If, 8 weeks and 1 day ago, anyone had suggested that today I would find myself exactly 1 week away from locking the doors on our beautiful new house and moving 3.5 hours away, I think my response would have been either a single raised eyebrow and incredulous stare or hysterical laughter. And yet here I am, 33 weeks pregnant, packing up our home room by room, saying farewell to the communities we have found and built over the last year, and preparing our toddler, dog, and 4 chickens for a new life 3.5 hours away from this one.
For the last few months we’ve been focussing energy on incremental changes in our daily lives to better align our lives with our values. We have been devoting time to building solid relationships in our community, with my chosen birth partners, and with our home. I have been focussing on setting up routines for soul and spirit nourishment, for incorporating self care into basic tasks, and creating a home that others feel welcome and comfortable in. We have been grounding ourselves.
Amongst the angst and turmoil of 2020, our home has been our safe haven, even on my lowest days during isolation and anxiety.
But some times, life throws up an opportunity that aligns so violently with your values that to choose to ignore it… Well that would defeat the purpose of knowing and owning those values, wouldn’t it?
Exactly 8 weeks ago a job offer for my husband was casually mentioned in conversation; 3.5 hours away from where we are now and 5 years early in the recently decided 5 year “plan” of moving to a rural setting. We laughed and we laughed and we laughed. And then the next day Jonah called him back and discussed it some more…got a phone number, a name, got to googling, and within 2 weeks our 5 year “plan” was out the window. Bye bye! 👋
Now I’m not going to say that I ever expected this decision to come with a smooth and bump free ride, but I tell you what, life certainly decided to throw some curve balls our way as we worked through the biggest decision of our marriage so far. Now that it’s officially “moving week”, and I’m cuddling my (finally) peacefully sleeping 1 year old, I can look at the last few weeks with some more clarity, and perhaps some humour, at the timing of everything.
More things we didn’t expect:
- A bullied chicken requiring isolation to heal and avoid chicken cannibalism 😬
- 4 teeth deciding to erupt in our poor toddler’s mouth during the craziness, requiring extra cuddles and nurture
- Toddler catching a cold and needing extra, extra cuddles and nurture
- Pregnancy complications that result in my nearest accepted birthing support to be 2 hours drive from our new home
- Moving into a house we haven’t actually seen, and was described as “run down and not very nice but the only property available” by the agent
I mean, there is more, but this post isn’t about our struggles and stressors; it’s about our choices. In the midst of all the complications and unexpected twists and turns we have been facing, our decision is still the right one for us, right now. The timing is awful, but it could be worse.
We move into this last week of preparations, of packing and shifting and the final decluttering, full of hope. Have our peaceful and safe routines of bread making, gardening, Friday morning playdate and baking been disturbed? Absolutely they have. My self care routines have taken a huge hit, I can’t remember the last time our poor dog went for a walk on two consecutive days, and I now allow our isolated chicken to scratch up the garden beds because I can’t plant anything new in there anyway! But the hope remains for new memories in a new place, for routines that ground us in a new community, for a workplace that values both family time and hard work, and for a new perspective.
We have been blessed by so many opportunities and choices, and we consciously move into this one with less material possessions to transport, less dependence on popular metropolitan consumerism, and a greater determination to really sink our teeth into this thing called life.
(But gosh darn it’s scary.)