February 10, 2014

Feeling Homesick

**Warning: You are about to read an emotional "dear diary-like" lamenting from my latent teenage, self-involved, emotional self. Just count your lucky stars that it doesn't include bad poetry. And be nice, or I'll dig out my bad poetry from when I was eleven and make you read it. Trust me. It's terrible. And painful to read.

The Clocktower- Hudson, OH

It's been five months since we moved from Ohio to Pennsylvania. All of the boxes have been unpacked. We are mostly settled into the new house. Many of the rooms have been painted (and then drawn on by the two year old). The kids are into a new routine at a new preschool. We've found our way around town. We go to the libraries every week. The kids are in gymnastics. I'm learning the new grocery store and even have a preferred gas station. The kids have a few favorite places to eat out. All in all, we're settled and doing well.

For the first few months after the move I was overwhelmed with the "getting settled" stuff, like unpacking and finding the grocery store and not getting lost going to preschool. Then we hit the holidays and I was overwhelmed with all that comes with Thanksgiving travel and a December kid birthday and the joyful chaos of Christmas. But it's February now. We're settled. The holidays are over. It's cold out and we've had A LOT of snow days. But the kids are still good. And my husband loves his new job.

And then there's me.

I have a bigger, newer and seemingly better house than I had before in Ohio.

Yet I find myself waxing poetic about and longing for my old house. I miss my sunroom. I miss my shower. I miss my fenced-in backyard. I even miss my smaller, cozier bedroom.

And I live in a beautiful area with scenic, rolling hills and a countryside that inspires awe in the beauty of nature and pastoral views each day I wander through it. It's an area that's really great for families and offered much in terms of activities when we first arrived, as it will again when the weather thaws.

Yet I miss my old grocery store, my old favorite restaurants, our wonderful library, the walking path and park across the street from our old house.

There were a lot of things that weren't perfect about where we used to live. There were things I used to complain about….our street was too busy with traffic using our neighborhood as a cut-through. A busy street ran behind the trees behind our house. There weren't lots of kids our kids' ages in our neighborhood.

All of those things have been fixed with our new house.

So why do I long for my old home? The house we came home to after our honeymoon. The bedroom we were in when we found out I was pregnant with our first child. The house we brought both of our kids home to after they were born. The place I spent my last days and hours with my first dog-baby, Jack. The stairs on which Rolland spilled a glass of red wine bringing it to me when we were just dating. The place of our kids' first Christmas's and birthdays and steps and words and...

I miss you old house.

And then there's Hudson. With the grocery store I could shop with my eyes closed, where the cashiers knew my kids by name. With our amazing library/second home and the fantastic librarians that knew my kids so well. With a preschool we adored and appreciated so much. With restaurants we frequented so much that they knew us by name, remembered our orders and bought us dinner on our last night there. With 10 great parks within 10 minutes of our house. With great food nearby, family activities all year long, and a quaint downtown.

I miss you Hudson.

And, of course, the real reason my heart aches when I allow myself to think about what I left behind. The people. I miss my friend lunches and coffee chats, the girls' nights out and chick flicks, the playdates and playgroups, the random run-in's around town. I miss my friends and my acquaintances. I miss my kids' friends. I miss my kid's teachers, our Little Gym team, our doctors and my therapist too. I miss our awesome babysitter (I really, really miss her!!). I left behind some wonderful people that I had looked forward to getting to know better and better…and watching our kids grow up together.

I miss you friends.

In the seven years I lived in Hudson I built a world for myself and my family and had just gotten to the point where I was so happy with that world. And that world was built upon a foundation I started six years prior to that when I lived and worked in neighboring towns. I had work connections and friends and knowledge of the area from that part of my life too.

I miss the world I worked so hard to build.

Yes, I can talk and email and Facebook all those friends. But it's not even remotely the same thing. I can't text Susie that I need a Mommy lunch at The Winking Lizard asap so we can divide our time between deep conversation and calling to our kids to behave or eat their chicken fingers. I can't email Lindsay that we need a playdate so our kids can run off some steam in her basement and we can chat over coffee. I can't meet the playgroup girls for drinks and dinner and leave all the momminess at home for a few hours.


So, today, I sit in my new local coffeehouse while the kids are at their new preschool for a couple of hours. And I'm sipping coffee and tears are slipping down my cheeks as I type this (and I'm kind of hoping that no one is noticing my tears and sniffles).

Now, don't get me wrong. I lead a truly blessed life. And I promise you, I know it. But if you'll allow me this little bout of melancholy without reminding me how good I have it, I would really appreciate it. Sometimes, I think, we just have to let our sadness envelop us. Not for too long though. Just steep in it for a bit. Then pull it together and move on.

I was raised by a "pull yourself up by the bootstraps" kind of mom, so I never wallow for too-too long. I get up each day and I get it all done. I shower and get dressed. I take care of the kids and the house. I make dinner from scratch. I even get my ample ass on the treadmill most every night. But when I get a quiet moment, I let myself wallow a bit. My lows are extra low and my highs aren't quite so high. And for a while I keep it all inside and I pull back from my support system and I try to figure it out all by myself. And then I remember that that doesn't work. And I finally start to call and email and text all of those amazing friends of mine. And I ask for help.

And I get wonderful words like these…

Remember that you are in control of how you feel about yourself and you are an amazing, beautiful, giving person. Give yourself the credit & love you deserve! Sweat those negative feelings out on the treadmill, or better yet join a yoga studio or exercise class that has childcare and you may meet more people that way. Read a good book, take a nap if/when Holden does ;) Book a trip for Spring Break so you have something to look forward to once this weather breaks. If that doesn't work, have a glass of wine after you put the kids to bed and watch some guilty pleasure TV. There are valid reasons we get into these funks, happens to us all, let yourself feel what you feel but remember that it's temporary, and you are in control of getting out of it! I love you and am here for you whenever you need a friend and want to talk about it.

Thank you for the advice and support, my dear friend Susie.

See what I mean? How could you not miss that friend when you move away from her??? But also, how can things be so bad when you are lucky enough to have a friend like that in your life??? And I have a few of those wonderful people and have received a few other wonderful, supportive notes from them. I just wishing they were close enough for a playdate today, you know.

So, I will do what my dear friend Susie said. I will sweat it out. I will make plans for Spring Break. I will keep reading good books.

And I will reach out to my friends. And I will keep trying to make new friends. And I will find babysitters. And I will talk to my husband. And I will wait, with baited breath, for Spring. Because I know everything is better when you can get outside…and play with the kids, and walk the dog, and go for a run, and chat with the neighbors, and feel the sunshine on your skin.

And, of course, everything will be just fine. Because it always is. It just takes time. Before you know it, I'll be waxing poetic about our new home and city and life.

I'll get there.

So, thanks for listening. Dear diary. Dear friends.

Until next time, keep your chin up….Spring will be here soon.

*Postscript: I actually wrote most of this post last Friday, but didn't quite finish it up to post it while I was still at the coffee shop. As I went to post it today, I realized how cathartic the act of writing it was for me. I have felt much better since I wrote it on Friday. So, I guess I should say thank you to you all for being my journal. :-)

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