Well, hello there! I missed you!
I've been busy cleaning and packing and cleaning some more. The last few weeks have been crazy (in a good way) and I haven't found much time to touch base with anyone. I did tell my husband that the next time we move, I'll need a good tranquilizer or a case of wine about a week in advance, and just keep me 'on cloud nine' until everything is cleaned and organized and all the final papers have been signed. I enjoy moving believe it or not. This will be my 28th address in only 18 years, so I am no stranger to boxes, bins, tissue paper, bubble wrap, newspapers, and duct tape. However, this is the most stressful move to date.
Of course I put the stress on myself, I know that...but moving with school age children is totally different than a single girl packing up throughout the night, loading up her hatchback, and taking up residence in a cozy new apartment. These children seem to unpack faster than I pack, dirty faster than I clean, and for some reason they are always hungry, tired, or in need of attention. I say sarcastically "I didn't think I had to do anything after the labor and delivery - this life is a lemon and I want my money back"
Kidding aside, you have to maintain some sense of normalcy when you have children and others are involved in the moving process. Bedtimes need to be maintained, meals need to be provided, bathing is a must, and you need to be able to locate the favorite stuffed animal and night light at a moments notice to save a pre-bedtime temper tantrum and melt down.
If I had all the money in the world I would have hired someone else to do the moving and the cleaning, but alas...I do not have all the money in the world (in fact I don't have much more than a handful of change in the bottom of my bag at this moment). What I like about doing it myself is how familiar you feel with the home - the building itself. It gives you time to bond with your new home and time to say goodbye to your old home. As you pledge the floor boards of your daughters new room, you think lovingly about the hours she will enjoy playing dolls on the floor, of the future years with boy band posters on the walls, and a pack of cigarettes tucked in the back of her underwear drawer. As you clean the old house, you think about the new owners and the life they will create, and you want to make sure the house is clean so they can sit back and enjoy it as much as you did when it was yours.
All in all, at the end of the day, I'm a bit stressed and short with people I love. I'm not the person I want to be and thank heavens this is only temporary. The 'on the cusp' feeling got me to thinking about what I would do if I had a few hours to myself tomorrow. I asked myself "Crystal, what would you like to do to get your happy back?" and I started creating a mental list. This list got me to thinking...wouldn't it be nice to have my own 'owner's manual'? A list of things I enjoy, with a price, and time listed on it? A list that I could create on a good day, instead of waiting until I'm at my wits end and the only thing that interests me is sleeping or indulging in an entire bottle of wine.
I think this is a great idea, a reference book that I can use, but also something my husband could take a peak at if he was looking for ideas to make me smile. Here's a sample of what a list might look like:
1) Kiss from my husband priceless lingering
2) Massage $50 1 hour
3) Journal and Pen Set $10
4) Vanilla Latte $5 1 hour
5) Trip to the Kohler Design Center (free) 4 hours
6) Lunch with a friend $30 3 hours
7) Walk in the park with the children (free) 2 hours
8) Playing the piano (free) 15 minutes
9) a nap (free) 45 minutes
And the lesson here is - figure out where your happy place is. You don't have to make a list, a binder, or an owner's manual...you don't even have to write it down. Just think about the things that make you happy, and when you find yourself going down the path to grouchland, toss in some happy things to get you back on track. You'll thank yourself, and so will the people around you!
May your paths be abundantly filled with lemons, sugar, sunshine and happy people, places, and things!