I’m not sure what is going on. I didn’t feel much like writing for a long time, and for the first time I seriously considered shutting my blog down. Things have changed so much in the ten years I’ve been doing this, and it seemed like maybe it was the end of an era. And maybe it is, but I’m not ready to call it quits yet. There is good stuff yet to come, and I like the motivation to write that having a blog gives me. Without it, I will only scribble a few journal entries occasionally, which typically end up in the trash because they feel too unfiltered and if something happened to me I wouldn’t want anyone to see them.
There has been so much struggle to get to the place I’m at, and now that I’m here I don’t take any of it for granted. I made mistakes when I was young and had my whole life ahead of me. I couldn’t see that until I had young adult children myself, and can see how differently they are living in their twenties. It put it in perspective, the difficulties we’ve faced building this family, how precarious it was at times and how much it wrung out of us just to keep it going- and not just going but moving forward in a positive direction. Life is hard for most people, and to be responsible for these four beautiful children and somehow offer them a better life than we had without a whole lot of help or resources was something that I now see, in hindsight, as a monumental task,
This is hindsight speaking, and I didn’t see it so clearly as it was happening. It’s only now that I’ve been able to slow down and reflect, now that we have enough margin in our life, both financially and emotionally, that I understand. I understand why life felt so hard and I’m grateful that we hung in there and eventually it got easier. The life I have now is precious and I wouldn’t trade it for anything, but I’m glad my own kids are making different choices. My daughter is dating an engineer who treats her like a princess. They are moving slowly in their long-distance relationship, living separate lives while they build their careers and finish their education, enjoying being young and relatively free. This one thing makes me incredibly happy, seeing the way my daughter chooses wisely and values herself.
I wrote a little while ago about our next move, that I was tired of wandering and wanted to put down roots (aka, buy a house). Well, maybe that’s not going to happen. We’ve had the winter to think this over, to see how my husband’s new job is going and figure out our next step. We still have two more months, and I haven’t been in any rush to decide. I was open to the idea of staying in New Hampshire and buying a house, and I looked actively for several months. But my heart wasn’t in it, and I didn’t find anything that seemed just right. At this point in our lives we are old enough to be downsizing even more, and a large mortgage is out of the question. And the cheap homes, the fixer-uppers, felt dreary and depressing and like they would require a ton of work and energy that we don’t have. We’ve done it before, but we were younger then.
I didn’t even find anything in our desired price range that I wanted to go see. And I knew that we weren’t committed enough financially to buying a home- instead we chose to take a family vacation, which is something we wouldn’t have done if a home were our priority. I mentioned to my husband that I wasn’t sure anymore about anything, and that I was willing to try living closer to NYC for a year if it would benefit his job. He agreed right away. He doesn’t need to be in the city every day, and hopefully it will never come to that, but being able to get there more easily (as a day trip) will be a good thing for his job. It’s expensive to live within two hours of Manhattan, so it will have to pay off financially to be worth it. We’ll give it a year and see how it goes.
Meanwhile, I’ve got my own dreams to work on. Now that my life is easier I am craving adventure, wanting to do the sort of things that people normally do in their twenties. Physically I feel good, better than I felt ten years ago in fact. Stress can make you sick, and as I’ve become more relaxed I’ve started to feel better. Menopause is coming, but I’m not scared. I want to do something special to mark this new season of my life, but since I’m not wealthy and I still have two kids at home it will have to be something that fits into the parameters of the life I have. No Pacific Coast Trail or trips to India (not that I’d want to do anything like that anyway).
I suppose that in its own way, moving to New Jersey will be an adventure… but I know the reality of day to day life there, whether we end up in the quieter northwestern part or in a shore town, won’t be that different from life here in seacoast New Hampshire or life on the Front Range of Colorado. I will explore and find cool things to do, for sure, but I’d still like to do something that feels like more than day to day life, the suburban homeschooling mom thing.
I had told my husband a while ago that I wanted one of two things to happen by my fiftieth birthday: either to be settled in my own home, or to be okay with the fact that we live a wandering life. I truly wasn’t sure which path to pursue. But I’m beginning to be more comfortable with the nomadic aspect, not feel like it’s something to be embarrassed about. Once I realized that I didn’t have to explain or apologize for the way I am, I began to embrace it. That feels freeing.