with our move to arizona growing closer and closer, the term “bittersweet” has never felt more appropriate. and some days it’s more “bitter” than “sweet.” i’ve been experiencing a lot more of the former lately. i felt much more excitement at the prospect of the move as we prayed and hoped and waited. and then when it all became “official” that it was indeed going to happen, i was a little startled by the sudden absence of excitement and the overwhelming presence of sadness that hit me. i felt like Tinkerbell from J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan: “Fairies have to be one thing or the other, because being so small they unfortunately have room for one feeling only at a time.”
so yes, there is excitement and anticipation in there somewhere, but right now, most of what i feel is sadness.
i think about all the time spent with my in-laws and all the conversations we had, especially about years to come: about yearly camping trips together… family nights increasingly populated with grandchildren… the sisters-in-law babysitting and/or dropping off baby jack at the house for special grandma time while i ran errands or grocery shopped… the weekly family nights of spontaneous conversation… craft projects and recipes we wanted to try together… we’ve done a lot together these past 2 years, but we also had a lot of hopes and dreams and plans that will now need to be significantly modified or just let go.
i run errands up and down the same several streets in the area where we live and get sentimental. these roads have become familiar and friendly. they’ve become “mine.” they’ve become home. i love my little grocery/errand route and the stores that i frequent. many cashiers and employees at “my” stores became familiar faces and we chat it up every time i stop in.
i think about the afternoons spent at nicole’s, sometimes while the kids napped/rested and sometimes not. sometimes we’d take crazy trips to IKEA or the arboretum. amidst the hilarity of handling 4 kids under 4 years old, we’d chat about life, swap recipes, work on little projects together. recently we had worked out a great system where i would pick up groceries for her (since we shopped at the same stores) and she would wash my laundry in the meantime (so i didn’t have to deal with quarter machines or dragging my laundry basket up and down the stairs half a dozen times). i loved watching her kids grow and laughing at the things they did and said. zach and i loved hanging with jon & nicole at their house chatting late into the evening over BBQ chicken and roasted corn on the cob followed by coffee and dessert.
over the last 6 months, we had finally gotten to a point where we felt plugged in and connected with the church body. friendships and relationships were established and growing. we had areas we each served in and felt that we had a place in this body. we’re genuinely sad to not see these people and friends on a regular basis any more.
i also started feeling a little bit sad to be giving up a sort of “married independence” that zach and i have enjoyed since our wedding day. from the beginning, we lived in our own apartment and were responsible for everything in our lives on our own. and while we are overwhelmingly grateful for the blessing of living with my parents for a number of months to save money for a house, living with other people, in someone else’s house, means a giving up of certain “freedoms” you had when it was just you/your family in your own space living life the way you’re used to. i don’t anticipate any extreme lifestyle changes while living with my parents – we all get along very well and share so much commonality in life – but it just won’t be “our” home in the same way that it has been for the last 3 1/2 years. and i felt a little sad about that.
in many ways, moving away from california means the death of many plans and dreams we had made. we’re creating new plans and dreams, but it’s still sad and hard to let go of some of the old ones.
(sorry if this feels like a downer post. just wanted to keep it real and share what i’ve been feeling lately in the midst of the coming move…)