Hello all! Been a while, hasn't it? I'm cutting back on my social media usage because it does more harm than good for me right now. Election years are never pretty but this one has more than its fair share of disgusting features, and it seems as though there are more "Debbie Downer" type of articles shared around than positive ones. It's hard not to get worn down...well, hard for me. I know some people are good at making like Elsa and letting it go, but I don't seem to have that ability at this time.
And yet, Facebook and Instagram are legitimately important ways to keep up with far-flung family and friends...and even the not-so-far-flung ones as well. It is the equivalent of the watercooler at work for stay at home moms: a place to check in with the funny stories or aggravating moments of the day. And since my family members (as opposed to my in-laws) live nowhere nearby, it's a good way to keep them posted on the daily happenings of the kids.
Except...that's why I originally started this blog way back in 2011. It wasn't meant for anyone except my mom and grandma and any other folks who happened to be interested in cute pictures and the occasional monologue on whatever I was thinking about.
In 2013-2014 I started blogging on a wider array of thoughts and got plugged into a wider network of bloggers. I never saw blogging as a really sustainable source of income--there are far too many other blogs that are more useful and widely applicable than mine--but it was kind of neat to connect with people outside my geographic/familial sphere.
Thus the blog identity crisis (and I use those terms extremely loosely) of 2015: for whom am I writing? Why? What about? How often? At all??? I didn't have any answers, and because it was far from a burning issue in my everyday life, the blog was relegated to a comatose state.
With the decision to pull back from Facebook/Pinterest/surfing the net--does anyone say that anymore?!--I think it's the right move to step back up to the blog to renew my original plans to use it as a way to keep friends, loved ones, and anyone else who is interested up to date on our happenings.
As the title indicates, I want to talk about contentment (and God's sense of humor.) We've moved 7 times in just under 6 years. Of all the places we've lived, this is the one we least suspected we'd stay in for long. As I've mentioned, oh, a gazillion times, it is small and old and there's always something that needs to be repaired or redone. We bought it in March of 2014. Allen moved into it in May to begin about two frenzied months of gutting and renovating while the kids and I enjoyed life in St. Louis with my folks. We came back in July and have been here since then. That means this is the place we've lived in the longest since we've been married. The previously held record for longevity was in our 2 bedroom apartment in Oregon City which we lived in for a whole 14 months. We've been living here for nigh on 2 years now. It's not what we expected to happen.
Somehow, though, I'm coming to be at peace with living in the house that wasn't the house we wanted to live in for more than a year or so. There's still lots of work to do on the place, and poor Allen's to-do list never seems to get shorter. And yet, it's paid for. No mortgage. Property taxes about $5 for the year. There's a fenced yard for the kids to play in and a biggish shed for our stuff and Allen's shop area. We have what we need.
I once heard a lady talking about years of misery in her marriage with an alcoholic and philandering husband. She finally decided that enough was enough and filed for divorce...only to learn that he had recently been diagnosed with an advanced stage of cancer. She decided not to go through with the divorce. "Sure, he's been a jerkface for years, but he's MY jerkface, and I'm not going to ditch him when he most needs someone to help him."
This house may not be any great shakes, but it's OUR house. Do we hope something bigger and newer will come along in the next few years? Oh yes! But unless/until that happens, we are content to live here and to be gratefully content with our perfectly imperfect house which suits our perfectly imperfect life. Besides, we're already in the top 1% of people in the world in terms of worldly riches and assets. Comparing our situation to our many of fellow Americans (or anything in Pinterest land) can really blind me to the amazing privilege I take for granted on a minute-by-minute basis.
Thanks for reading, and thanks especially again to all those who helped us financially with getting the bathroom fixed up. I can't tell you how awesome it is to take showers without staring at a tarp every day, and the older two kids definitely enjoy being able to take a long, proper bath now and not just having to be showered down.
TTFN...ta-ta for now!