So, we moved. Again. This is my 13th move in 17 years in the US and frankly, as I tell anybody who listens and even those who only pretend to, I just want to gather some moss already! I am tired and exhausted from being a rolling stone.
As a student, while pursuing my Master’s, I moved from one apartment to another so basically, a new apartment for each year. Then, to a third in a different state for my first job. Then, to student housing again while pursuing my doctorate program and somehow ended up living in five of those student apartments in four years, don’t even remember how. Then, I moved to Chicago for my big professorial adventure and rented a beautiful convertible (a fancy name for a slightly bigger studio apartment) two blocks from Michigan Avenue and a stone’s throw from the beautiful Lake Michigan and one of the beaches.
When Aaron and I decided to move in together, we rented a place, this time, a pebble’s throw away from Michigan Avenue and eventually, we also bought a place, okay, this time, maybe a rock’s throw away but still ridiculously close to all the happenings of a beautiful city that I love so, so much.
Finally, after we bought a place, I figured, this was it. I can settle in and start collecting that much coveted moss. Alas! Life had other things in store for us and we moved. Sigh. A year and a half later, here we are. Another move.
I had previously written about a disappointing search where the home owner ditched us on the day we were to sign a lease. Thankfully, this time, with only a few hiccups, everything worked out. We moved to our current place last week and we are still in the midst of boxes and unpacking. We are functioning just fine since all the of the major components of a home are all set up – the kids’ rooms, specifically, are almost all done and they have been able to sleep in their own rooms since the day we moved in. The kitchen too, after a lot of take-out trash, has finally started to smell like home cooked food again. Of course, everything is a work in progress and there is a lot that still needs to be done.
With every move, one of the things I have been able to do is get rid of all the excess stuff that I have accumulated over the years. Likewise, one of the biggest things I did after this move was get rid of 99% of all of my clothes that I had been saving for the days when I would finally lose all the weight gained with the two pregnancies. My clothes ranged all the way from 2P- 8P (Ahh…those dating days when I was actually able to comfortably fit into size 2). That means, all 17 pairs of work pants, 14 pairs of jeans, 13 dresses, 2 suits, 2 blazers/jackets, a number of blouses/tops/shirts/sweaters/jewelry…all GONE…donated to Goodwill. I may have even more, I just haven’t unpacked everything yet.
Going through all of my stuff, sorting, categorizing, folding, piling up…made me realize just how much we hoard in life. Not all of us, but a lot of us do...if you aren’t doing it because it is a mental disorder and you can’t help yourself somehow, it may be, like me, for a “what if” or “when” situation. Because I used to wear those things/clothes/shoes/bags/jewelry once upon a time and even though I see that life in my rear view mirror, there seems to be no going back to that same place again…and YET…somewhere along the drive, I hoped to get there anyway, eventually. I am talking about my weight, of course.
As I tried to stuff myself into my 6P stretch jeans, only to give up and accept reality, I could see there was no going back…at least not right away. It may take a few months or a few years but I am no longer going to live with one eye on that rear view mirror because that’s a recipe for a crash waiting to happen. Besides, it does feel very good to get rid of stuff…some that I barely wore and others that I never did and had bought just before I became pregnant. Even though I always look for deals and never buy anything at full price, to buy everything I just donated, I would still have spent $2k-3k.
It warms my heart thinking that all of these things I owned will find new homes. I felt that way after I donated all my maternity clothes to a local shelter for pregnant women too. There, of course, is that whole other side of giving…is it selfish to give when that giving makes you, the giver, happy..As long as it is benefitting someone else, be happy for yourself too. Right?
Anyway, so this is a nice big house where, as I wrote before, both kids get to have their own rooms. Us, parents get our own room and we even have a guest/office room. We have a small kitchen in which we had trouble placing all our things but I also donated of a lot of kitchen stuff and got creative with space management so, so far, we are holding okay.
One space that I am really excited about is the family room which we have converted into the kids’ playroom. We did put a chaise in there so there is some seating for adults, but mostly, I am designing this space so all of the kids’ toys can stay contained in one room instead of spilling over into ALL the other rooms like it did at our old place. Stay tuned for how to create a playroom on a budget post.
Finally, we have a backyard and we love it. With a lemon tree, an apricot tree, and a fig tree, we have enough shade to hang out on a warm day and enough sun to stay warm when the California cold gets just a little too uncomfortable. We have already juiced a few of the lemons and made lemon soda a couple of times. Even though I am not much a citrus desert lover, I do love lemony drinks and I’m going to have to look up some recipes for all kinds of lemon related things, desert and otherwise.
I love the idea and experience of living in a house. I have never lived in a house or what would be called, a bungalow in India, before. I have lived in condominiums and apartments, both owned and rented, stayed in student housing, and done Airbnb rentals at other people’s houses but to live in one, for real, even if it is another rental, is a learning process.
I like having the independence of my space without worrying about neighbors. I like driving into my garage from a driveway and a mailbox that hangs out just beside the entrance to the driveway. I like having a backyard and mature trees and the openness it provides the kids. I definitely like the space and that is a big one. I like the neighborhood’s residential feel with neatly manicured lawns, people walking at all times of the day and night. I like walking into a home, my home (even a rented one).
I do not like the extra security we feel like we need. A friend’s home was recently broken into and that has scared us enough to hook up our home with all kinds of cameras and an alert system. It is a different experience, that’s for sure. I also do not like that getting everywhere is at least an extra 5 minutes. Since moving, we have lost our proximity to the highway. We aren’t too far but that extra bit hurts when I am in a rush to get the kid to school in the mornings. I also wish the trees were those of Avocado and Persimmons, instead of apricot and figs, although I do also like these fruits.
Overall though, this has been a good change for us. We are liking living here a lot already. The kids have already gotten used to the space and having a room just for all their toys. We love that their messes stay in one room or at least they have for now. I like that we have our bedroom back and don’t have to whisper to each other because one of the kids is sleeping in the same room. TJ loves hanging out in the backyard and wants to join me in plucking the ripe apricots from our tree.
Here’s hoping for better and brighter days in a new home. Cheers.
Other than that, it is business as usual. I look forward to getting back into blogging again. I am not sure if what and how I write about things will change or if it will at all since the biggest emotional experience of my life, but all things considered, much as I hate giving into the cliche…life goes on.