We've lived here in Northern Indiana for a little over a month now, and we're finding that, while our lives are a drastic change from before, much of it has fallen into a more predictable and familiar rhythm. Kirk has been at his new job nearly a month, I started teaching another online 4 week course last Monday, and the girls are settling into a more normal daily routine. We spend time with family and friends regularly and frequent the same places weekly: farmer's market, beach, playground, marina, and hiking. There is something really satisfying about the familiarity of life right now.
The past year was an exhausting, emotional marathon of trying to change our lives to better align with our values. I want to tell you that it all went smoothly, and in some ways it did, but that is only part of the picture. We fought hard to make these changes, to imagine what our new lives would look like, to plan for time for our individual passions, and to handle all of the logistics of moving cross-country.
By the time we got up here, we were sidelined with exhaustion, but also pumping with excitement and adrenaline. So, we spent the first month running around, trying everything, experiencing as much as possible. But we found that the girls were getting to bed too late, we were tired ourselves and cutting short time for our hobbies, and there just wasn't enough downtime (although I would argue that sitting on the beach is definitely a good way to kill two birds with one stone: fun outing and relaxation.)
The last week or two we've focused on getting the girls on a better bedtime routine--dinner, bath, storytime, prayers by candlelight, and then lights out-- and they are happier, sleeping better, and less prone to crying freak-outs. We still try to go sit on the beach for a few minutes after Kirk gets off work or visit a playground to burn some steam, but we're recognizing needed limitations to how we use our daily time.
It certainly isn't glamorous to slow down (and I hesitated to write this post as it doesn't even seem blog-worthy), but I wanted to be honest about how we are choosing to live each day. Living with intention isn't always about adventure or carpe diem, it is also about comforting routines and planned downtime. It's about knowing who you are, what your true limitations are, and then actually honoring them. Just like the seasons, there is an ebb and flow to life, and we're enjoying the rest of this current season. It might mean less exciting or interesting blog posts, and my IG posts have slowed, but we are content in this present stage.
Kirk has also discovered in his new job that not only is he serving as a clinician treating patients, but that there is a genuine need for overhauling the program and implementing new education initiatives. He is passionate about this kind of care, and I cannot imagine him leaving this job anytime soon. It will take him some time (possibly years) to make the changes needed, but I feel that it is something he's being called to do. We imagined just staying here a year before trying to travel part or full-time, but I believe that we will be here long-term. I don't think our wanderlust will ever settle down, but we might need to be more of the weekend and longer trip type of travelers. And truthfully, that's just fine. Sooner or later I will get my travel trailer, and we will find ways to explore where and how we can. But I have never desired to hold to some rigid view of our lives, and I will embrace contentment wherever we are.
Soon I'll update you on where we're hoping to live (in this area) within the next couple of years, but since we just decided it over a bottle of wine last night, I'm afraid it'll have to wait for another post. :)
Enjoy the rest of your week, friends!