment and you will start to see things in a new way.