While debating the best way to approach this column, I kept coming back to something I wrote four years ago while still gaining my footing as both a new mom and a new columnist.
Back in those days, I was in the throes of caring for my first newborn and to be honest, I think probably also on the verge of a sleep-deprived meltdown day-in and day-out. After reviewing my July 2008 edition of Lipstick & Pearls, that same fractured thought process came out in print as well.
Despite that, though, I remembered writing about sidewalks. The sidewalks I wrote about were full of cracks, and my basic thought was one of thanksgiving that my husband and I bought a sturdy enough stroller to withstand the bumps.
Even though the bumps and crevices were many, I grew to love taking walks. I knew where to abandon the sidewalks in favor of the street. I knew how to maneuver my stroller for the least amount of vibration transferring to the girls inside. Even more, I always knew which sidewalks led home.
Then, in fall 2010, our family decided to move about 10 miles out of town to live in my husband’s grandparents’ country house while they made a transition to town.
At that point, our two-bedroom home was starting to feel small with a toddler and infant, as well as all the stuff that goes along with a family of four. The spacious ranch-style house was appealing. And, considering both my husband and myself had grown up in the country, we thought we knew what to expect as we made that transition.
But instead of an idealistic setting, I found myself enveloped in loneliness. I didn’t realize how isolating gravel roads would be until I traded my conversation-lined sidewalks for dust and wind. Instead of an easy transition, our family found the situation to be overwhelming.
A few months ago, we came to the conclusion that a move back to town would be the best for our family, as even after about 18 months in the country we still didn’t feel “at home.”
Even though the decision wasn’t easy, it is one we are excited about. And in the process of house-hunting, something even better happened. We were convicted to downsize.
Brad and I have always been bothered by the amount of stuff we have, especially after we started being overrun by baby equipment and toys. But we never knew what to do with that overwhelmed feeling, except what most others do…upgrade. So we did. And the unsettled feeling never went away. Instead, it intensified as we tried to fill space with new purchases to make the house feel like home.
All that new stuff didn’t help. It just made us more aware of a stirring in our spirit. We looked around us and realized our family didn’t need a whole level of house we rarely used. The girls didn’t need a whole room dedicated to toys they didn’t play with. We didn’t need two of everything when we only used one.
But until this point, we were never ready to take the drastic step we will take this week—moving from a large home in the country to a 1,300 square-foot home in town—all while expecting baby No. 3.
Now, let me clarify…this sort of move isn’t required from everyone. But it is something required of our family. And we are embracing it.
The past month has been spent organizing a two-day moving sale on the farm and then a garage sale in town. Each time we filled a box of stuff to get rid of, I felt lighter and less burdened. We’ve now completed that stage of downsizing and are now packing our “keep” items in preparation of our weekend move.
We realize this move isn’t logical, and that it may not make sense. But for us, it’s the next step. We are joyful and full of peace as we follow the bend in the sidewalk leading to our new home.