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Finding The Happy

Looking for joy in all the right places

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So what’s next

Hi.

So I went ahead and created a Facebook page and had all these great intentions to write daily and purposefully when suddenly, Other Stuff Hit.

And then suddenly, I realised I couldn’t publish anymore. Not in my actual name anyway. It’s one thing to have a stream of consciousness documented in the public domain when the most scandalous thing to report is our uphill battle with toilet training The Younger.

It’s quite another when it’s about a very personal journey that involves your former truths crumbling to dust and the utterly bewildering and lonely experience of figuring out where your next steps should be.

That’s cryptic. Even as I type now, I’m wondering how much to divulge. The last two years have been a marathon that’s continually tested my stamina, my optimism, my thick skin and my courage. Meanwhile, my most entrenched ideas of what it means to be a Christian and a woman have been repeatedly called into question — along with my motives, my attitudes, my faith in God, and my character. I now swear more than I ever have in my life. I’ve lost a lot of friends. (That’s unrelated to the swearing but it probably doesn’t help.) Then again, I’ve found new ones in the unlikeliest corners of my life. If anything, the last few years have crystallised who my truest friends are. And while it’s been spiritually, mentally, and emotionally bruising to find out that the set of people I’ve relied upon don’t actually fully overlap with the set of kindred who continue to come through for me, the new relationships and the depths of honesty and authenticity I’ve found in brand new quarters have renewed my faith in God’s humanity.

Church is bigger than church, y’all. And God is the biggest of all.

Continue reading “So what’s next”
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So yes! New blog name. New domain name. Slightly new categories (I’m still working out the long game on that one.) New website template. New blogging resolutions.

Same me. :-)

Painful home truths

It dawns on me this early morning that we will soon be leaving this home.

Length of living space
The length of our living space, and home to many a party – especially during the age Before Children

When we bought this house, we had always known that we would move eventually. It was to be the first of hopefully three, and we would live in it until the children arrived. The first rung in the property ladder. The step up into the larger family home, before we eventually downsize in our retirement. If we got to live that long.

During our house hunt, this had been the first house we walked into and the one we couldn’t shake from our hearts and minds. In November, we would have lived in this house for ten years. And in all that time of course, this house had become our home.

Our bedroom
Our spacious north-facing bedroom

Arddun's bedroom
Once our study and second guest room, this space has evolved into our daughter’s haven. I’m convinced it is the best insulated room in the house – warmest in winter, coolest in summer.

And as much as we’ve been gearing up to this season of selling and moving on, I can’t help but feel nostalgic and a little sad about the prospect of leaving this place. It’s a terrific family home, and it’s served us very well. Coming from an old flat in Singapore, this is the first house I’ve lived in that has such open plan living, and where the kitchen truly is the hub of the home. I love that our guests always gather around our massive kitchen island the moment they arrive, and that I get to engage with them even as I’m busying in the kitchen. Having gotten so used to entertaining this way, it was one of the first things I made sure we have in our new home – a large kitchen island, right in the family living area. And space underneath for bar stools so we can continue having breakfasts that way.

Main living area with skylight
I’m really going to miss these high ceilings and those windows.

Arddun had learned to walk on these floors. My mother stayed here every chance she could. Atticus was almost born here (if I ever get down to writing about his birth, that is definitely a story to tell.) For a few consecutive years, we hosted Chinese New Year for our friends here.

Chinese new year 2011
Chinese New Year 2010, probably the last bash before Arddun arrived

Guest room
Before this became Atticus’s room, this was my study and our guest bedroom. We’ve had so many friends and family come stay with us here over the years for days, weeks, even months.

These walls have paid witness to the highs and lows of my family’s last decade. Mostly highs, really.

I’m going to miss walking to the shops. I love that when it was just Arddun and I, it was so easy to walk over to the buses and take a ride to Belconnon or the city. A part of me is rather sore that they’re finally going to build a cinema within walking distance of this place, but we’d probably be in the new house by then. My little fantasy about date nights with Tony and then walking home thereafter, slightly ruined now by the prospect that we’d still have to drive.

I love that I could send Tony to the shops for onions in the midst of cooking, and he could still make it home in time for dinner to be finished on schedule.

I’m so glad we moved to this part of Canberra. I’m so thankful we have this home.

If all goes well in the coming weeks, someone else is going to walk into this house, see what we’ve seen in it, and love it on the spot. Until then, I’m going to treasure our last months together.

View from front door
That uninterrupted view from our front step

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