On being grateful for what I have

I’m calling this the season of transition, and transitions are stressful.

We were misinformed about just how long it would take for our things to travel from Portland to Phoenix, and since we thought we’d have them by now, we packed and planned poorly.

We’re staying with Brent’s parents, and we are not good house guests. We come with a toddler, who is a non trivial element, though dearly loved, and a dog, who is super anxious in any situation, let alone one he can’t control, in a house with two other dogs who really would prefer if he weren’t here.

Our new house is not around the corner. It’s on the other side of the Phoenix metro area. The other day I drove down to get something (my pen finally arrived! but I also needed my camera for a writing retreat in upstate New York), and was in the new house for about 20 minutes, having a very grown up lunch of watermelon and potato chips. By the time I got back to Penny and Lat’s, I’d been gone for nearly two hours.

Their house is warm and welcoming, and they’re happy to have us, they insist. But it can’t be easy being two people who are accustomed to being alone in their house to having this rowdy band of travelers come in and take over, especially when they don’t know when the heck we’re going to leave.

Tensions run high in this environment.

But we are so, so lucky to be in this situation, because it could be far, far worse.

Let’s say instead of making money by moving homes in Portland a few times, we’d lost that same amount.

We’d have a deficit instead of a surplus.

The fact that we’re not faced with a deficit. The fact that we left Portland with money in our (virtual) pockets. The fact that, tense or no, we’re staying, for free, in a house with things that are still in transit (aka: probably not yet in transit but still in some warehouse in Portland).

I am supremely grateful.

Of course, I would very much like to get back into the swing of things.

Set up my office.

Figure out what that vacuum cleaner thing in the pool does.

Figure out what anything in the pool does.

Find places for our things.

Make our house feel like our home.

Have people over for dinner.

Actually make dinner in my house.

I saw a quote on Instagram that I’d seen 100 times before:

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

Melody Beattie, via PassitOn

It’s so easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day stress of relocation.

And gratitude doesn’t fix the tension of overstaying our welcome.

But it gets us halfway there.

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