If you follow me on Facebook, you’ll know I’m in the middle of one of the top life events that cause major stress.
It’s not death of a loved one, or marriage or divorce, but moving.
I’m moving. I can say that with a little less trepidation than, say, three weeks ago. I’m getting to the part where I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s not on-coming traffic.
It’s an almost empty house. Except it’s not at all empty. Yet.
It’s the yet part that’s stressing me. I want this over and done. My hubs declared “I’m done!” about a week ago, when the wall oven we ordered, and paid a small fortune for, didn’t fit. That’s right. It didn’t fit. Yes, they are standard sizes. Now. Back when our house was built in 1999, the cabinet depth was…shorter. Ovens were shorter. Today’s ovens are…longer.
I did not know that. And it seemed, no one at the store knew it either.
So for almost two weeks, the oven, out of it’s box, sat on our kitchen floor in all it’s stainless steel glory. In front of the cook top, so we couldn’t access that either.
That’s when hubs threw up his hands and made his declaration of independence.
I can’t blame him. He wanted to just burn the place to the ground rather than move. I believe he’d just rather not have spent the money it took to get us this far. Spend money to make money. So we hired a handyman to get the oven to fit. He did a great job and in only a few short hours, the oven was installed.
Hubs made another declaration. “We shall not now, or in the future, use this oven and destroy it’s pristine existence.” So, yeah, no oven. But we can get to the cooktop now, so there’s that.
Now we’re on hold, waiting for the auction house to come and pick up our entire house of stuff. Everything, except what we’ve already packed and moved into a 5′ x 10′ storage unit. (Thanks, kids! I knew I had you both for a reason.) But we’ve been here for 16 yrs and we have accumulated a lot of stuff. A. Lot. Of. Stuff.
And it’s all going. As I told my kids, it’s only stuff. We will buy more stuff. New stuff. But much much much less stuff. We will embrace minimalism. We will learn to live with less. And in return, we will be more mobile, more sleek and shiny and able to travel at the speed of “Hey, let’s go there!” So, we’re giving up what used to be our dream – owning a home, having lots of stuff to prove our “worth”, and that glory of glory, subdivision life, for a new set of dreams.
We’re reinventing ourselves. We’re going to be homeless from April to August. Live out of suitcases and in hotels. We’re going to get in our car and drive to places we’ve never been before (cooler, less hot, places, hubs declares) and see some of our country while we can still drive, and our kids will still sit in a car with us for an extended period of time.
It’s a big change for them. They’re young and only really remember this house as their home, even though we lived in two other houses and an apartment before landing here. This has been home for them, true. But they have seen change! They have seen their mom (me!) start an entirely new and different career as an author while keeping the old corporate career and finally retirement and full time writing. They’ve seen their dad go from manager of a business to stay-at-home dad, to owner of his own business and then to retirement. No strangers to change, these kids.
And we always spoke of change to them. That things change. Stuff changes. Houses. Cars. Schools. Jobs. Even friends. But never our family. Our family is the one constant in their lives. Our family is HOME. Where we live makes no difference. House. Apartment. Hotel. Those are just places. Our family being together, loving each other, supporting each other – that’s where home is.
Sure, it’s a little scary. But in each of our own ways, we’re looking forward to this new change. To the travel. To the new apartment that will be our home for the next 4-5yrs. To being in the same town again so we can hang out, if they want to, or just have lunch or dinner together to reconnect. The kids have tasted independence and they love it. I love it. Hubs loves it. But we also love being together every now and then.
Forget the crap of life that we gathered along the way. Letting it all go has been freeing to all of us and has made us all realize, that despite all the crap that goes along with unloading our stuff, our possessions, and willowing through it all to pick and chose what is most valuable to each of us, we’ve got a better, more focused, understanding of how little physical things we need, and how important our family is to us.
I hope that everyone out there who reads this has a place they call home. Has people who are home.
Who is your home?