You know how it is when you sell a house? All those things you've been meaning to do for years are completed in the blink of an eye, (comparatively,) and you wake up one morning and see the house that you wish you'd lived in all those years. You chide yourself for not doing all those things earlier so that you could enjoy them; you vow that next time it will be different.
In a way, that's what this week has been like for me. Now, I'm not selling a house...I'm extremely grateful that I'll get to enjoy the fruit of my efforts actually...but even so, my home (in Tahoe [as opposed to my house (in Long Beach) which I still really like but it isn't quite as homey]) has gone through some great changes in the last month and it feels so nice. (Actually, it feels Nice --with a capital N-- iykwim*)
The whole thing began when I was lucky enough to get a new bed & mattress for my bedroom in Long Beach. That huge treat resulted in transporting the old bedroom set back up to Tahoe where it is SO much more comfortable living life as a Guest Room**. Here's proof: (isn't it lovely?)
For a variety of reasons, when we came up to Tahoe for Thanksgiving week, it really struck me that I no longer live at home. I haven't for 3 years, actually, but it turns out that denial is a tricky, sneaky friend who'll weigh you down without you even realizing it.
My home is no longer simply my home, it is my Vacation Home. Now, I'm sure that sounds all glamorous and omigoodness-I-Want-A-Vacation-Home-TOO! ...and a good 10 years ago that's about exactly how I felt. But now? Now, "Vacation Home" has a different connotation. Where it used to mean 'a lovely spot in the mountains where I can unwind and appreciate nature' now it means 'my home that I only get to live on when I'm on vacation'. It's different.
Regardless of the nit-picky particulars, a Vacation Home needs to function differently than the place you live all the time. Namely, it can't be cluttered with STUFF because that Certainly Isn't Relaxing. So Christmas break (a.k.a "Vacation") saw us back in Tahoe, with a bit of time to get things in order. I've been blissfully enjoying a few days here myself whilst my valiant husband attempts to be mom AND dad in Long Beach for a week (mostly--our littlest (Audrey) is spending the week with my parents) God bless his generous soul. I wish I could say that the bliss is due to an inordinate amount of reading and quilting and watching chick flicks, but it is actually due to all the stuff I'm getting done.
That makes me sound old. Oh well. Carrying on...
We've replaced carpeting and a microwave, we've pulled out a ridiculous amount of junk to donate to the yearly yard-sale fundraiser for Spread the Light Puppet Ministry (hi mom and dad!). I've cleaned and cleared and now I'm finally on the brink of having a proper, well-appointed Vacation Home. It's still home, but all those things that fell by the wayside before it acquired its adjective are being completed--how fabulous is that?
It's actually a bigger deal for me than it might seem. For the first time in the last three years I'm able to fully enjoy my time at home, and more importantly I'm able to think about it with an overwhelming sense of thankfulness for such a blessing rather than only feeling sorry for myself that I can't be here more often. You see, I wanted my kiddos to grow up with an appreciation for the mountains and God's creation, and in my mind that meant having them spend their childhood in Tahoe....not living here for a few years and then growing up in the city. I'm coming to see, however, that perhaps my concept of perfection isn't as perfect and fully-rounded as God's (shocker, huh?). We were able to live here full-time for 6 years, and by moving back to Long Beach, I think that my children have been able to grow an appreciation that they may not have been able to otherwise.
In the end, I suppose I mustn't be bitter towards a simple little adjective. That just sounds silly. Besides, it's much happier to be happy.
*iykwim = if you know what I mean
** Guest Room = a.k.a. Timothy's room that he never sleeps in because he's a nomad at heart and much prefers a couch. Seriously. I finally caved and accepted the fact.