I made a lot of changes this last year and I drug my husband and family along for the ride. We have settled in from that round of change, and mostly my family is done hating me for it. No one is done complaining, but the hatred seems to be seeping out and we are back on track to normalcy. A small break before I start another round of change. However, the next round really just involves me and doesn't impact everyone on the same grand scale. They will still complain, but they really shouldn't.
We sold a big house. A really big house that I loved for years and that suited our family in a really practical and great way. Everyone had their own space, we celebrated life there with big extended family parties, friends flowed in and out the door, and it was a great place. Until it wasn't.
At some point I slowly started to hate the big house. Resent it. The upkeep, the maintenance, the empty space once my oldest daughter moved out...and the list goes on and on. So we sold it. That sentence is a very abridged version of the year and half journey it took to get it sold, but that's how I am choosing to remember the process...so we sold it.
We gutted our rental condo, redid it all like we were a show on HGTV and I was the designing star, and now we live here. This might also be an abridged version of how it actually happened, but it is how I am choosing to retell it.
My conservative husband had to be convinced this was a good idea. I won't say that there was an ultimatum given, because that seems unfair to the partnership of marriage, but there was an ultimatum given.
Telling people what we were doing became humorous too. Lots of wide eyes, lots of bewildered head nods, a few "Why would you do this?" "Won't you miss your big house?" "How will you all fit?"
My favorite was always, "But, you will by another house won't you?"
Sure, sure we will. But, I don't think we will. I don't want another house. Maybe we will buy another house or condo someplace else, maybe at the beach or my true love Tahoe, but no I don't feel we need to buy another house here, because I love the freedom of enjoying my home, but also walking away for a weekend or week and not worrying about anything.
It is the simplicity of our home I am in love with. The rest are learning to love it, but they don't need to love it. I am not raising them to love their home forever, I am raising them to get their act together and get on out. Go to college, live life, and come back and visit us. And go to fabulous places and we will visit you!
I love the idea of us being a family here. Christmas and New Year's Eve this year were fabulous. We were all together, we did our traditional immediate family things as well as our traditional extended family things. It was holiday perfection. But, things will change, they have already started. Each year we lose a kid to "adulthood." Our oldest was only home just under a week for Christmas. She has a job, and a boyfriend...a life of her own...to get back to. Our high school Senior has a job, she almost didn't make it to Christmas Eve. Adulthood...the curse and the blessing. So thrilled they have a strong work ethic and are contributing...wait! What? You can't run away to Tahoe skiing with us?
I also love the idea of being a family in other places. The places they live in for college. The places they live with their families. Fun places we decide on as a family. Hawaii? New York? A family favorite, Newport? the choices are endless
I knew I would love the simplicity early on. We were homeless for a brief while after we sold our home, but were still working on our condo. So we found an Air B and B house to rent. It had three bedrooms and one bathroom. Our family of 5 1/2 (Nicole being half as she is away at college) went from three bathrooms to one for about two months. I braced myself. I thought it would be a mess. It wasn't, it was fine, we adjusted. Nicole was even home for awhile and we adjusted just fine. In fact I noticed right away, we even thrived. We talked, spent time together, and interacted. In the big house everyone was just going to their rooms and closing the door. Now we were all in the same space. I liked it.
We live on the east side of town now. We are right off the 99 freeway...I love that. We walk to the football games...I love that. We are five minutes form dance...I really love that. The train goes by our house and it rattles everything...we all love that, except my husband, but he is trying. I love it all. It turns out I should have always lived under a train, I find it soothing.
There has been such a gap in my blog. I started when the girls were little. They were young girls with quirky stories, and I was a young mother trying to find my truth. Now they are young adults with quirky stories, and I am an older mother trying to live her truth.
Change is not always easy. We probably made this change a year or two before it was necessary. I remember telling my husband, "I just don't want to stay at the party too long." So we left the party early. I have always been a girl who leaves the party early.
Here comes 2017. My changes aren't over, I've really just laid the groundwork for the next party. I lingered at the last party for 19 years. I look forward to year one of whatever party the next 19 years brings.