Mostly Swell

In CategoryAdventure, Navel Gazing

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.

Dang it.

Self-awareness: So. Unpleasant.

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9 Responses to “Mostly Swell”

  1. Michelle Says:

    Oh, I’d be freakin’ too.

    You’ll settle in. And don’t worry about the reading. I used to be so reading-obsessed, but now it’s one of the things I worry about the least. Snuggle and read lots of stories and stories and he’ll pick it up. There’s no ticking clock, and it’s not like math where if they don’t get subtraction now they’ll never get algebra, then what about calculus? And even that I’m learning to back off on. Anyway. The reading. It’ll come. Promise.

    Breathe in that Oregon coast air, get a new shower curtain, and go knit by the beach. You’ll feel better. 🙂

    (Again, I’m talking big here, but I’d be a big ball of worry, too.)
    Michelle´s last blog post ..DIY Preschool Number Cards

  2. Tressa Says:

    You will settle in. It always takes a bit to settle. It usually takes me a year, but I don’t know how long you are spending there. I think you are on a grand adventure. You are going to make marvelous memories. I am not sure about the house thing, but home ownership isn’t all it’s cracked up to be anyway.
    Enjoy the journey! (I need to follow my own advice. I am can be quite neurotic too!)
    Tressa´s last blog post ..Taking a break

  3. hikooky Says:

    As my husband likes to remind me, “Honey, transitions are hard for you, remember?” I will echo the other comments: You will settle in. You care very deeply about the education of your children (hence this adventure) so you will not fail them.

    When you get a chance to catch your breath, frolic in the ocean and enjoy!
    hikooky´s last blog post ..what is the awanser?

  4. tracey - justanothermommy Says:

    Sounds like a bit of PMS, too. I’m a girl, so I can say that.

    I would miss my comfort zones, though. I can see how that would become weird. You’ll just have to figure out a way to create a comfort zone wherever you are.

    The reading will happen. It will! Books on tape with a read a long for her in the car (and ear phones!) would be cool in addition to all of the reading programs available for the laptop, online, etc.
    tracey – justanothermommy´s last blog post ..The tooth that kept me up for 3 weeks…

  5. Helena Says:

    Ah, Deb. I wish my arms were long enough to reach Oregon and give you a MASSIVE hug right now. Maybe there’s an arm-stretcher I could buy? I mean, you are literally only an ocean away now. That’s SO close!

    I know those worries. So well. When did you write this? Was it the middle of the night, when the worry gremlins like to scurry about and pee on your shoes? Was it in the day right after frolicking, when the Oh-I-Frolicked-By-The-Ocean-Instead-of-Teaching-My-Child-Phonics guilt gremlins decided to come and pee on your head?

    Neither gremlin is kind OR useful. Tell those gremlins they get 5 minutes, no, 2 minutes each. Then they need to pee right off.

    You are wonderful. Awesome. Amazing. Adventurous. And Real. You are inspiring like a cliff diver. Like a parachuter. Like a woman taking life by the bazzinkers. (I just made that word up). I am so proud to know you. You are giving your kids and yourself the most amazing education. Right now.
    Helena´s last blog post much

  6. Connie Weiss Says:

    Oh man. I’m sorry you are having self-doubt but I just have one thing to say.

    Stop beating yourself up!

    This is a great experience that not many people have the guts to try!

    I hope tomorrow is a better day.
    Connie Weiss´s last blog post ..My Transformation into Mrs. Weiss

  7. Kirsten is Comfortably Domestic Says:

    Oh man, Deb! Put down the stick and stop beating yourself up. It may have been your crazy-pants idea to embark on this adventure, but it doesn’t mean that it won’t be an adjustment for you. You are on your first real leg of this journey–just give yourself a little time to adjust. 🙂 One of the beauties of homeschool is the flexibility. You’ll be fine.
    Kirsten is Comfortably Domestic´s last blog post ..Eat Your Vegetables for Breakfast: Harvest Squash Coffee Cake

  8. Ingrid Says:

    The Oregon coast looks SPECTACULAR!!! Just think – the kids are learning all about tides, rocky shore ecology, and stress management.

    You will have memories that cannot be replaced by any amounts of phonics! I agree with the others – lots of snuggly reading sounds like a great idea!

    Can I remind you as an (ex) high school teacher that some kids still are learning this stuff? Your kids will be fine because you love them that much and will make sure they have it down.

    OK – off you go – you need to go take more amazing photos for all of us living vicariously through your adventures from the other side of the world!
    Ingrid´s last blog post ..‘Tis the season…to let go!

  9. April@M3RH Says:

    I admire your doing this so much. Remember that what your kids are lacking in book learning right now they’re making up for in hands on experiences. And if it makes you feel better, our schooling is in the cool whip container in the back of the fridge too, due to our move, which is lacking all of the great adventure-ness of yours.
    April@M3RH´s last blog post ..Notes on time management and productivity.