I did not dream about this list. On one of my daily potty walks with Calvin, (I walk, Calvin potties), I realized there were below the surface things I didn’t expect. Here is the deeper counterpart to the list in part 1. (see July 23, 2012)
1. The rhythm is missing. Seasons of weather give rhythm to the year – cooler color season, soup season, planting season, vacation season. Here, it is always bathing suit season. I’ve had a few soup Days, the planting happens backwards or continually, snow bird season takes up 1/2 the year and people come to FL for vacation year round. Don’t misunderstand…I LOVE being at the water any old day and exchanging my work fancy pants for bathing suits. I don’t miss the cold & didn’t expect to miss the natural changes which gave a reliable rhythm to my world.
2. When I got married, I never thought about year 27. I never considered what it would be like to drop my twins off at college 1200 miles from home; sing my sister into heaven; enjoy a 16-year-old girl from Thailand living with us; pack up our home of 11 years and leave a state we had lived in for 27/40 year (myself/JR) and move to the nearly southest/eastest corner of the US – all in a little over 1 years time. And so I didn’t expect how meaningful, comforting, amazing the phrase, “I’m still here” would be. It’s a highly repeated phrase we’ve shared the last 8 months. The phrase sits alongside gratitude for the friendship, partnership, mutual mercy and encouragement that has been flung back and forth between us. I love my husband for better, for worse.
3. I am capable of learning new things. Not just about how to play sports, but about how to do life post kids in the house, post living in Colorado. How to do life here with a fresh white canvas to paint on and alot more awareness of who I am.
4. I am grateful for the funds to buy a lot of plane tickets. Those connect me face to face with the people I love. Physical proximity to family and good friends should not be taken for granted. I did. Forgive me. Now I’m not.
5. Prior to moving, I was warned about Hurricanes, Alligators, Bugs – they’re all here. No one mentioned the powerful instantaneous cow-and-horse downpours that happen here A LOT. I’ve doubled the amount of umbrellas I own and have strategically situated them. It is an awesome and beautiful display of the Creator’s beauty. Rain appreciation club member here. Who knew.
6. Truly I HATE tight things – spaces, pants, bras, long sleeves, coats, and especially shoes. Barefootedness feels like a type of freedom that I’ve been granted. Barefootedness feels like childhood. Great non-expectation.
7. Henry’s beach, Santa Barbara California – home to many of my best childhood memories. I’m nearly unexpectedly overwhelmed with gratitude for the Oasis the beach is, on a holiday, on the weekend, on a walk. I am as content and joyful there now as I remember being when I was growing up. Thank You Lord for this perfect, personal gift.
8. Distance makes the heart grow fonder? Yes it does. So does watching my girls grow into remarkable young women via places I’ve never been, people I’ve never met, things I’d never do, experiences I’ve never had. They are leaning into their lives full steam ahead. I’ll take the Skype conversations over a phone call, and the individual visits over no visits at all. In fact spending one on one time with each daughter has offered new depth to our changing adult relationships. Didn’t see that comin…
9. The companionship of my dog in all of the unfamiliar is priceless.
10. I’ve liked to watch birds on occasion. Other than the shameless thief of the seagull nature, my eyes and interests have opened up wide for birds. They are plentiful here and I’ve spent much time quietly enjoying them, appreciating & observing them. Perhaps number 10 on the list points out the most unexpected of all, the relief and healing of having time to live at a sustainable pace and notice beauty, people, opportunity, blessing, potential.
And it took a move to Florida for this to happen.
I certainly didn’t expect that.