Settling-In Challenges


Today is the first day I feel like I'm coming up for air after the sheer craziness of moving, re-settling, then taking stock of the many, many projects that will be keeping us busy at our new house for the next couple of months. The good news is that I am nearing the end of my shopping list, and my daily trips to both Home Depot and Loews should soon be coming to an end.

So speaking of settling in, both my husband and I were surprised this week to experience a bit of homesickness. In talking it through, we agree that it's not so much that we are missing our prior home, or town, or really even our friends in that we are still seeing them, just with a slightly longer drive. It's more a sense that nothing is familiar yet, and the loss of that familiarity has turned out to be a bit unsettling. As just one example, I'm used to seeing familiar faces, and oftentimes friends, when I'm out for a run or racewalk. Here, everyone is still a stranger. The same is true when I run errands or go to my gym. Here, of course, all the faces are still new. And even the house, as fabulous as I know it will be in just a couple more months, is still somewhat foreign in it's current homely state (The carpeting throughout most of the house is beyond horrible, truly. As are the overhead lights, non-matching electrical outlets and switches, and fairly damaged oak floors.).

But a few days later, with lots of deliberate, forward momentum by both of us, things are already beginning to fall into place. We've met most of our neighbors, and are beginning to feel like we belong here now. We walk the trail to the beach at least twice a week, and are beginning to recognize some of the people we repeatedly walk past. We have joined a wonderful marine organization that functions largely based on volunteers, and are beginning to meet people and build a base there. I've joined a running club, and each week I feel a bit more connected to the people I'm running alongside. Our UU congregation involvement is continuing to grow, and each Sunday we see more people we recognize to say 'Hello' to. And we have not one, but two area Lifelong Learning programs that we are looking to get involved in this coming Fall. All of these activities are resulting in scads of events being placed onto our calendar, and I can already see that very, very soon our calendars will be as full of possibilities as they were prior to our move.

With just a bit of hindsight, I can see how much progress we've already made in the three short weeks we've been here. As disconcerting as those few days of feeling out of place here were, they are already diminishing as other aspects of our new life present themselves.

And already, when we have cause to return to our prior area for appointments and prior social engagements, I find myself missing the beauty of my current town, how cool and comfortable the temps are, how close we are to the ocean, the graciousness in general of life here compared to the slightly more intense town we left. It's all good for sure, and even with just a few weeks of living here under our belts, neither of us would swap what we have here for what we left were we given the choice.

Our beautiful new coastal-close community.
We are never, ever leaving! 

Comments

  1. Yay, glad that you are settling in :) It's always hard to move to a new town, but it looks like you are really making the most of it and getting out there to make friends.

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    1. I think that getting our new home to where we want it will help tremendously as well. I'm very visual, and need my home to be pristine to feel settled. We are getting there, though, bit by bit. And I do already really, really like lots of our new neighbors!

      PS, If you make next week's concert in the park, one of the food trucks that will be there, The Cut Handcrafted Burgers, is insanely good!

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  2. It sounds like you are settling in rather quickly IMO. There is that down feeling when the constant work part of a move is over and you can raise your head up but you have already linked in with quite a few groups.

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    1. Juhli, it helps tremendously to read that you experienced it as well. After working so hard to get here, it did take us both by surprise. Just yesterday, though, we had longtime friends over to visit, and as I drove the wife around a bit I found myself feeling deeply happy to live here. It's just so darn pretty! ☺

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  3. Your last sentence summed it up nicely. You lived in your previous home for many years so give yourself lots of time to feel familiar at your new home and town. It sounds like you've adapted quite quickly in three weeks.

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    1. The sensation reminded me of what I experienced shortly after retiring; sort of like the blues descended out of nowhere. I remember the feeling then passed in about a week, and this time it only lasted a few days, so I think we are out the other side. Thankfully!

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  4. Our experience moving 20 miles from our former home to be closer to grandkids mirrors yours. After 30 years in one part of the area, our new home felt odd for awhile. The stores were pretty much the same, but learning where the streets went, or even their basic layout took several weeks. Finding barbers and new doctors, which of the Petsmarts in our new area was best for our dog, or even where the best parks were located took some time.

    Now, when we drive back up to the old neighborhood, we recognize everything but it feels older and less inviting. Obviously, in 2 years what has changed is us, not our old stomping grounds. We have made this part of the Valley our home and couldn't be happier. You and Mike are doing just fine.

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    1. Thanks Bob. It's tremendously helpful hearing from other retirees that transitioned and briefly experienced the same. It also helped that both Mike and I experienced it at the same time, so we could discuss with complete understanding. Already though, just a few days later, I'm back to feeling completely exhilarated at everything our new community has to offer, so just like my unexpected retirement blues, the feelings have apparently come and gone.

      This morning I went for a relatively late run, at 9:30 AM, something I could have never done in the summer in our old town. It was still a bit foggy and cool when I left, and I shook my head in disbelief at yet another thing I love about living here. Nicely, the sun popped out just as I returned home.

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  5. We also moved a town away, about 15 miles, a few years back.I knew my local library by heart, my grocery store clerks, my neighbors, and had routines I enjoyed.I liked driving by the high school where my son graduated.But our move was into a house that has a much better floor plan for us, and although it is a smaller house (we right-sized from huge square footage) it works way better for our activities! Over the first year, i made fabulous friends, and have two neighborhood Hand and Foot games per month. Sometimes we do lunch afterwards.I found the new branch of the library, GREAT parks, and a new downtown area.I still visit my old town center.. it's not so far away, but I feel centered in the new place now, and have made new routines and friends.You will too-- it sounds like you're off to a great start already.

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    1. Hi Madeline, thank you for leaving a comment! Like you described, we are enjoying our new neighborhood already, and are discovering we have quite a bit in common with our one-house away neighbors, seeing some opportunities for get-togethers in our future. And having entertained all weekend, we are happy to have our quiet home back this morning, so I'm thinking that's another good sign we are settling in!

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