The last two weeks have been a blur. We bought a new house – unexpectedly. It’s amazing. (YAY!) We had a short, euphoric celebration, and then our realtor(s) promptly told us that we had exactly three weeks to put our current house on the market. Say wha??? was probably my legitimate inside-noggin response. So now, life is a blur. We’re in the fast lane. It’s a work-constantly-sleep-less-try-not-to-vent-about-your-problems-because-everyone-else-is-exhausted-too-and-remember-this-is-all-supposed-to-be-rainbows-so-be-thankful-and-quick!-move-that-furniture-pack-those-boxes-rightnow!-don’t-forget-about-your-neglected-dog-don’t-panic-that-you’re-wayyyyyyy-behind-on-your-schoolwork- keep-moving-crash-wake-up—rinse-and-repeat. We are thankful but tired. Tired but thankful. Anything before the “but” doesn’t matter, right? So I have to type it both ways. Both are true.
We have one more week to get our house on the market, and all I know is that despite the thankfulness/exhaustion duality, I’m also in the in-between emotionally. I’m ready for this to be over, for us to be in our big, second, fairly-dreamy house, but at the same time, I’m not. The other night, like every night, we did all we could to pack and rearrange for more workers to come through. This time was new carpet installation in our office and bedroom, so the night before, we crammed and consolidated and stacked all furniture and personal belongings into our living and dining room. And yes, it is currently a ridiculous, hoarder-type maze in our house, and I might be currently nestled between several sets of blankets and bedding on my more-than-packed couch. I am most certainly peering out over my computer at dressers and bookshelves crowding my dining room, there are boxes and tubs piled high, and our mattress, box-spring, and bed are dismantled throughout the living room… but that’s not the only view I have. I’m also typing next to my sweet, snoozing dog (which is one of my very favorite things) with a clear view of my sleeping husband on the couch across from me, and they are both resting so peacefully on the two-couch living room cul-de-sac we’ve created around the coffee table. I woke up early, as I often do, and in the early morning stillness, I have been convinced to remember that our life may be messy right now, but I love this house, and I love our life. After all, wasn’t it just two months ago on that dizzyingly beautiful Christmas morning that we sat, just us, in the same spot on this couch, exchanging gifts with the sun warming our skin, and we agreed we didn’t need to go anywhere? We wanted to stay longer… Wow, how life changes in the blink of an eye…
I love this early morning peace, typing in this house on this couch, under this blanket. I love the sounds of the cars outside, their tires wet with the melted ice from last night as they rush by. I love my dining room (when it’s not stuffed with extra furniture) and the light that pours in from the bay windows each morning. Our little grass-green kitchen, which is now painted grey. Our back deck. My garden. The birds chirping good morning outside. The quirks of cozy, tiny rooms. Even the creak of the floors. The memories here. Even with all of the chaos, I am remembering to love it.
I’m in the in-between. I’m ready, but I’m not. Today, once these two sleepy dudes wake up, we will eat breakfast and the moving will start again. Furniture staged, packing resumed, cleaning progressing. Because we have to. We signed up for this. We have one more week. Ready or not, the realtors will come, and we will close and move in to our big, beautiful, new house, and one day (hopefully very soon), we will close on this house. I can already see us rejoicing when the sale goes through and we transition from one house to another. We grow increasingly excited for this move each day. But, I can also see that it will be an emotional day. I can see myself walking the empty rooms of this house, keys in hand to set on the counter and leave behind, touching every surface one last time, even remembering the first time I saw it. We opened the back door to the warm smell of chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven. The living room was eggplant purple and seemed positively huge, the storage downstairs endless, the back deck and corner lot near-perfect. Over the years, we’ve outgrown this small house and it doesn’t feel so near-perfect anymore, but it has been a great house, and it’s been ours. It makes my heart warm and sad to think about leaving it behind and to whom we will give the keys next. Will they love it well, as we did? Hopefully. Will they keep it the same? Surely not.
The next few weeks will be curious ones, for sure. They may continue to be fast and furious, and we both may continue to be sleep-deprived and over-extended. However, I’m resolving to do the best that I can to enjoy this little house while I still have it. To crawl over the clutter and packed boxes and have eyes to see the charm and the nostalgia. To try to wake up and not just go, but rather to linger and reflect. To sink into the couch a few more times in this room, give our dog Brooklyn a few more belly rubs on his favorite (newly carpeted) office floor. Walk my familiar, beloved neighborhood trails a few more times, even if it is frigid outside. There is a reason conclusions are difficult. They’re dual purpose – the end of something and the beginning of something else. This one will be no different. But here’s hoping that we can live somewhat well in the reality of both the ending and the beginning.
And here’s wishing that these walls could talk, so they could tell me they’ll miss us too…because these last seven years have flown by like lovely birds, and I’m afraid life won’t be slowing down much more from here.