Year in the rear-view window

As I race into the New Year, I don’t have time to even peer into the rear-view mirror to review it . . . lest I steer clear off the road.

Have you ever tried to take a photo while speeding down the highway as you’re driving?  Or even while you’re a passenger?  And just as you think you can snap a photo, a semi-truck chugs into the frame?  And you end up getting a blurry image which fails to do justice to what you saw for a brief moment?

Last year at this time, Iwas living with my four kids back in the Seattle area.  My husband had been home for a week before he returned here to Southern California and to his job.  I’d just paid a painter to paint the interior of my house–the house we lived in for almost 12 years.

We sold that house last October for much less than we’d hoped to get.

You know what I miss about that house?  My washer and dryer.  Now, I’m in a beautiful house but it takes two hours to dry a load of laundry.  This has cramped my style.

Anyway, last year at this time I was bobbing along in a strong current of anxiety.  I worried about so many things:  my children’s reaction to moving so far away, the reality of living in a much more expensive area of the country, buying and selling real estate in two different states, the sheer enormity of purging, sorting, packing and moving our household.

Everything sped by so fast that I have only blurry remembrances of it.

I took a few photos that kind of break my heart, like this of my son swinging with his friend (the neighbor boy we’d known since he was three years old) in our old back yard, days before we moved:

Moving a great distance when your kids are more than half-grown emphasizes the bitter part of the bittersweet motion of life.  You realize that your cozy little family is transitory and you feel the pang of loss, even while you still hold the thing you mourn in the palm of your hand.

Moving was hard.

Change was hard.

I am loving the weather here and loving my house and loving being together with my husband and family all under one roof.

But I haven’t found my niche.  I haven’t really found my people yet.  I haven’t found a satisfactory rhythm.  I’m still racing so fast that I practically trip every other step.

The sunsets help.

This year,  I hope to find a slower pace.  I hope our puppy stops nipping.  I hope someday to sleep again past 6 a.m. (See also:  Puppy).

I intend to read my Bible more regularly, to exercise vigorously, and to cook dinner more often than I don’t cook dinner.

My family would appreciate clean, matched socks in their drawers, so I’m going to work on improving that area of my homekeeping as well.

I’d like to ease my foot off the gas pedal so the view isn’t such a blur as I pass through my life.

And I plan to write here more regularly for both the sake of record-keeping and for my mental health.

Happy New Year!

6 thoughts on “Year in the rear-view window

  1. Mel, our pastor sermon (Is 43:18-19)yesterday spoke about the road ahead and the road behind us. I am inspired to just keep my eyes on the road ahead because God has a better plan.
    I loved this part he put to apply to the scripture.
    “Our God promises in the new year to provide us with a road (direction) and a river (provisions)”.
    I too plan on putting more scripture in my daily schedule and to getting my life “road” in line with His plan.


  2. Thank you for sharing so honestly. I think it was a year ago that I found you now and I’m glad I did. I appreciate every post you write so I’m glad you are continuing!


  3. Mel,
    Rod Dreher’s blog has recently chronicled his return to the home community he left many years ago, because the death of his sister Ruthie from lung cancer a few months ago caused him to re-evaluate some things. You might find some of his journey toward finding, building, and being community helpful.

    I hope you have a good year. I know moving gets harder as we get older.

    Also, remember your bookfriends. I enjoy reading dovegreyreader’s blog sometimes, for my mental health. 🙂


  4. I can so relate to the ‘big change’ aspect of this post. And I am so thankful my entire family is within a 10 minute drive of our house…our one difference, with us not having kids under our roof any more. I am embracing the changes, tho. The Midwest is so incredibly different from Portland. We have found a lovely little church to worship at. Jobs are good. Love our house and our neighborhood. My husband came up with a great description: it’s like living in Beaver Cleaver-ville. The Midwest way of life suits me like nothing else ever has. Dear Hubby says he’s never seen me happier. Do I miss Portland? Can’t say that I do. I feel liberated from my old life. Each day is a new adventure. I hope you’re able to find ‘your people’ and your ‘niche’ sometime soon. Life has been a blur for me, too. It was a year ago this week my d-i-l and I flew here to go house hunting. A thousand things have happened between then and now. And it’s been a wonderful ride.


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