A friend asked me last week, “so what has moving been like?”
I am only a few months into the “change your whole life” process, but here are a few bullet points about the experience so far.
Moving has caused some shifts in my identity. It has changed my long-term plans, my job (I am not teaching this summer and have no teaching job lined up for the fall either), my sense of stability in and support from my community, and my day-to-day life substantially.
When we first moved here, David had to hit the ground running for his job, and worked a LOT. Things have calmed down, but throughout March/April, I spent many days entirely alone with only the girls and an hour or two with David to keep me “company.” I had to take responsibility for having some social interaction by calling friends or family members, going to the park even though it was freezing and starting conversations with random people, and being so friendly it was borderline socially awkward. I joined a small group boot camp class, which included Burpees (ugh) but helped me get social interaction with the same people 2x/week, and I have some friends now, but I literally haven’t been home this many evenings in a row since elementary school.
When you think of yourself as an active part of a social community, a friend, a teacher, AND a mom, and spend your days and nights accordingly…and then switch to spending 90% of your time with your kids without an outlet for some of those other parts of yourself, your identity shifts. It’s NOT bad. It’s not something to resent or rail against. It’s just different, and honestly, challenging in a good way, as I have to remind myself that my value is found in being a child of God–not in any of the roles/identities I play.
I’m trying to take this time as a gift, savor the opportunities to really dive in deep with my kids, learn what I can from the experience, be friendly, be curious, and be expectant that God will provide. Who knows what opportunities will emerge…and in the meantime, I am thankful for the character building and personal growth. (And hey! More time/mental energy to blog!)
Moving has made life calmer (at least temporarily). Before we moved, I felt like our pace of life was borderline stressful. I was always intentionally trying to calm it down and create more balance. Now, life is very calm. 🙂
Somehow I still can’t find time to do laundry though…
I know this will likely change as we build more relationships and as Zoe gets into elementary school, but the overall pace of life is slower here, and I think the life we build here will be calmer and slower too as a result.
Moving has made our family stronger. I LOVE my little family, and I am proud of what we have done together. We are a tighter-knit unit because we have HAD to spend more time together—we don’t know anyone else! We have had to be flexible and make new situations work (we lived in four houses in three months). We arrived during a cold, rainy season in a small town and had to find the joy in rainy day hikes, family movies, and making cookies together, because we couldn’t figure out what else to do with ourselves. In Florida, we had a constant roster of activities and friends keeping us busy; I feel like we have better discovered how to make our own fun, and I’m really proud of us for learning how to be more intentional and creative.
Moving has let us have new adventures! Everything (even a trip to a new grocery store) is an adventure when you’re trying it for the first time. We are having a blast exploring the beauty of our new state. Moving has made me even more grateful for the friends I left behind. Like I said, I am making friends here, but the high point of my day is often talking with friends from back home. I am so grateful for these wonderful friends, and look forward to visiting Florida in August for a girls’ beach weekend.