Posts made in September, 2012

Moving on Up

Posted by on Sep 5, 2012 in Marriage & Family, Mental Health | 4 comments

Moving on Up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A couple weeks ago my family made the big move from the 110 degree heat of our Texas home on up to a new home near the mountains. We are so excited. The weather is beautiful. The scenery is amazing. The view from my front porch swing takes my breath away every morning while I wake up with my cup of coffee.

We’ll check back come winter. I’m a Texas girl – I feel a chill when the temps drop into the fifties at night, and I wear my new fleece everywhere. Bug is equally easily chilled and wears a hoodie all the time, even during the day when it’s almost Texas warm. I asked a local mama how to dress my kids for winter and she said just pants and a hoodie, unless it’s “bitter cold, like in the teens.” Ummmm… a glance at me in my fleece and Bug in her hoodie suggests we find it to be bitter cold in the heat of summer, so either we’re going to have to toughen up over the next few months or get some serious winter coats.

Other than my nervousness over the impending winter weather, the ease with which this move took place reassures me and gives me an extra measure of peace that we’re in the right place. Bug, Bear, my mom, and I left Texas early afternoon, drove 6 hours to spend the night in a hotel before driving the remaining 6 hours the next day, while Husband drove our moving truck containing everything we own and our two badly behaved, overly active large breed dogs. I just envisioned how it could all go very, very badly, and I kind of braced myself for car trip meltdowns, hotel room sleep disruptions, and possibly tense mother daughter moments. None of that happened. Bug and Bear were a dream for every moment of the trip. We slept great in the hotel. My mom commented on how safe my driving made her feel – that is a miracle. We ate the most delicious carne asada burritos from a restaurant inside a Conoco station instead of greasy burgers for our road trip meal.

When we arrived at our new home, we had barely started unloading and arranging furniture when a neighbor showed up to see how we were doing and introduce himself. He left and then returned about 10 minutes later with his sons and they stayed until everything we own was unloaded, making quick work out of something that otherwise would have taken all night. It was such kindness, and after all that, he and his wife came back over with a homemade dinner for us and lots of extra food.

The next day I watched Bug and Bear in our backyard playing on their new swing set.

Our neighbors came out to talk and introduce themselves. Our yards have low fences separating them, so the setting lends itself to running into people and conversing. I find myself having trouble getting my kids bathed and in bed on time because our neighbors come out in the evening and we get caught up talking over the fence, or lifting one set of children over the fence to play with another set of children, and everyone is having so much fun that bed time just doesn’t seem important. I love it. I told Husband that it’s strange to me, although we’ve only lived in this new place a couple of weeks, I feel less alone than I have in a long time.

I am really struck by how nice people are here. It’s not that people weren’t nice where we lived before, but there was a busyness, a self focus, a pretty serious emphasis on money and financial success. The pace here is different. People are more into playing outside than building castles full of beautiful things. People take time to stop and talk, to get involved with their community, their neighbors, the people in their path throughout the day. What was intended to be a quick stop at a farmer’s market last week turned into a two hour trip spent having one interesting conversation after another with the people we encountered. I just notice an ease of enjoying life and the people who are in it in this new place.

This change of pace has made me aware of how tightly wound I’ve become. Here, I notice I’m out and everyone around me seems so content and at peace, and I realize I’m tense and on edge. It has made me exhale, relax, let go, and enjoy. Instead of sticking to our daily schedule with a vengeance, I take the time to let the unexpected events of each day take us where they may. Instead of becoming hyper-focused on the plan that’s outlined in my brain at the start of the day, I allow us to get distracted and off course if something or someone interesting presents a new opportunity. Instead of worrying about all that there is to worry about, I look out over the mountains and feel such a sense of awe and peace and enormous gratitude, say my prayer, and leave my worry at God’s feet.

I’m writing this all down partly to update those friends and family who are curious about our new adventure, and partly to call attention to the phenomenon of busyness and preoccupation that seems to pervade our culture and keep us from really noticing the people and circumstances around us that are worth our attention, worth laying down our agendas and getting off track. I just didn’t realize all of the pressure and wrong priorities I had allowed to settle on me until I got here and felt the tangible peace and enjoyment of slowing down and letting go.

Here are some of the unexpected and spontaneous adventures we’ve gotten to enjoy so far…

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Feeding the giraffes at the zoo

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Making a quick stop to hike a trail that looked fun on our way somewhere else

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Spontaneous off-roading and hiking trip on our way home after we dropped off the moving truck

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We made the long and adventurous drive to the top of Pikes Peak

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Chipmunk sighting – it joined us on our hike and followed us the entire way

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Our mountain girls hiked to the top of a waterfall

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A spontaneous drive took us a couple hours from home to beautiful Rocky Mountain National Park

Thank you to all of the friends and family who have prayed for us and checked in on us.  We are very comfortable here and are enjoying our new home.  Come visit!

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