We have to MOVE! This is not a new thing for use. My 11 year old has lived in 5 homes and my 8 year old in 4. The difference this time is, someone else told us we had to move. In the passed it has always been our decisions to cast off and we had an idea of why we were moving and where we were going. This time, the owner decided to sell and gave us 60 days to figure out somewhere else to live. None of us want to move. So as you can imagine the stress level in the house has risen, just like the temperatures around these parts.
My friend Monica had the piece of advice that has held me in check. “Teaching our kids how to roll with the twists and turns is giving them so much. Rest in that, you are there showing them how.” It is so very true that my children are regularly looking towards me to see how to manage stress. How to react to the big stuff that life is going to always throw us. Life is big and messy and truly the only control we have is in how we react in the situations we are given.
So the first step was to have our reaction. To feel a little bit heart broken and have a cry. Cause it has been home for us over 3 years and it is where we learned to live far away from friends and family. It has been our sanctuary. Feelings need to be felt, not buried and held on to. So we felt them big that day. We called it the worst day ever, I may have cried a bottomless bucket of tears. And at the end of the day we all rallied in the living room, to make a plan. We don’t want to stay in the heartbroken place forever. Making a plan is how we are going to move from feeling out of control to feeling in control.
It was essential to include the boys in this process. To give them a voice in what they want our next step to be. At first they weren’t sure what to toss on the table. When asking my children to share their hopes and dreams I have learned that it is so very important to make sure they have a safe space where they know whatever they say will be considered, on the same level as whatever I say. So we started. We thought about what we want. Everyone tossed in their top must have and that list is what we used to start looking for a place to live.
It is true that my children tend to roll with the punches a little faster then I do. Probably because they have less of a life time of what ifs to wade through. This is so important for me to remember, that when fear and demons are chasing at my mind, keep that shit in check. I make sure that I do my own work, on my own and not in front of them. They do not need to know what terrifies me, mostly because it is all totally irrational and truly not worth considering. I have to take that to another place and use the tools in my belt to work through it. So I can show up and be that constant for them.
Being constant for my children is what is going to make this place fall behind us and give us the chance to welcome a new one. A home is only as awesome as the people who fill it. This is the mantra that we use with the boys again and again. A home is what we make it. All the things we love are coming with us. This has been essential to the process. Reminding myself again and again that what I love most about this place, is the life we have put in to it, the memories and those I carry with me always.
And when it comes to the ridiculous task of packing up all this crap, there is once again opportunity. How I said it to the boys was, it’s a chance for us to put our hands on everything we own and decide if we really need it. That’s when my 11 year old came up with this plan for our belongings, each will be evaluated and put in one of three categories “love it, loot it, loose it.” And as a side note everyone must agree. Even though I would LOVE to toss a whole bunch of stuff out, it is paramount that I not do that to things that hold value for my children. They have a voice in all of this. Especially in deciding which items hold value for them.
We have also committed to continuing to do the things we love. To loose ourselves in the moments that fill us up most because that is when the stress can be forgotten, even if it’s just for an hour. This I said to the boys is truly how you get through the crap that life is going to toss you. This is likely my favorite piece that has risen from our current curve ball.
I know this move is going to test us over and over again but if I take nothing else away but these lessons, I will be better for it.
1) Let your heart break, so you can pick up the pieces and make a plan.
2) Every voice is important and needs to feel heard.
3) Check your own shit before spewing it on others.
4) Awesome at it’s best is in the form of people not stuff.
5) When it comes to what you are holding on to you can always choose to love it, loot it or loose it.
6) Loose yourself in what you love to do in order to find the strength to positively mange the yucky stuff.