There are still stacks of boxes in my living room; and West Elm tells me that there will be stacks of boxes in my living room until at least June 9, probably later, no thanks to my bookshelves being on back order (and, okay, my insistence that my library must travel with me from home to home). The funny thing is, the stacks of boxes are not particularly bothering me save for the fact that I'm sure they're contributing to this lingering unsettled feeling.
We went to the beach yesterday for Memorial Day, and we left early so we had the place to ourselves. We strolled down the boardwalk at leisurely pace, had our pick of spots to perch on the vast sandy coast, and then we stood and stared. It was Edith's first time at the sea; Iris's first view of the Atlantic; and the first time in a long time since I'd smelled what salt really does to the air. It was beautiful and slow and magic. And I told Trevor, "Days like today aren't helping me shake the feeling like we're just on vacation!"
Before we moved, I talked to my mom about this exact feeling. I was anticipating it, and I was prepared for it stressing me out. I don't like when things aren't set and settled, and I so desperately love normalcy and routine. Much as I love a good adventure, I like having a home base too. Now we're here, and we've been here for two and a half weeks, and there's nothing hanging on the walls and no set nap time to speak of. It's kind of a muddled mess, and I'm kind of proud of myself for letting it be.
The days I'm finding it hard, it's easy to throw my hands in the air and use ridiculous statements like, "This will never feel right!" or "What were we thinking?!" when what we were thinking was that this was the clearest life decision we've ever made. And that's what my mom was reminding me of. "Write down all of the things that just fell into place to get you there," she said. "Make a written record of the promises fulfilled." I'm grateful for that advice. She always has the right advice.
Normally lessons from mom are followed up by lessons from my girls. Like I said, they're adjusting just fine, not because life here feels normal to them yet; but simply because it doesn't matter to them that it doesn't. They were pretty much in dreamland this weekend--Central Park Zoo; hot dogs and arcade games; running around the beach; riding Jane's Carousel; and all the while, mom and dad telling them "we're going to skip naps," hoping to God they catch a quick snooze in the stroller.
The point is, it's occurred to me that, when you live in a place like New York City, life might always feel a little bit like vacation. Every day, new things appear. Every day, there are a million things to do. And I sure as heck am not going to miss out on any of those things just because the other "life stuff" is waiting to be done. I had six loads of laundry to do this morning, and I'll wager that I still won't hang anything on the walls this week. But I also bet that I'll walk by some cool buildings and eat some place new and maybe even try something that I've been wanting to try since I read about it online somewhere five years ago.
All these photos are from Jane's Carousel in DUMBO, a place I've been wanting to visit for years--well, at least 2011 since that's when it was installed. I just loved that little edge of Brooklyn for its park and flowers and old docks and food and views of the city. It was life and it wasn't. It was real and it was a dream. It felt totally normal and completely absurd.
But if there's one thing I've learned, it's not to miss out on these weird transitions. The in-betweens are such tense moments, but they are so amazing. I just want to float around in it and soak up the experience and not worry about how the more grounded part looks on the other side.