Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Over the years we have had many parties in our home, yard, street and garage. So, as we got ready to move, we ordered a Cool Box storage unit. It arrived at our home on a holiday, so all the kids on the street were out of school. The box was insulated and unpacked and the kids said, "can we dance in there?" I thought, no, we have to get packing. Then I stopped and realized we needed to make part of this moving fun. So I said, "one dance." They grabbed their friends, the boom box, their hip hop dance CD, and had an instant party in a box! There were about 10 kids in a 20 foot box. They needed no decorations, fancy lights, nothing, just a place and music! They wound up dancing for about 45 minutes, break dancing moves and routines were being taught. I haven't laughed so hard! I called the mom's to come see the kids. Seeing the kids and their creativity gave me and idea. One of the other mom's and I have had a Halloween party every year and transformed the garage. We would take a few days to push our stuff to the side, hang black plastic and lights. After I saw how much fun they had, I thought we could just rent one of these boxes and we'd have an instant party!!
It is amazing how dancing can lighten the mood and make you feel good. I often will turn on music while cleaning the house. It sure makes the job go faster. My sister and I used to turn on a record from the movie Annie. We would dance and clean to "It's a Hard Knock Life." So as you go through your day, I hope you dance!
Sunday, March 27, 2011
I've never traveled to Europe, but I have been to many new cities across the U.S. I have been on this world win trip recently, that has kept me so busy I haven't had an ounce of energy or time to write. Oh, did I mention I'm 8 months pregnant? So, I am back and hope that as I get back to my routine I can write about some adventures my family has had in the past 2 months!
So, we put our house on the market in the end of January, had an offer in a week! Great, now what? Well, we really wanted to finish the process of selling before we bought another home. Meanwhile my husband was getting ready to leave for work the end of February. So, the whole month we spent packing our 10 years of stuff in a portable storage unit. We had done a lot of decluttering through the staging process and there was a lot in the garage. That was the easy part to pack. Well, actually I did get a little nervous every time I'd hear a new click of the plastic bins. I thought when will I see my stuff again? So with a lot of help from my parents, husband and old friend we did it, packed a 20 ft. unit. Now it was the end of February, James left for Arizona for a month and I still had to pack the house. We thought we needed to be out on the 16 th of March, so we lined up friends and family to come pack another unit on the 13 th. I was having a hard time deciding what to take with me and the kids to my parents house. Yes, my parents have been gracious enough to put us up until we find a new home. After all daddy is traveling and this would help the kids through the transition.
My friend and I were talking one morning, because I was overwhelmed with the process of packing clothes, school materials, toys, etc. What would I need over the next few months? She said, it's like you're going on a trip to Europe and you are going to pack just the essentials. A couple jeans, shorts, dresses, shoes, etc. For some reason I loved this analogy and thought about all the traveling I had done and how I couldn't bring everything I owned. I changed my perspective on the situation and started packing. Along with traveling you have to be flexible and go with the flow, act like the locals do.
On March 13 th we had my mom, brother, two neighbor couples, my father in law, a good friend, and a lot of kids. Every one came to pack us and send us off on our trip. I decided I've always wanted to go to Ireland and since it was almost St. Patrick's Day, we could learn about the culture there and have fun along the way. I started talking to the kids about our trip and how much fun it would be, how we wouldn't have all our toys and we would miss our friends. They weren't sure about this imaginary trip, but took it in stride. They loved when a small plastic leprechaun came to visit and stared doing tricks on us. He would hide among the boxes and hide gold candy to share.
We arrived in Ireland late on the 13 th. Our room was packed with our suitcases and we had a hard time adjusting to the new sights, sounds, and the time change :). We were so exhausted from the previous weeks that we could hardly see the positives of being here with my family, surrounded by love and support. As with any trip, you meet people along the way that bring light to your life and help you get acclimated. My brother came and took my son Cade on a night out, which really helped as he missed daddy and his friends. We spent the next week trying to finish house paperwork. This took over our nights and days until the 22 nd, when it finally closed!
Every time we got caught in the blues we would try to stop and enjoy the ride. The transition is hard. We had been in the same house for 10 years. The kids had great friends and constant play dates. We are grieving the loss of the old ways. Every time you go through a big life change, you grieve. The first step is anger. My son definitely exhibiting signs of this on Monday. I had a hard time trying to calm him. I too was sad and disappointed, that this was not going the way I had envisioned it. I thought, we would sell, maybe rent back, then move to our new home. When am I going to learn you can't plan it all?
I have finally tried to get up at 6:30 to do my stretches, yoga, and mediation. One morning I thought about the transition and how it was our routine, it was our schooling, it was what we were doing and had to surrender to the now. I saw the correlation between labor and now. In labor you go through three different stages. You learn to relax physically, mentally and emotionally. When you get to transition, you feel like your contractions are coming on on top of the other, you may feel crabby, sick, etc. You often feel you can't go on and this is often when people ask for drugs to ease the pain. Of course when you understand the process and know that transition is the shortest part of labor, you can manage the pain. The tools you were using before may not work the same, but knowing it will be over helps you surrender to the process. The more you fight it, the more painful it will be. So here I am in transition. I can't control my emotions, feel a little un productive and having a hard time relaxing through the process. As soon as I saw the correlation, I realized I needed to surrender. I am now trying to enjoy the moment, go with the flow, let the kids lead the day and follow their interests.
I have also found these wonderful speakers whom are helping remind me to be present. I know all these things, but sometimes it is hard to stay calm in the midst of the storm. The daily affirmations, the focusing on the simple things and the gratitude's, do help. I hope as you read the next few weeks, you'll see the shift or reminders in how to enjoy the ride, the vacation, the trip. This trip isn't what I expected, but what trip is? You never know exactly what people you will meet, what food you will like or what events will be going on? Take it one day at a time, or if it's real tough, one hour at a time. You too can get through transition.