still adjusting

So much about our new life has been unexpected.  Not necessarily bad, but unexpected.

One unexpected aspect is that I just don’t feel like blogging in the way that I used to.  I’ve been re-evaluating what role I want this blog to play in my life, because it does not mean to me what it once did.  It’s not that my blog means less, it’s just that it’s … different.  I still feel like I’m transitioning in my new life – and on this blog – to what I will eventually be.  And I don’t know what that is yet.

One aspect of life here that I knew would be somewhat different but didn’t realize just how much different is that of our family’s finances.  We have a lot less expendable income here.  We knew our income would go down after we moved, but we didn’t anticipate it being quite like this.  It’s been an attitude adjustment as well as a lifestyle adjustment, and we’re still adjusting.

Recently, I said to my husband that in many ways, our life has gone the opposite of most people our age.  We started out with the big house, and now we’re in the smaller house.  That’s opposite of most people.  We started out with plenty of money, and now we’ve come down.  That’s also opposite of many people.  We’re certainly expanding our family on the slow side, which is also different than most people our age, but that hasn’t been by our choice.  Still, it does make our lives different than many of the people our age that we know.

Another aspect of our new life that I still feel like I’m adjusting to is that of our house.  Downsizing has not been easy for me.  I come from a background of frugal people who saved everything, perhaps saving too much.  I thought we got rid of a lot of stuff when we moved, but it still seems like we have all of this stuff.  I think we DID get rid of a substantial amount of stuff, but now that we live in this smaller space, we notice how it fills the space that we DO have.  There continue to be times when I inwardly grumble at how cramped everything feels.  Our kitchen eating area is small, our bathrooms are small.  I wonder how we’re ever going to babyproof this house once the new little one arrives, and I wonder where we’re going to put all of our baby gear!  There’s no doubt that we will feel the squeeze a bit more in this house than we ever would have in our former house.

But, with the realization of our decreased income, I have come to appreciate more about this house.  For one thing, we got it at a good price, which means our mortgage is manageable.  Also, because the house is literally new inside and out (except for the roof, but it’s not in too bad of shape yet), we have not had any repairs that we’ve needed to do on the house.  Nothing has broken, nothing has caused us problems.  That’s a big blessing, and buying this well-flipped house, small though it is, has given us those extra benefits.

It’s good that I can appreciate this house a little more, because within the last month, I made the sobering realization that we simply can’t afford to move.  I had hoped to live in this house for a year or two, and then find our “real” house.  But, the fact is, we don’t have the money to move again.  There are SO many other expenses that come with moving, and we don’t have the money for it, unless we could make big bucks off of selling our current house, which isn’t likely.  So, for better or for worse, we’re kind of … stuck in this house.  That realization made me sad.  I really wanted a four-bedroom house.  I really wanted bathrooms that I could turn around in.  I wanted dining areas where no one is bumping into a wall or a counter or furniture.  I wanted storage space so that we could fit our one car into our garage rather than using our garage as a storage unit.

But.  (Sigh.)

We’re here, and it IS a good house.  Many families make do with more people in much less space.  And we ARE making do.

I’m thankful for what we have.  I’m still getting used to it, but I do see the blessings, and I am thankful.