It’s been 3 years….now what?
As of June 14th, we’ve been living in the same house, in the same city, for three years. It may not sound like a milestone to you, but for us, this is a full blown miracle! We’ve moved more times in the 13 years we’ve been married than most people do in their entire lives. We’ve moved to new cities. We’ve moved to new homes within the same city. We’ve moved to new countries. We’ve been home owners 3 times. And up until this month, we’ve never lived in any of those places for more than 3 years. In fact, I think our record was 2 years and 10 months. So believe me when I tell you this….three years is HUGE!
So here we are….three years later and still living in the same house in the same city. Am I happy about this? Yes. For the most part. But I’m also feeling a little bit….well, a little bit uneasy. Because while most of our friends and family saw no rhyme or reason in our endless moving, there really was a pattern. I just didn’t realize it until now.
We spent the first year in any new place just trying to figure it all out. If it was a new city, we had to find the grocery store, the bank, the good places to eat and shop. And when we moved to Germany, well, all I can say is that we didn’t speak German. So you can imagine the learning curve there! But even when you move from one house to another within the same city, you still need some time to figure out how to get to your favorite grocery store from you new house without driving back to your old house first and going from there. By the second year, you’ve figured out the basics and your cruising through your new life. You feeling comfortable in your surroundings. You’ve met some people, found some new restaurants, and learned to speak enough of the language to order Schnitzel at your local Biergarten. But things are still new, still fresh.
But then you hit year three. You’ve started to fall into a rut. You’re visiting the same coffee places, eating at the same restaurants, and shopping in the same stores over and over and over again. You’ve lived in your house long enough that you are no longer pleasantly distracted by the newly painted walls and nice backyard. Now you realize that the roof needs replaced, the basement floods every spring, and that wallpaper you liked so much during the first year now seems down right ugly. And this, my friends, is just about the time that we packed up our belongings and moved.
But not this time. And that was, and still is, a conscious choice. We moved back to our hometown of Pittsburgh, PA with the intent of staying put. Our families are here, our friends are here, and truthfully, we are happy here. But this is all new for us. We still haven’t hung curtains on all the windows. We still have boxes in our attic that we never unpacked when we moved in three years ago. Not because we didn’t intend to stay, but only because that’s always how we did things. When you move as often as we have, you don’t buy new curtains for every house and you don’t unpack all your belongings. What’s the point? And that was the mindset we were still unconsciously operating under. But then it hit me. It’s been three years and we are still here. Not only are we still here, but we have no intention of going anywhere. And that’s fine with me, except that I don’t know what to do next. What happens in year four or five or more? And then it hit me. This is when it becomes real. This is when you settle in, and really make something of the place you live. You start traditions, you make decorating decisions. You really commit to where you are. This is when your house becomes your home.
So, about two weeks ago, we pulled out four large framed prints from our time in Europe. All pictures of places we had been. They hung in our house in Germany, but we never hung them after that. We had been talking about finding a wall for them in this house when we first moved in, but could never really make a decision. So they were moved up into the attic, along with those unpacked boxes and other random odds and ends. One morning over a cup of coffee, it hit me that they would be perfect on our still empty dining room wall. I pulled them out, carried them downstairs, and Mark and I hung them up. Because hanging pictures on the wall seems like a good idea when you plan on staying somewhere for a while.
- Posted in: General