Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Starting Over

As school starts and the pace of life shifts, I have been reflecting on our move, our expectations and adjusting. Here are a few meandering thoughts.....

I was looking forward to starting over in Alaska with a clean slate, but it definately was not as glamorous or as different as I'd hoped. It has been nice that no one here has expectations of me, what job I should work at, how I should live my life. Yet people develop expectations quickly, and pretty soon we're pegged again.

The big disadvantages of starting over, as I see them, are
1) PAPERWORK! Applying for new insurance, licenses, schools, doctor's offices, utilities, etc. etc. is a huge time siphon. I can see why people with big families don't move! The paperwork for the school alone was 15 minutes per child! Big yuck!
2) Money! It costs so much to move, and having to pay two of everything for awhile (mortgage and rent, electric, phone, etc.) can eat up extra money (what extra money??!!). It's a bit stressful still having an unsold house in Michigan (who's mowing the lawn? Is the place being taken care of?).
3) Not having the kind of friends that just know me. People are friendly, and I enjoy getting to know them, but there is a comfort in being around people I have a history with, who know my sense of humor, my hot buttons, etc., and I know theirs. I miss that kind of friend more than anything. I had forgotten how long it took to develop the awesome friendships I had in Michigan.

The advantages of starting over:
1) New experiences, new places to explore, new friends to be made, different activities to get involved with. As life-long learners, we are finding all this newness great fun. Luckily our kids share this enthusiasm, so while they miss Michigan a little bit, they too are looking forward to new adventures.
2) Not as many expectations of who we are and who we should be.
3) Learning about ourselves and each other as we experience these new situations.
4) Applying our skills in new situations.

We have no regrets. We feel like this is where we are supposed to be, and are enjoying carving out a niche for ourselves even as we wonder how long we will be here. There's no place better than the present!

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