Thursday, August 23, 2012

Being present

After I wrote my post about how much I miss living close to my family I had a breakdown.  Henry came home that evening and I just lost it.  Crying, hysterically on the couch while he looked on in horror.  Can I still blame postpartum hormones?  No?  Okay.

After I got everything off my chest he said he didn't know whether this was one of those times where I wanted to talk about what we could do to improve the situation or whether it was one of the times I just wanted to vent.  It was the latter.

I know it's not productive to constantly list all the things that are hard about our current situation (living far from family, not being able to easily walk places from our new house, feeling isolated, not being able to get HP to nap consistently), but it was just what I needed to do.

As Henry rightfully pointed out, not all of those challenges are a result of living in Austin, many of them would happen if we lived back home.  So true.  Having an infant and adjusting to parenthood is just plain hard.  It's wonderful, and there are so many joys that come with this stage, but that doesn't take away from the fact that it's a major adjustment and requires, well, adjusting.

The next morning I woke up ready to focus on the positives.  I don't want to spend HP's childhood wishing we were somewhere else.  There are many things I would dearly miss if we left Austin.  We bought a house this spring and are starting to put down roots.  I think part of the emotional roller coster I've been on this week stems from the fact that settling down in Austin (at least for the short-term) makes me feel vulnerable.  If we are able to move back to my hometown in a few years, it will be a hard to leave after investing so much of ourselves into relationships here.

Austin is the place where HP was born and where we started life as a family of three.  It will always hold a special place in our lives and hearts.  I know that if we ever leave, it will be bittersweet.  It will be hard to leave all that we have cultivated here behind, and the longer we stay, the harder it becomes, which makes it scary to put myself out there.  But isn't that just the way of the world?  I've moved enough times in my life to know, but that doesn't make it any easier.

I know this season in our lives is going to pass in the blink of an eye and when I look back I'll think it flew by.  Case in point: HP just started rolling over this week.  How is that even possible?  Didn't I just birth him?  He's no longer my squishy little newborn.  I don't want to spend this stage wishing we lived somewhere else.

The challenge is to find the balance between keeping our goal in mind (moving closer to family and to a smaller city) and being happy where we are.  If moving back home is important to us (and it is), I don't want to push that desire aside, but I also don't want that desire to prevent me from being present where I am (especially since we will likely be here for a few years to come).  It's a fine line, and I'm doing my best to stay on course.

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