So we are here, on the Oregon coast, about which we have been dreaming for over a year.
It’s pretty swell, mostly.
I’ve been so worried about how the kids will adapt and how Jim will manage to work and making sure everyone had enough books and Legos and room, that I kind of forgot that all this is a big adjustment for me, too.
In fact, it’s probably been a bigger adjustment for me than the rest of them. Which in the spirit of being totally neurotic, makes me feel guilty. After all, this whole crazypants idea was mine. I should be totally unshakable in my conviction that this is the best thing for us. Right? Instead I have Vague Uncertainty mixed with occasional Panic Attacks.
Here are a few of the things that make my stomach crawl –
• Will we ever be able to buy a house again? The first time we bought a house, we got a VA loan and sailed through closing by handing over a measly $700. Easy! Then we sold that house when I got pregnant with Little and Jim’s company started making noises about relocating us. We rented a townhouse while we waited to see what was going to happen. After renting for seven months, we bought our second house. We had to turn over every scrap of financial information we possessed even though we had a large down payment and had been homeowners before. It was a giant hassle. Who knows what the requirements are now? I can’t imagine that being essentially homeless for a yet-to-be-determined amount of time will look good to lenders.
• Because we sold in the worst real estate market since the Great Depression, we are broke. Broke-broke-broke-ity-broke. I don’t like it. The cushion we had saved was all but demolished by the sale of the house. Since all this was my idea, our broke state is my fault. Obviously.
• What if we spend so much time on the beach and traveling and doing nothing that I continue to suck at school? I mean, let’s face it – school has been on the back burner for a while now, what with the selling and packing and traveling and all that. Actually, it’s not even on a burner. It’s more like in an old whipped cream container in the back of the fridge. I HAVE to get back on track. What if life is so different and so constantly changing that Little suffers? Big is off to the races with his reading, but Little needs some one-on-one time with mom and our phonics books. The cost of The Adventure can’t be that she starts out behind in reading. Reading is a big deal. Not optional.
Those are the biggies. There are plenty of little things too, though. Like I miss my kitchen. I miss my king-sized bed. I miss my shower, as crappy as it was, because at least I could move around in it without rubbing up against a mildew-y shower curtain (note: buy new shower curtain). I miss being the person in charge of where the couch goes, or how the kitchen is arranged. All my nesting instincts are being foiled and I feel slightly restless. I miss making bread – none of the kitchens have been suitable (as in they haven’t had an oven). The kids are, um, irregular without homemade bread, so if they are backed up – you guessed it! – my fault.
What if everyone loves doing this and I’m the killjoy who needs a place to call home?
What if everyone gets mad at me for being such a whiner? This was, after all, a choice we made freely. No one made us do this. Are you allowed to complain about problems you created by deliberately choosing to turn your life upside down?
What if they really have discontinued the one style of jeans that fits me?
AND THEN after fretting about all this stuff for a while, it finally occurred to me that all these things are….well, I don’t want to say silly, but the fact that I’m a worrier and the degree to which I worry is a shortcoming. Of mine. Something I really need to work on – for my own sake. Everyone is fine. My family is fine. They are healthy and fed and bathed and having fun. They have mom and dad and each other and a giant pile of Legos. Instead of giving in to hours of worry that is not accomplishing anything but wearing away my stomach lining, I need to find a way to roll my eyes at Neurotic Deb and tell her to shut the eff up.
Self-awareness: So. Unpleasant.