"It is my job to make sure that you grow up to be a productive member of society and not a burden to it!" ~ my dad.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Making Adjustments

I knew when we moved here that there would be adjustments to make. I never underestimated the difficulty of these adjustments or the fact that a few of them would take quite a bit of time to get through.

I think, however, what I underestimated was the amount of adjustments there would be to make.

1) The weather: well, there's a no-brainer. It beautiful and warm and sunny and warm and crisp and WARM in Arizona. It is not warm in Nebraska. Not November through May anyway. I have found myself saying things like, Oh, what a nice day when the temperature reaches a whopping 30 degrees. Or, At least the wind isn't blowing today because then 10 degrees doesn't feel quite so bad. My thin and well-tanned Arizona blood has had to put down the sunscreen and pick up a parka. A neighbor said something to the effect that in a couple of years, I'll have acclimated. A couple of years?!?!

2) Being cold: Okay, this kind of goes hand-in-hand with the weather but, call me naive, I was expecting to at least be warm inside the house. Not so. My FIL keeps the heat at a sizzling (read the sarcasm) 64 degrees. I'm learning how to dress in layers. And, no, I don't mean the cute tank top layers all the hip chicks are wearing out the on the west coast. I mean turtle necks under sweaters under goose-down vests. I mean flannel-lined jeans and a double layer of fuzzy socks. I mean a hat AND earmuffs. Together. Okay, those last two I don't wear inside but a little exaggeration never hurt when trying to make a point. Especially when that point is I'M COLD!

3) Living in small quarters: My family and I moved from a 3100 sq. ft. home to the basement of my IL's home which is roughly 800 sq ft. Now don't get me wrong, I was more than happy to give up that much room. I'll be the first to say that that size of a house was just too much for me. I was overwhelmed and tired of trying (poorly) to maintain it. When I made the choice to stay home after having my daughter, I meant that I wanted to stay home for her not for the house so it truly was good riddance to all that square footage.

Moving into 800 sq ft has been a relief but not without it's challenges. There is one bedroom down here and since The Boy is a light sleeper and I'm hyper-protective of his naps, the kiddos get the room with the door. That means our bed is out in the open and has become a regular part of the everyday furniture. Not to mention, say good-bye to privacy.

We sold most of our belongings but still managed to, somehow, bring too much with us. It's been a challenge to my creativity to find a home for everything we use and need. The kids toys seem to be everywhere but I think that's because in a small space, clutter overwhelms quickly. The good news is it literally only takes mere minutes to clean up.

It's been a month, but I think, with the help of two storage rooms, rearranging the area three times and being diligent about picking up, I've found a place for everything and everything is in it's place. I've even carved out a little spot for scrapbooking. :)

4) Living in small quarters with my kids: Okay, don't get me wrong here. I love my kids but they are with me ALL THE TIME. I have no place to escape and I have no place to banish them for 1/2 an hour. I can't even force them outside like I could in Arizona. *sigh* Gone are the days of giving them the heave-ho and then locking the sliding glass door.

Oh, don't you Gasp at me. You've done it too! Or you at least dream about it.

Happily, I'm adjusting. We are doing more together like baking, reading and snuggling. Hubby has been off work so he's had more time with them as well. On the not-so-freezing-cold days, he takes them out to play and even took Punky sledding for the first time. She loved it! This was the whole point of slowing down, wasn't it?

5) Staying home: Because I had become involved in too much outside of the home while in Arizona, I had made the promise that I would not obligate myself to anything outside the home for one whole year. Also, because I have left all of my friends and family behind, including my beloved church and the fact that it's blazing cold outside, I tend to stay in most days. I probably only get out about twice a week. This is a big adjustment for someone who left their house almost daily. I found myself, about a week or two ago, feeling very down and unmotivated. I allowed myself to watch too much television and was slowly becoming a couch potato. It took about 4 solid days of this before I woke up and remembered that this slower pace of life was exactly what I was craving back home and that, really, the biggest adjustment I needed to make was one that included my attitude.

So the next day, instead of reaching for the remote, I reached for a new hobby and started working on improving my domestic skills. I can fill up my days indoors with a multitude of wonderful things if I only choose to do so. Spending time with my kids, reconnecting with my husband, baking yummy treats, knitting warm scarves, reading and getting to know my IL's a little better and, to be honest, learning to appreciate the beauty of a Nebraska winter all give me reason to get up in the morning and stay clear of the couch.

Yes, I knew adjustments were to be a part of my future here in the Midwest and I knew that some of them would be daunting. Some have been expected and some quite unexpected. Some easy to get through and some I'm still working on. Some still to come, I'm sure. But I am adjusting and I am making the most of it. I'm always amazed at what God has in store for me and just how He gets me through it.

What amazes me more is how He blesses me when all is said and done. And blessed I am. There may be no such thing as small change but there is also no such thing as small blessings.


Tiffany said...

I can empathize with the lack of space! Our house is less than 700 square feet. But we have three bedrooms...so I'm thankful for that! Everyday is a struggle against clutter....and I have NO idea how we're going to fit this next baby!!!! But I've definitely found that having a very small home has made us MUCH closer as a family...since there isn't anyplace to escape to (we don't even have a garage!)

TheRetroHousewife said...

Have you thought of getting out to the library? They usually have a great collection of not only the obvious but DVD's, classes for your or the kids and story hours...just a thought : )

Katrina said...

Time to save up and have a date night with Hubby. And get some of that private time back:)
Stay Warm.
Katrina in AZ