Below is the only house (and home) I ever knew. My older sister has memories of the different places my family lived during the time my dad was going back and forth between Andrews Air Force Base in DC/Maryland and Griffis AFB in New York (now closed). But, all my childhood memories start and end here...
I don't think I realized how special it was to have that feeling of security, the innocence of thinking all my treasures were safe in that magical place called home. As a child, I also felt pretty confident we weren't moving anywhere. In contrast, Steve and I have had to convince our children we aren't moving again. They're sponges, they've seen and heard a lot about all the places their parents have lived, so if I were them, I would think we were circus people too. I hope that they start feeling more secure as we get settled and create a home; of course, the reality is that they will create their own worlds, in their own unique ways and on their own schedules.
When I met Steve, I was up for adventure, but it was hard for me each time we moved. Even with this, what is to be our final (not including our retirement tiki hut), 10th move, I was still pretty anxious about it. Steve should have the title of "Mover: Special Ops." The minute any move was decided, he went into hyper-drive. I admire him for his focus, energy, and positive attitude - it's what has made for relatively successful moves all these years. Sure, we had movers here in the new house until 3am, but, I can laugh at that now knowing I won't have to move for another 30 years...right?
One of the things I discovered I had issues with over the past, umm 20 years, is that cardboard boxes have always been wherever we were because we knew we would be leaving again. Some were used for storage, but some were flattened and stored. It took me awhile to realize those damn boxes were my anxiety trigger! There they were, just staring at me, reminding me of a pending move. I avoided the basement like the plague in our last home. So, I told Steve that my goal was to rid this house of all cardboard boxes. I have never been so happy to recycle! The family has been notified that nothing goes to the basement unless it's in one of these bins (and nothing goes in these bins unless it has plans for 2016).
I've had trouble unpacking, figuring out where to put stuff, especially because I had so much anxiety packing it up in the first place. I recognize that I have this need for things to be "perfect" and yes, I know that there is no way they ever will be. The mess of unpacked boxes, toys thrown about and unmatched socks (like everywhere!) is proof we are living, that we are o.k., and that we will be fine.
I usually think of my favorite organizational guru, Peter Walsh when I'm about to tackle another corner of disorganization and clutter. I like his approach to really thinking about your stuff and how that fits into your overall goals in life. Although it's taking me more time, I've learned a lot about how I hope, I want us to create our home. I also really like these 10 questions, by blogger, Mandi Ehman; thoughtful reflection is something we just don't do enough of - about our stuff, about our friends, our relationships, and ourselves.
So, my mother, with her infinite wisdom, knew just what to do to bring some joy into all this clutter. She came on Tuesday with a delivery from our dear family friends (I call them Aunt Phyllis and Uncle Gene). They had fixed our childhood dollhouse - "our" meaning whenever my oder sister let me play with it. It was a Mount Vernon dollhouse kit from the 1970s. Of course, we have no room for it, right now, anyway. But, it doesn't matter. To see Anna and Jack's excited reaction was everything. So, for now, it's proudly sitting in the middle of our living room. A great place for the kids to play with it and a gentle reminder for me to relax and enjoy the childhood memories being created right in front of me.