There's been a lot of conversation lately about representing ourselves more authentically on social media. We tend to post the happy, pretty, exciting parts of our lives and leave out the messy, unresolved struggles. I mean, it makes sense... it's a lot more fun to post a pretty picture of our new home than it is to post something about how I'm really struggling knowing what to do with myself without my crazy life in Provo. So, here's that post. :)
Bryan is going from working as a researcher and being a student to, well, working as a researcher and being a student on perhaps a slightly larger stage with a bit more at stake. Poor guy didn't get any break after grad school, but he's good at what he does and so far he seems to be adjusting well. He's working hard to try to figure out new routines and norms based on his classes, labs, and their expectations.
I think Lincoln is adjusting remarkably well. While we can tell he misses his family in Utah, he is sleeping through the night more regularly than he EVER did in Provo (praises go to having his own room finally), having lots of fun playing outside, loving to be social with all the new kids, and loving to have lots of space to run (whilst holding onto our fingers of course).
The little guy doesn't know what hit him sometimes, but I think that has more to do with teething + wishing he could take off and run, than it have to do with the move. For the last little while in Provo, we were living in chaos; the sea of boxes and messes that comes with preparing to move really cramped his style. I think he's loving life for the most part. He's a strong-willed, really needy, happy child.
Things have been a bit harder for me.
I think I started preschool when I was like 3... and from that day on I've been a student. From first grade on I've been a full-time student. From 16 on I've also been employed while being a full-time student. All through my undergrad degree I only took summer break from about the third week of June to the end of August. In grad school I didn't get summer breaks. The summer between my under grad and grad school I had a longer break from school, but worked 3 jobs.
So, finishing school only a few months ago and ending my employment just one month ago, preparing to move, and then coming here without any of that feels like I've quit a really strong drug, cold turkey. So much of who I am has always been defined by my work, my school and my busy routines and known expectations. To have almost none of that in my day-to-day comings and goings has been a really difficult transition.
I loved what I did. I loved being a student, I loved teaching math, I loved researching, I loved the cognitive challenge of what I did each day, I loved the busyness, I loved the regularity of it all... I really loved this "strong drug" I just left behind a few weeks ago...
I'm having to completely create a new routine and figure out who I am now without all that in my day-to-day life. I don't think I've had to do this ever... I've always just slightly altered my routine to fit the new school year, the new semester, the new job, etc. But for the first time I'm having to completely create a routine from scratch. While it seems like it could hold a lot of really great opportunity, it's also incredibly daunting.
From small tasks like going grocery shopping to larger tasks like taking care of Lincoln or deciding what to do or not do about employment, nothing is totally established for me right now. I have no idea what grocery store(s) I'm going to use. I have no idea where things are when I go there or how much they're going to cost.
Even little things can exacerbate my frustration. For example, this area has this crazy "recycle everything" policy... literally I have to sort my garbage into 5 different dumpsters outside... which means I even have to create a whole new routine for what I do with my garbage inside! There have been moments when I've been shocked how frustrating it is to hold a piece of garbage in your hand and not know what to do with it without consulting the giant spreadsheet I taped to my fridge.
I wish I could say that I was completely satisfied with being Lincoln's mom and a homemaker at home all day; being a mom really is some of the most worthwhile work that there is. But, that doesn't mean that it's an easy thing for me to drop so much of what I've been doing for the past 25 years to stay home with a teething child all day... you know?
Needless to say, the transition has been extremely difficult for me. That's not to say it's a bad thing; I'm happy we chose Stanford, I'm really pleased with where we live, and I think we're going to have a pretty awesome 5-6 years here... but being in my head all day trying to figure this out is a little tricky sometimes.
So, how am I making the transition? I'm trying really hard to get our home in order to reduce the anxiety that I get from chaos and messes and stubbing my toes on boxes. I'm working on learning what our new normal looks like so I can get into a routine that fits it. I'm trying to get to the gym more often (those endorphins and the natural high that follows do wonders). I'm trying to do things that I enjoy like reading, playing the piano, cooking... though the cooking thing is sort of dependent upon the afore mentioned grocery situation...lol. I'm sure as soon as this crazy heat wave goes away we'll enjoy spending more time outside. I'm trying to spend a lot of time in prayer and reading the scriptures so that I can have the Spirit's support and guidance in all this.
It's definitely a process... I don't think it's one that I'm going to solve overnight. I think it's going to take a lot of stretching and learning and growing. It'll be good for me.
If I weren't fairly set on someday living somewhere where I spend
In other news, my dishwasher arrived today... so not having to hand wash every single thing I ever use to eat or cook is going to be a lovely addition to our routine. Hallelujah for dishwashers. :)
Click on the pictures for their sources.