being present

Things are truly in flux right now. We are in this awkwardly uncomfortable gray space. We sold our house last week (breathe a big long sigh of relief with me now….) and have made the choice to move into a temporary rental for the time being. The housing market is a seller’s dream, but a buyer’s nightmare. With a budget that doesn’t leave a lot of wiggle room, we know we need to have a strong offer that is not contingent on the sale of our house. So, the logistics of this reality have landed us in my in-laws home for a week while we wait out the period between sale and rent.

This place we are at is weird. Not the physical location, but the metaphorical place of emotions, decisions, adulthood and waiting. I’ve typed it before and I’ll do it again – I don’t do patience well. And I really don’t do change well. So waiting for change is just crazy making material for me.

We are in a home of love that is very obviously not our home. Living out of laundry baskets and treading someone else’s space carefully. Organizing in my mind the two different places we are storing items – the place that holds our “when we have our new home stuff” and the more immediate storage place of “get ready to unpack when you have moved into the condo”.

Thor and I are processing this much differently than the girls. We talk. I cry. I mourn the loss of my first home and anxiously anticipate what the future holds. Thor pounds the pavement with rhythmic exercise.

The girls have an outward expression that is cross between asshole and emotional hellion. It’s all there. The behavior exposes the feelings they don’t have the words for. All the unsuredness and longing for the only home they’ve known comes out in fits, tantrums and irrational and radical moments. These moments seem to be strung together in a day that resembles a gnashing of teeth and claw marks as we cross the finish line each night with exhaustion. It is hard. It is temporary. It is our here and now, but not our forever. Or even our next month.

It’s a bizarre turn of events to go from being insanely and manically busy for weeks on end to having nothing to do. Not just having no yard to take care of or a smaller house to clean, but having no paperwork, no desktop computer and no remote that I know how to work.

It forces us to be present. Fully and intensely present.

In the silence and blank space, there is the time to face the mixed emotions of leaving our home and the uncertainty of the future. There is the opportunity to talk. And the time to be silent and still. There is the time to embrace the girls and hold them tight as their enormous emotions threaten to explode on a collision course. This moment and this place are good for us. The rough edges are softening and the meditative clarity is beginning to shine like a beacon.

Through this process, it has become clear that one of my coping mechanisms when the waters get murky and the road gets rougher is to check out. Not in a dangerous or long lasting way, but for a brief zoned out period that takes me to another place. The reflexive check of email or the drag down of the social media site to see what the rest of the world is up to.

Because sometimes this place, this here and now, is too much.

The emotions, irrational about faces and sounds radiating from Pepper are too all consuming. The melancholy whining and clinging of V suffocate my physical and emotional space. The aching to have adult interaction or feeling there is no purpose in my drudging actions. These are my times that I check out.

But right now, I am taking the opportunity to be there. In the moment. Walk the path of change and help the kids as they navigate this incredibly drastic shift. I am letting their energy and emotional abilities be the guiding force. If it is hours of Lego creations that are their outlet, we sit and build. If their muscles are craving the rhythmic release of energy with an intense jumping session at the trampoline place, we go. If snuggles are needed to feel like their upside down world is patched back together and secure, we hold and squeeze. And if their tears flow, attitudes are testing and energies are trying, we wait in this moment and ride the wave through the crest and down.

There are lessons and opportunities in the seasons. With each shift, a chance to learn and grow. When I look at the timeline of this thirty five years of life, there are certain catalytic events that shifted the path. This is one of those events. A chance for our family to grow together as a unit. A lesson for the girls how big emotions wax and wane and how you live in them, embrace them and then let them go.

This is the season to be present.


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