There have been many occasions during the past two weeks for me to be amazed. Today I was struck by how adaptive we humans are. Surely our ability to adapt to new surroundings and continue to survive has assured our place as one of the living, thriving species on this planet. The kids and I have been in our winter quarters now for two weeks and we have already established a new life here. I was worried that all the change would cause major issues with the kids, or the animals, or with me. So worried in fact that I pretty much ruined the whole month of December for myself in fits of worry and anxiety! On one of our first nights here in Arizona, Brit performed an alarmingly accurate psychoanalysis of my tendencies to worry about absolutely everything. He said, "Mom, I don't know how you are even still alive with all the worrying you do. You worry about every single day to day thing, and you worry about things in the past, and you even worry about stuff that hasn't happened yet. You try to think of every possible thing that could ever happen, and then you worry about how to deal with those unseen things in case they ever actually happen." It's so true. I do that. But here we are two weeks later, doing just fine, doing even better in some ways than we were at home. The flip side to our easy transition, is of course, that we have kind of manipulated our lives here to resemble our the lives we left behind. We used to have a membership at our local Rec. Center where Kaylee took some fitness classes and Brit and I would workout. Before we left for this adventure I looked up the local rec. centers close by so that we could join right away. There was something so comforting about walking through those doors yesterday and spending the next 1/2 hour on a treadmill. Mapquest is my best friend nowadays and I have found all the places we would normally go. One of Brit's favorite places to eat is in Draper, called Gual Bertos, it's a Mexican food drive thru where you can get the yummiest burritos made with homemade tortillas and lots of lard. Guess what we found here? Fili Bertos. We still have Target, and Petco, and IHOP for brunch. We brought with us two dogs and two cats so we still have animals to love and to fill up too many hours of our day with their care and maintenance. We have television (horrible, awful, antenna tv), our laptops and internet, cell phones, the Wii. We have our favorite DVDs to watch and our favorite books to read. We found a church to attend on Sundays, a couple of home school groups to get involved with, and several prospects for tennis. There are obvious differences about being here. Jeff doesn't come home every night. But we've adapted, or manipulated that detail as well. We talk each night via web cam and we almost have more of his time in this new arrangement than we did when we were all under the same roof! We can text and i/m each other whenever we need to. We are lucky. We have the means and opportunity to use this manipulation of circumstances and surroundings to make this major life change so easy for us. This adventure is not without it's challenges, but they are manageable because we have all the tools to adapt.
I have thought a lot about the other people who are living here with us too. Many of our new and temporary neighbors are families. We are in one of the few rv parks in Arizona that allow kids, or even patrons under age 55(Mesa is made up of mostly old people). From what I can gather, we are the only family here who are not making this our primary home. We are here purely by our own choice. We are not in some kind of major life transition. How much harder would this be if it was our only choice? How much harder would it be if we did not have our comfy home to go back to whenever we choose? From a distance they seem to have adapted to this lifestyle and they are friendly enough. It's hard to ignore each other when you live just a few feet away from your neighbors. This aspect of our stay in Arizona reminds me to stay very grateful for my own circumstances. I'm not trying to imply that living in an rv campground is an inferior way of living, I'm just saying that I have so many choices, and that it is a blessing.
Already my health is improving. That's a good thing, since the point of this crazy escapade is to give me a better quality of life. The plan is working! Of course this fact makes me happy. What makes me even more happy, though, is that at this very moment, my little Kaylee is outside playing with her new friends.
Turns out there is another 11 year old girl living only 30 feet from us. I overheard them reading aloud to each other from the Twilight books. I always wanted to live in a neighborhood where I could send the kids out the front door to play with friends! This is a little luxury we don't even have at home.
Now you see it. Now you don't.
10 months ago