“Do you feel like we’ve stepped into this whole new life?”
I’ve been thinking about this question for a few days now, because the answer keeps ending up at “Yes.” I feel like I walk around in this constant state of amazement – the original definition, not the ZOMGMYLIFEISAMAZING spin. “Wow,” is this word that is on repeat in my brain daily. I blink a lot.
The apartment complex is filled with families. The kids already have “pool friends,” and so do we. I have yet to meet someone who isn’t Jewish. Honestly. I’ve moved to a kibbutz. This is unreal. Someone mentioned they walked the halls one day and counted mezzuzahs on the doors – there were SIXTY of them. (I did, however, run into two gentlemen clutching prayer rugs on the elevator, so, you know, DIVERSITY.)
Everything is five minutes away. Five. FIIIIIIVE. I have not filled up my gas tank in over a week. (For those playing the home game, that’s 1.5 less tanks ALREADY from ten days ago.) I don’t even know what to do with myself and all this extra time. (Shut up.)
I still don’t feel settled yet. I don’t know that I will since I know this is only a temporary stop. I’m working at it. This was the first week I’ve cooked in this kitchen – and it felt good to do that. It was an awkward space to work in, but the smell of caramelizing onions was soothing in many ways. There have been meals made. Groceries have been shopped for. There has been kitchen dancing to a playlist I may never wear out. There has been wine. But, this kitchen is not mine. This new life is shiny, but there are things that are missing, people that are missing, and I wonder if they’ll be found. I hope so.
The adjustment to a smaller space has been as easy as I’d predicted. Leah’s room is still fairly large and I’m pretty sure her closet is actually bigger than mine, but Benjamin’s room is markedly smaller. It’s been most interesting to watch him adapt – and what I was most concerned about, but it’s textbook. He loves his smaller space. He spends more time playing in his intimate, little room. He has less things and enjoys them more. I can tell he’s not 100% settled in, but for the most part he’s doing ok.
A new life. I’ve heard that once you rip the rug out from under yourself you’re likely to do something similarly as drastic again really soon. I can see how that can happen – it only hurts the first time, right? You lived through the upheaval. You did it. What’s one more change? The definition of a “major change” becomes a sliding scale, right? Maybe.
I’m waiting for the time when things are predictable, when there’s routine. Where you just exhale into a moment and it all just sits quietly with you. I’m waiting for this space to feel like a soft set of worn-in sheets, or thick socks – where I can point to heartwarming moments, privately or not. I’m waiting, but I’m working at it, too.
So, maybe I’m not “settling in,” but I am collecting moments and that’s almost the same thing.