Ever since I first met my husband, my life has felt like it has been in transition. From me moving into my first flat where I began to grow into a step mother figure to my step children, through us buying and renovating our first home while I did my teacher training, to finding out I was pregnant and adjusting our plans to that (twice) and managing to plan a wedding along the way, everything has felt like it has constantly been on the move. Me and my husband have only been together for five years, and in that time we have managed to do what most people would (quite sensibly) take ten to fifteen years doing. It’s quite ridiculous to think that five years ago I was single and now I am married with four children and a house that I own, and whenever I get a chance to pause for breath I do also try to remember to count my blessings as well as complain about how much there is to do.
A life that is constantly changing and evolving is not without its challenges. Every day I am challenged mentally, emotionally, financially and physically (just how tired is it possible for one human to be??) and often it can feel hard to keep up. I can still remember whole days as an undergrad student when I would wake up in the morning with nothing that actually had to be done that day. Nothing at all. Can you still imagine or remember that feeling? My guess is if you are the type of person who reads blog posts about parenting then the feeling will be a decidedly distant one. Sometimes there is no doubt that I long for that feeling to return, even if it were just for one blissful day, because goodness knows I would appreciate it much more now than I ever did back then.
But then I remind myself of what those days would be lacking, if they were to ever become the norm once again. They would lack laughter, cuddles and kisses, intense emotion (of every kind) and love that having a family around you brings. Because that’s what causes chaos, in so many ways throughout people’s lives, isn’t it? It’s love, for someone or something, that forces us out of our comfortable cocoons and into action, but that also makes us put up with the mess and the madness, so that we may revel in the magic.
The thing that inspired this post was our recent decision to sell our house and move. Despite the erratic manner in which I live my life, I actually really like getting comfortable. I like metaphorically nestling in, to a place or a situation, finding my bearings and making it my own. For those who know me well, I am sure they will agree that I tend to stick around, whether it be in jobs, friendships or relationships. Our house is too small though, and there is no arguing with that. As I have talked about before, it has two bedrooms, and we have four children 😱 so the time has come to move on, which is what we have decided to do.
As is standard for us, everything seems to be moving rather quickly (I don’t want to jinx it by talking about it too much but send us positive mortgage related thoughts please) and it feels like a lot to take in. We will have been in our house for four years on the 1st of September – if we are still in it by then – and even though four years is quite a long time it really has gone in a flash and such a lot has happened since then. Under this roof we have played and giggled and fought and cried and made up, my husband proposed to me in the garden here, and for my two boys it is the only home they have ever known. We have created a lot of memories in that time and they won’t be easy to leave behind.
But I suppose that’s the point – they don’t get left behind, not really, nothing does. Everyone is the sum of their experiences, and our experiences here have helped us to grow into the people we are today, and will continue to do so in the next house we buy. We don’t need to hold onto physical possessions, not really, despite the comfort they can provide, what we actually need to hold onto is memories and each other. So that is what I will do, and it is how I will cope with yet another big life change. I will appreciate it for what it is – a change for the better – and I will try to enjoy and embrace the process as well as the end result. Because one day there will be no need to keep chopping and changing, and the children will grow up so life will slow down as we are no longer the epicentre of the action, and then I will miss the planning, and the anticipation, and the adapting to something new. And in my cosy little nest on days when there is nothing that I have to do I will long for the manic, tiring, intense days that are filled to the brim with and also completely fuelled by love.