I hope readers will forgive my not posting for some time but it has been a busy, exhausting, and at times, painful several weeks. Fortunately, the pain and difficulties are so worth the sense of accomplishment and feeling that I am living my life the way I choose despite chronic illness and pain.
A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I moved to an old country farm-house with 20 acres. We had not planned to look for a house with land until this summer but the opportunity arose and we jumped on it despite the poor timing. We fell in love with the old house though it has no central air (which I swore I needed to live comfortably in Texas) and my husband now must drive 40 miles to and from work (a big negative with gas prices). But the minute we walked into the old house, we knew it was our new home.
However, the large trees and old windmill provide charm to our yard. The high ceilings and thick walls offer surprising comfort inside except when it’s over 90 and humid as we suffered in Texas the past couple of weeks. It does seem that window air conditioners are somewhat quieter and cooler than when I was a kid.
Packing was incredibly difficult for me, partly because I was still in the midst of trying to complete my M.Ed. project. The stress from moving and the ongoing changes demanded by my advisory committee wrought havoc on my immune system and my flare up was painful and debilitating. I finally had to make a choice and determined that it was unrealistic for me to complete my project by the April 20 deadline and move on the 21st. I hoped to finally have my education behind me but I chose to let it go until the summer. I simply can’t do everything anymore. It was a tough decision and I have pondered giving up but as I have mentioned in earlier postings, I am not a quitter. I can still graduate this summer and once settled, I can focus my energy on completing my project the way my professors want as opposed to how I want.
It was the right thing for me to do though at the time it was emotional. Committed to finally graduating in May, it was incredibly humbling for me to hear that my writing was not meeting academic expectations. I have a 4.0 and professors praised my writing skills in undergraduate and graduate school. Why I could not simply complete the paper came down to the fact that my intentions clashed with academic expectations. I wrote a training for educators to work effectively with difficult students providing information that I believed was necessary. The basic conflict was that my professors felt the training was too broad. While I focused on writing a pragmatic project, research is the real priority for academic projects. I have difficulty wrapping my head around that. In retrospect, it is smarter for me to extricate my brain from academia for a few weeks and concentrate on packing, moving, and getting settled.
Our new home is still full of boxes but the furniture is in and slowly we unpack as we figure out where to place items. Storage is more limited, especially the kitchen and I have lots of kitchen gadgets. Loving to cook now requires new tactics with almost no counter space. Seemingly less closet space demands creativity in storing camping gear, aromatherapy products, and suitcases. I find these challenges fun and ongoing. The process of figuring out where things go and which pictures should hang on what walls is what makes a house a home. The pressure of moving is over and now we can relax a bit.
Our dogs are getting accustomed to the other horses in our neighborhood as well as the goats and cattle. They appear fascinated and a bit awed by these new creatures in their life. Hopefully, it won’t take long for them to get used to Amigo who will finally join our family this weekend.
There are so many changes, some anticipated, others unexpected, when moving to a new community. All have been positive so far. We are making new friends, enjoying the peace and quiet, and I love only driving 5 minutes to town to run errands. Surprisingly, our home is only a few minutes to the closest town but it is much quieter than our previous house. Yet we had to drive 18 miles to retrieve packages from the post office before!
One of the most surprising benefits of our move is how happy Sylvester, our cat, is here. He spends more time inside roaming the different rooms and finding new places to explore. He continues to go out to hunt and enjoy new adventures but he is clearly more relaxed and comfortable here.
Despite our sore backs, exhaustion, and educational setback, moving to our new home is well worth the challenges. Since living in Alaska, my husband and I have dreamed of having a home with land allowing us to have horses and other livestock. It amazes me that this dream has become reality. There is much more to do and many more dreams to make come true but I urge all of us who struggle daily with chronic pain and illness to take the risk and give ourselves permission to dream. Achieving those dreams is so much sweeter when they become reality.