I read that moving is like a pendulum, with a gradual swing back and forth between old and new, until a new rhythm is found. I was so happy when I read that, as it encapsulates my feelings this last month. It really helped to find a metaphor to help me visualise the emotional comings and goings.
I spent lots of time googling how it really feels to move, reading forums, blogs and Mumsnet threads, often in the dead of night when I couldn’t sleep. So I wanted to continue to share some of my own experiences from the other side here.
I think moving feels more like an old fashioned pair of scales, each time a new friend from our old life visits and then leaves, or one of us has a wobble over something, I feel the slow but sudden drop through the air, as if someone has taken another weight off the scales. It can be a very real sudden sinking feeling and the scales feel like such a perfect metaphor.
It takes another day trip, a new project round the house or garden – gathering plums, making jam, picking fresh peas – to refill the scale with enough weight to rebalance us, or to tip the scales towards our new life. Gradually over the summer those tipping sensations have become less and less, and eventually a new balance will become the norm, but it is really comforting to visualise the emotional back and forth of our new life as a pair of scales and to know it is totally okay to reach for a weight to compensate for any sinking feelings.
The other big thing to grapple with has been the sense of responsibility, for an older and more complicated house and for more land. There is lots to learn, and when I feel very overwhelmed I have a nasty habit of procrastinating, for fear of getting it wrong or not achieving perfection.
Mr A has thrown himself into it wholeheartedly, initially this made me quite dizzy, and then jealous of all his new tools and skills (the postman delivered an axe last week) and then I realised all he was doing was googling things and learning as he went and realised that trying something and getting it wrong was better than my infuriating state of paralysis. So that day I fell asleep to the sound of You Tube gardening videos and the following day I weeded a gigantic raised bed, I bought new gardening gloves and tools and today I planted more veg. It’s amazing how big the weeds grow when left unchecked, a bit like mental weeds.
Bigger team work has been the order of the day too, I am so grateful for friends and family who have come and helped us make a start on the caravan renovation, digging, jet washing stuff and cutting down trees. Having people to stay has helped us keep seeing the area with new, holidayish eyes and it’s magic to have someone take the lead and teach us new skills. I looked round the other day and could finally see how much we had achieved.
I love sharing this space too. I’ve loved seeing packs of kids roaming wild and surprised myself by how much I love hosting, welcoming and looking after people – it was something we’d fallen out of doing in our old house. I’m thinking when we finally get the self catering thing going we should specialise in letting kids run wild and parents unwind, it seems to happen naturally here. Gifting other people a holiday, even if it involves working a bit, has made me happier than travelling.
One thing that has helped me relax and properly enjoy the happiness we’ve found living in the country…I made the mala necklace above, used in meditation, and I’ve been repeating the mantra I am grateful for all that is unfolding in my life and all that is yet to come. It’s definitely helped me get my inner pendulum back in tune. Gin, wine, tea, yoga, running, and good company help too.
But this month, I also know I absolutely belong here, without question, this is home.
Anyone who fancies a working holiday in the Peak District, teaching us or learning new skills just shout. We’ll happily provide full board and not in the yet to be renovated caravan.
To read all my Moving to the Country posts, go here.