I've moved well over a half dozen times in life. Despite being fairly well organized, I can't think of time when it wasn't pure pandemonium. Our latest move was the usual chaos- up until 10:30pm the night before frantically shoving random items into too-small boxes, and then furiously labeling them early the next morning even as our friends started to pull into our driveway to help us move. The only thing that put a smile on my face (and trust me, my face was burning red that morning...we had SO much stuff and half of it was filthy) was the overwhelming support of our family and friends. Including ourselves, we had 8 adult family members and 8 adult friends show up...with a combined total of five trucks. And it still took us 2 1/2 hours to move half a mile. Hoooo da shame.
It's been four days since we moved in, and the house looks it's being filmed for an episode of Hoarders. Boxes and furniture currently line our hallways and fill our living room as we wait for the bedroom flooring to be installed (we're camping out in the living room). We quickly generated a project list of no less than 30 line items that all need to be done in order to not look like ghetto hoaders living in Appalachia- repair leaky tub, fix running toilet, get shoe racks, tame backyard plants, stay on top of ant problem, etc...all of which seem to be top priority. And because I have a short attention span, I tend to start nine projects simultaneously vs. doing one at a time...so you can imagine how effective I am. ;-) And the silliest little thing that's been driving this Japanese girl crazy? Because all of the floors are in desperate need of a deep cleansing, the bottoms of our feet constantly look like we live in a barn...with livestock. Brown. Black. Dirty. Dusty. More shame.
But here's the thing- despite being totally overwhelmed, sad at taking Ryan from the only home he's ever known, exhausted...we're thrilled to be here. The first night in the shower I closed my eyes, let the warm water run down my back and just took it all in- the beauty, the privacy, the calm, the cool breezes coming off the mountain through the window...it was so soothing. I remember thinking, "I'm home," because it still doesn't feel like it's ours. I've never felt like I deserved to live in a house like this. It's strange.
We do miss our little family compound and all the people in it...but they're a half mile away, and so far, we've seen them everyday. My parents continue to be invaluable by helping us clean up our old place and fixing up the new. We would survive, but suffer without them. I want to say that we owe them a huge dinner once this has all settled, but that wouldn't be accurate. We owe them like, thirty seven dinners. The kind you cannot purchase while sitting in your car.
Yesterday I moved mounds of tile, grout, thin set, trash, empty boxes and heavy furniture off the patio, and today, I swept and hosed if off (after I slung a pick ax for an hour trying to remove all the thorny, half-dead plants from the planter boxes on our patio). At one point I was pouring sweat, slinging dirt everywhere, watching roaches crawl out from the dirt across my feet. And you know what I thought? I thought- "I don't care! This is my home!!!" Just kidding. I did not think that. I thought- "This sucks a**. Please let it end. Please." ;-)
We have a lot more sorting and juggling ahead of us, especially with the start of school, the upcoming race on the other side of the island/camping, my new job, Rich's next show, etc. And like most working moms...I'm having to make compromises. It's undeniably unsettling to feel so unprepared (I used to finish papers in college weeks early so I wouldn't feel 'rushed')*, but I know things will get better. :-)
*Please feel free to eye roll or gag.