Monday, December 20, 2010

Going Home, Missing Home

I've always had an odd relationship with home.  Home is where I am at the moment.  If I'm visiting relatives and we're out shopping and I ask, "Are you ready to go home?" I mean their home, the place I'm sleeping.  If we are on vacation and planning whether or not we're going to go home for a bit, the hotel is home.

For the last six years, home has been Connecticut.  However, home has also simultaneously been Houston.  I was very much at home in Connecticut, but Houston still felt like home.  When I visited there each year, I had these strange feelings of sadness and homesickness -- both for my home in Connecticut and the one I had left.  I couldn't really explain it.  I almost felt sad to be there because I knew I'd return, and that would mean I wouldn't be living in Connecticut anymore.

Last summer when we were there, the connections felt deep.  I was thankful for friends and family there, and the ability to just pick up where we leave off at the previous visit.  It was the first time I hadn't felt like I was glad to be back home visiting, but also quite glad that I didn't live there anymore.  I mused, "If we had to move back, it wouldn't be so bad."

Thank you, God, for advance confirmation of your plan for us.  It was one of the things that helped me so willingly step out to explore Terry's options.  And once we decided that indeed this was a great job opportunity and that this was the right time to relocate, I got a little excited.

I'm still torn.  I know it's right, I know that it will be a great thing for our family, but it's hard to say goodbye.

The much-more-exciting and eloquent blogger at Planet Nomad recently wrote about these conflicting feelings since she's left her home in Morocco and moved back home to Portland (Oh, Portland, I miss you too, birthplace of my firstborn!) in too vague for a title.

I commented there, and then hopped over here and wrote this post.  Here's my comment:

I'm sorry that you are missing home while you are at home.  I understand.

My move is imminent (days away now!!).  The goodbyes have been hard, and yet I'm just ready to do it already.  I know that it's going to be a good transition, but hard in many ways.  I have a lot of hopes for our "new life," but a lot of fears that nothing will change.

Where did that come from? Did blog-reading suddenly become a sort of therapy?

But it's true. Park of the allure of a move is the ability to start with a fresh slate, to reinvent ourselves. We have some bad habits that we've been trying to change, like the kids watching too much TV (we've made pretty good progress on that actually).

The new Jennifer in Houston keeps a cleaner house, she writes letters to friends (real ones, not just email), she is a devoted granddaughter, and an attentive mom (playing board games and laughing). She cooks wholesome dinners and the snacks that she serves her children are fruits and vegetables. She also bakes more, and invites her children into the kitchen to bake with her.  She is a gracious playdate hostess, and a frequent entertainer.

Seriously. I imagine these things.  They are part of my hopes and dreams for our new life.  But in reality my house will probably be just as cluttered, my temper will be just as short, my selfishness will be just as ugly, and my kitchen just as ho-hum as it's been lately.

What do you dream about changing about your current lifestyle and choices?


Martha said...

I am thinking of you often this week as you move before Christmas (again)! I am trying to keep the house cleaner too and keep in better touch with my friends not just the kids! ;) Keep your dreams of what you would like to be alive but don't be sad if they don't come to pass!

Carrie said...

What a beautiful and intriguing post!

As for what I imagine changing - I wish I were just more creative with my kids and didn't mind messes so much. And I wish that I weren't so cranky everytime I'm in pain (a lot lately, although this too SHALL pass!) And this post is a good reminder that I don't need a big change in life to accomplish this. Just a willing heart and spirit. Maybe some obedience too. Bah. =)

Praying for you all as you make the journey!

mommablogsalot said...

I have these same thoughts about "when we get a house" - all of the things we'll do better in a house than we are doing in our apartment now. Probably I should focus more on living in the moment or accept the things that aren't perfect and may never be.

Good luck to your family in your new home - I'm sure it will bring about a million fantastic changes!

Katrina @ Callapidder Days said...

Oh, I have have many of those imagined qualities of myself, even though I have no move in sight. It's more of a "The Katrina in 2011 will be more like this..." :) A more attentive mom, more frequent hostess, more disciplined, etc.

And I do think that blog-reading and blog-writing can both be forms of therapy. :)

Praying for you and your new beginning in a familiar place!

morninglight mama said...

We may not be moving anywhere, but I do SO understand your feelings here- especially about the reinvention possibilities. As long as you're the same Jennifer who runs an awesome book blog and is supportive and generous and fun to email with, we'll all be happy. :)

Best to you this week!!

Jennifer, Snapshot said...

I'm glad that others can relate to the "new me" thinking, and it's true that 2011 (or any new cycle -- new school year, etc) is a common time to reevaluate.

That's a good point, too, Mommablogsalot. I used to think, "When I have two kids, we'll do this," but since Amanda was an "only" for over 5 years, I realized that was foolish!

Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

Goodness! I really am behind the times!! Hopefully I'll join you in Texas in 2011. I also like the idea of reinventing myself. Having a cleaner house and spending more quality time with my children are at the top of my list.