I'm wondering who's been reading since the beginning of this blog. Libby and Dawn, I'm sure (Dawn, you haven't blogged since Tuesday--I'm the one who's supposed to be giving up on this, not you!). Maybe Jackie? Andi? Anyone else?
Who has been reading since we moved? Does anyone remember the four years?
Oh my goodness, it looks as if I did not blog the four years!! Well, does anyone who knows me in real life remember the four years?
A few months before we moved, when we had no idea where we'd be living or working, I applied the girls to the private school I attended, so that at least one thing could be certain. At their applicant visiting day, which was my first inkling of what it would be like to move back home, I met a woman who turned out to be the wife of the Deadhead who assistant-managed the fruit and vegetable store where I had my first job. They had moved back from California five years earlier, and she told me that when they moved, her step-mother-in-law told them it took four years to feel like you really had a life, and that was indeed how long it had taken.
Ever since, we have held to the mantra of four years.
Today, it has been four years since we moved.
This morning I lay in bed, basking in the recently-rare sight of blue sky and sun through my no-longer-quite-so-new skylights. I went for a run and moved the hostas I'd been thinking about moving for a year and a half. S went to work, and the rest of my day was pretty much about the driving--one bat mitzvah, two birthday parties (three, if you count the slumber party I picked E up at on my way back from driving M to temple), one bat mitzvah party--and then the chatting with my moms along the driving way (plus a general socializing at Lucy's daughter's birthday party). We hit the seventh grade scene, the second grade scene, the temple scene, and the family friends scene.
I'd say we have a life.
Really, we were well on our way to a life by a year. (One year was our other mantra, because I promised M that if she did not have a friend by one year, we would move back to No Longer Red State. Even M laughed about that one on the first anniversary of our move.)
But it still seems like an appropriate moment to assess the results of our move, and I'd say the step-mother-in-law was right, and I'd say that after four years, I'm feeling pretty good about our life.
House: Renovated and almost perfect (still miss outdoor space, but have plans).
Community: Very much so: temple, family friends, school moms, kids' friends everywhere we turn, boards, volunteer work, and so forth.
Kids: Absolutely thriving. I'm sure they would be fabulous kids if we lived in No Longer Red State, but they have flourished here in so many ways--from children's theater to urban independence--that simply weren't available for us there.
S's work: He's a rock star, in kitchen and community.
My work: I thought, for a long time, that this was the rub, because my work situation has been a rocky path. There were some disasters and some triumphs, and though what I was aiming for after four years was a great job I loved, I've ended up with this freelance/consulting path, which has me doing a lot of different things with a lot of different people (and making as much money as I would in a real job, if not more). It's sometimes too easy for me to see this as failure, i.e. to think of it as not having achieved what I was aiming for. But I am doing great work with great people; I am well-known, well-connected, and sought after (hmm, why did I put a hyphen in the first two and not the third? can that be right?); I have the flexibility I want; I am very much working in the fields I want to be in; and, the fact of the matter is, I am here as a result of choices I have made, at every step of the way. Although I am not infrequently dissatisfied, I have been in some way dissatisfied at every stage of my working life. In other words, in four years, I have achieved a work life, but I remain myself, and perhaps that's a project for the next four years.
Edited to add: I believe there is no hyphen because, unlike "well," "sought" is not an adverb modifying "after."