Friday, November 7, 2014

Carpe Diem. But seriously.

We are packing up again for the big move to Colorado after a seven week pit stop in Omaha. A few people have said, "I can't believe how quickly it's gone." I replace the word quickly with slowly in my mind and nod politely. We chose to move. We chose to spend some time in Omaha. I do not regret that decision, but it also hasn't been easy.

So, why did we do this? Leave a really phenomenal support system, incredible friends, a lovely family-friendly neighborhood to traverse the great unknown? I touched on it here, but I've had more time to think about it lately. Mostly because the only grown ups I talk to are those paid to ring up my groceries.

In May we sat down and decided we were taking the move to Colorado off of the table. It was a pipe dream, but the timing of it just wasn't working. We'd had our house on the market in 2012 and hadn't sold it when I got pregnant with Asher. We took it off of the market and set our plans aside as we got ready for life with another baby. It was always there in the back of our heads, but we didn't know how to make it happen without Jim's career taking a hit. Also, we wanted to be moved and settled before Isaac got too much older since we didn't need to add another level of uncertainty to the pre-teen/early teen years. Therefore, we decided to let go of that wild and crazy Colorado idea and stay put. We let the kids know and talked about getting our stuff out of storage that had been sitting there since our house was on the market the first time.

Then guess what happened? It was one or two days later, I get fuzzy on the specifics, that Jim's work called and said they'd heard he might be interested in moving to Denver and they would transfer him. Huh? What? Seriously? Because we just had a big long discussion on why we weren't doing that and now Colorado just landed in our laps.

Back to the drawing board we went. We talked and talked and hemmed and hawed and finally we went old school. We made a list of pros (why we should move) and cons (why we shouldn't) on a sheet of college ruled lined paper with a line down the middle. Here's the thing. The list of cons was longer. Moving didn't make a ton of sense and it would definitely add stress and uncertainty to our lives. We didn't know what to do. So we sat and it was quiet and we thought our solitary thoughts and prayed our solitary prayers about decisions that would impact all of us greatly.

Finally I looked at Jim and said, "If we want to do this, it has to be now. We will not get another chance. This is it." "You're right," he said. So we called the realtor the next day. Fifty some days later our house sold. Five weeks later we packed up the pods and the vehicles and the U-Haul and drove away from home. The physical home, the church home, the friend home, the family home.

Pros and cons thrown out the window, we decided to grab our chance and head out on the road our hearts were telling us to journey.

And now we're looking back on seven weeks in Omaha and looking ahead to a life in Colorado. And that's scary. And wonderful. Or, as the kids and I decided yesterday, a little bit of all the emotions.

Grown-ups look at teenagers as assuming they're invincible, but I don't think they're the only ones. I think there's a touch of invincibility in all of us; it just manifests itself differently. Kids take risks, thinking they can't get hurt. We stay put, thinking we'll have all of the days we need. Maybe we do. Probably we don't.

Maybe watching Jenna live so big, then die so young had something to do with it. Maybe it's because I'm in my mid-30s. Maybe it's because I'm watching my kids grow up so quickly. For whatever reason, I am realizing more than ever how finite this life on earth is.

These days are worth living. This life is worth embracing.

I'm not saying we should all sell our houses and move. (Unless you have a 4+ bedroom in CO that you want to sell us for a steal. Then you should definitely sell your house and move.) I am saying we should stop setting our dreams aside. I'm saying we should stop assuming we'll have all the tomorrows we need to be the people we want to be and live the life we want to live. I'm saying we get to wake up each morning and stretch and yawn and breathe deeply so it's time we stop taking that for granted.

Maybe you go for the promotion. Maybe you leave your current job. Maybe you take the painting class you've always dreamed of. Maybe you travel to Japan. Maybe you explore your family tree. Maybe you call the sibling you haven't talked with in years. Maybe you become a foster parent. Maybe you plant a garden. Maybe you write the book that's written in your heart. Maybe you visit your grandma and write down all of her recipes and her favorite stories.

Whatever's in our hearts. Those stirrings we feel in our soul, the whisperings of our dreams asking to come out to bloom in the light of day. Maybe we do those things. They don't have to be big and earth shattering. They just have to matter to us, fulfill us, celebrate the wonders and joys unique to us.

Sometimes we have to leap without quite knowing where we'll land. Now, as grown ups with four little people to house and feed and keep safe and secure, we needed to have a plan in place to keep the cash flowing. Once that was in place, it was up to us to decide how to proceed.

We took the leap. We're still in mid-air. We don't quite know where we'll land or if it'll be an Olympic-worthy vertical entry, a belly flop, or just a big, fun splashing cannonball.

But we did it. Carpe Diem. We seized the day. Because these days are all we've got and we don't want to wonder what might have been if we hadn't followed our hearts to Colorado. We think it'll be great. And if it's not great then we'll make it our own version of great.

What dream have you been pushing aside? Is now the time to explore it?


  1. YES! Yesterday I spent a lot of time driving. And during part of it I was dreaming of a trip to Europe solo. Not for very long maybe 5 days, or very far (meaning I wouldn't go country hopping). I'd rather get comfortable checking out one place. I'm hoping it will happen in the next year or so. There is a college alumni trip doing london and stockholm, but I think that's a little too easy.

    1. Oooh. Fun. Have you been to Europe before? Any idea on where you want to go? Sounds like a marvelous idea and a wonderful way to daydream while spending time in the car. Go for it!