all things new

Happy Easter, friends! I hope you enjoyed some time with your family or friends this weekend, and I hope you are looking forward to all that spring brings.  This year, the holiday has special meaning to me as I celebrate new life in so many ways.

Last week was a blur of moving boxes and a lot of cleaning up at my old house.  By the end of it, I had a truckload of things donated to a local charity and another large truckload of things sent to a junk service.  All abandoned remnants of a shared life. And the English professor in me has to work very hard not to see metaphorical significance in how a few things played out last week, but that is neither here nor there. And I refuse to dwell on the exhausted despair today.  Not now with so much newness greeting me on the road ahead.

I loved that house so much. I loved my neighbors. I loved what it felt like to make dinner in my big beautiful kitchen. We built it from the ground up, and we had so many dreams and plans there. I cried like a baby the February afternoon the for sale sign went up in the yard.

But last Monday, as the kids and I slept on a mattress on the floor surrounded by boxes of my own and items left behind, I had a moment – not of sadness really – but of sweetness. One of those moments you feel heavily like a graduation or a wedding or a birth of a baby. When you know you are standing at a threshold, and it feels like you are outside looking in on your own self, knowing that this is it. The moment that you won’t return to because your life is completely changing. The dividing line you will reference when you see your story in retrospect with all of its “befores” and “afters.” I will have more moments like this in my life, I’m sure. But I will never forget what last Monday felt like, cuddled with my kids on that mattress on the floor in a big dark house that didn’t feel like home anymore. Waiting to close the door on that chapter.

And perhaps it is my brain protecting me a bit, but I was not one bit sad to leave that house when moving day arrived. It felt vast and large and haunted, more like a museum than a home.  Frankly, it felt like a museum of my own grief these past few months. The elbow grease required to get rid of things left behind and fill holes, paint, etc. worked as a way to process the end of that chapter, I think. When the moment came and it was time for me to close that door, it was not bittersweet in the least.  Grief is part of this process.  I have to feel it. I have to cry. I have to push through. But I don’t have to build a monument to it. I was so grateful to leave it behind.

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I moved into my new place on Wednesday, and I really started to unpack this weekend. My garage is full of boxes, and my own closet is a mess of half empty bins, but I am getting there slowly but surely. It is such a perfect space for us, and one that feels like home already. I hope to post photos soon. The kids are loving it, and so do I.  I feel certain that divine intervention landed us here, and the string of unlikely coincidences that put me in this house is a very long list.  I’m right where I’m meant to be. I have no doubt.

We celebrated Easter with my family yesterday afternoon. The kids hunted eggs with cousins, and one little girl was determined to climb a tree, even in her Sunday best.

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These two bring me joy everyday. I have moments where I step outside of myself for a minute, remembering this is real and I am a real grown-up dealing with grown-up matters I never predicted and that I’m forever tied to these two little people who are growing and learning everyday. My only prayer at the moment is that I model what I want them to know – curiosity, kindness, honesty, vulnerability, self-reliance, and a joy that comes from knowing what matters most. A joy that is not reliant on circumstances.

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That last part has been HARD lately as I deal with things that, quite frankly, leave me feeling sad and inferior and even broken at moments. But true joy and peace cannot depend on what changes in the peripheral of my life, what changes outside of myself. It is a lesson I have learned in these past few months in the hardest of ways, and a lesson I am learning still.

To new life and new joys and unforgettable moments that are waiting for me down the road. Celebrating spring this week and all it means, especially this year.

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