For the past month or perhaps a little less (I’ve lost track), it felt like all signs were pointing towards an imminent move back to our house in West Grove. It was like we were on a plane that was getting lower and lower as it approached it’s runway for landing in Philly; the plane started doing all those weird noises when you know its getting its landing gear ready. The flight attendants were telling us to put our seats in upright position. They were taking all our trash one more time. Then at the last minute, this plane shot back up in the air and announced it would be heading several states over to Arkansas. Or something.
This sudden twist and the resulting realization that we don’t have a foreseeable move home in our future has made me resolved to appreciate what we do have here in California. We’ve got each other. We’ve got some really close family members besides just our little nucleus. We’ve got mountains and beaches and world-class national parks within a relatively short driving distance. We’ve got as much entertainment as we could ever want at our disposal with the city revolving around the movie industry and basically fun in general. You can always wear jeans anywhere and be appropriately dressed. It’s sunny almost always which is good for a family that loves to be outside and camp a lot. It’s metropolitan; there’s plenty of diversity. There are progressive churches that make those of us who tend towards being a bit more liberal feel at ease and accepted.
I know that if some of our family and friends back east read this, they might be sad to read the above paragraph because it’s about me adjusting to life here; that could be interpreted as threatening our desire to move home. The two aren’t mutually exclusive—keeping my heart fond of home and allowing myself to love it here. It’s important for me to not live like I’m somewhere else when I’m really here. I need to be present, and I need to be grateful. I was present for the first 6 or so months that we were out here, and then I decided right around March that it was time to move back east. I wouldn’t accept the possibility of being here much longer. And that’s not healthy. It’s not reality. If I do that here, wouldn’t I do that back east, too? Probably. If I can’t master being present and content and grateful when I live somewhere that actually does have so much of what I always whined that I didn’t have when I did live back east, then I don’t think I’d move back east and be grateful either.
Life is what we are doing now. Home is where this little family is together. Yes, my heart feels torn to be away from so many people that I love. But, I’m here right now, and there is a lot for which I am thankful.