"The very nature of life is impermanent, yet we are constantly surprised at how things change. It is then that we realize to not take things for granted, to be able to appreciate the value of life, people and treasures of the heart. We must embrace the changes as opportunities to always value our joys." ~Sherry Petro-Surdel
I am perpetually reminded the older that I get that nothing is ever made to stay the same. Not only are we ever evolving and becoming new, but so are our surroundings- the people we spend our time with, the places we live, the activities we find joy in. For someone who actually doesn't mind change, this is a little scary for me. Not in the small things, perhaps, but in the more life changing things. The older I get, the more things seem to change on the more "life changing" end of the spectrum. This year has been no different.
For anyone who follows me or Dan on social media, you know that we recently moved within the last few months, and while this was a very necessary and positive change for us for many reasons, it was still incredibly life changing. Fifteen miles is all that separates us from the space we called home for the last nine years, but sometimes it seems like light worlds away. In fact, my husband would attest to the fact that the process of moving- from the moment we stepped foot into our current home during the showing until now- has been almost like going through the five stages of grief-for me at least.
I remember laying in bed knowing that I should be happy that we were finally going to be moving. Our lives would get exponentially easier. We would no longer have to wait in town all night long for kids to get finished with practices. No longer need to make several trips back to town in a week for church or to drop the kids off at a friend's house. We would already be there. That should have felt like a win, and instead it felt like I was grieving the death of a family member. I spent a lot of time crying and withdrawn.
Over the next few months, we would spend a lot of time frustrated that our house wasn't selling fast enough. We'd get our hopes up and then have them crushed. We'd spend too many hours cleaning and sorting and trying not to "live" in it to much, so the next time we had to show it, it wouldn't take so much time to clean. It was excruciating to be frank. However, it also gave us time to process. Instead of moving out in 6-8 weeks, we were given the gift of time. Time to spend with our friends. Time to do the things we loved to do in our little town during the summer. Time to slowly pack our lives into boxes and sort through years of memories.
Saying goodbye to our home was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. It meant closing a chapter in our lives that we really didn't want to be finished with. On the flip side, I'm loving our new home. I love the ease of being in one place. I love that my kids have friends that they can easily spend time with. I love that my older two can walk to school. BUT... I hate that my brother and sister are no longer a block away. I hate that my nieces can't bike on over to our house for a hug and make memories with their cousins. I hate that my best friends are that much further away. I hate that I can't Bodypump with Melissa in the wee hours of the morning or text Dawn and say "Wanna meet for a walk in 10?" I hate that I can't run on over to Casey and Amy's to borrow a cup of cheese or swing on by for a spontaneous chat for 5 or 10 minutes just because I can.
With this move there was grief but also lots of happiness, but some of our hellos and goodbyes have just come with heartbreak. Lately those have come in the form of Sawyer's best friend moving to Illinois, Jaedyn's grandma being given less than 6 months to live, and anxiety and depression that just don't seem to give me a break.
Change is hard. Life is hard. But I'm figuring out that change is exactly the catalyst that it takes to grow and shape us into who we are and who we want to be. Not all change is bad even if it at times it feels as though our worlds are caving in. In fact, the one major component I have been forgetting is that gratitude is EVERYWHERE. I've developed tunnel vision for what I don't have or what I'm missing which is preventing me from focusing on what I DO have. Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of change, I need to begin to focus on everything I have to be grateful for. I'm not in Hospers, but I am ONLY 15 miles away. It is my responsibility to keep my relationships a priority. The substance of our time together has changed, but it can still evolve into amazing things. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? If that's the case, then we will be just fine. I will be just fine.
I choose gratitude.