Monday, January 30, 2012

Calm Abiding

I went to yoga against yesterday. I've now spent a grand total of 3 hours in a yoga class in my entire life, all of them in the last 3 weeks, and I'm kind of obsessed. It came to me at a good time (or, really, I came to it). Yesterday's lesson focused on shámatha, a Buddhist "calm abiding" meditation using a dhárana, or single point of concentration. In short, by focusing on something other than all the things bouncing around in your head (aptly described as the monkey brain), like your body position and breathing, you give your monkey brain a branch to rest upon. And my little brain monkey needed a rest. As an added bonus my legs and arms were stretched to their max and my core muscles got a workout, but none of that compares to those few blessed moments that I was able to clear my head and focus solely on a spot beyond my closed eyelids. I leave that class feeling so relaxed and happy- a feeling that continued even after I came home to a house that was still missing a back door (it's back on now and looks FABULOUS), a shorted out electrical switch in the attic (that JP attempted to repair and nearly electrocuted himself; the trained and licensed electrician comes tomorrow), and an ever growing to-do list for getting our house on the market. I'll be at the studio every Sunday until we move, no matter how much JP lovingly mocks my non-aerobic monkey brain workout.

In the spirit of calm abiding, we spent some time hanging out in our master bedroom yesterday. Growing up, I don't think I ever once saw my parent's bed unmade. They went to bed after me and they were up and dressed with their bed perfectly made long before we woke up, so I can only picture their bed in a state of throw-pillowed perfection. JP and my bed is not like that. It's our oasis, a completely kid-free zone from bedtime until morning, but we never make it up, and everyone in the family is generally in and out of it throughout the day on the weekends. It's the place I sneak away to read one more chapter of my book mid-morning, the place I find JP asleep with the covers over his head, hiding from his to-do list in the afternoon (he always falls asleep within 60 seconds of laying down; drives me CRAZY, mostly with jealousy), it's the tickling, teasing, board book reading gathering place with the kids after they get up from their naps, my retreat when I have a headache, and the place I push JP in order to cuddle for just a few minutes in the middle of the day when I don't want to think about to-do lists anymore either... it's not in the physical center of our house, but on the weekends, it often serves as the spot our day ends up revolving around.


After a fun and productive weekend (I made food for every day of this week, and cookies, mostly so I could eat a cup of dough- my appetite is confused after my random two days of intense skiing), today has been the opposing of a calm abiding. I did our taxes and discovered we owed an additional several thousand dollars, a result of not sufficiently withholding extra money from JP's paychecks (a result of having never had two full-time incomes before). I found out that I officially did not get a bonus. I figured, but I had a secret hope that I qualified under the "merit" portion. As it turns, no amount of perfect reviews or partners crying because you're leaving can make up for missing the 2,000 hour threshold (and no amount of 200+ hour months can make up for your first 3 months being under 100 hours because work was so slow during the first quarter of the year). I talked to JP as he was picking up his newly repaired and repainted car and he told me his new company doesn't pay bonuses until April (we thought it was end of Jan when their fiscal year closes). And all this info sprinkled in while I talked to realtors, inspectors, electricians, home stagers, and lenders. Also, Claire sobbed at daycare drop off. I want my dhárana back.

It'll work out, because it always does. We'll probably have to go to an apartment first (or rent a house, but my Ft Worth realtor confirmed that there is not much of a home leasing/rental market in the area we want to buy, which every single person I've talked to has volunteered as the best neighborhood ever, and which trulia.com has taught me only ever has 2-3 homes for sale at a time and the ones I like sell within 48 hours), which means moving twice and I don't know what we'll do with the dogs. But given our tax bill and other things, I don't think we could buy right away even if we wanted to, and other than the issue of the two giant dogs, renting for a while does make an annoying amount of sense.

So that's today's news. I'll process it tonight and come back tomorrow and research the hell out of the rental market and find the Best Rental Ever and everything will fall into place on a path that will end up giving us the Best House Ever, etc. a few extra months down the road. Until then, look at my baby boy:


How and when did he become so very big kiddish? He's supposed to start Kindergarten in the Fall. (Maybe. Yet another decision tree to research and decide upon.)

And then there's the Bear, who is on the cusp of big girldom herself. She eats everything with utensils, puts on her own shoes, offers strong opinions on her clothes (and everything else), and apparently used the potty successfully today at daycare. Not that I wouldn't love to get rid of diapers, but what on earth? She's 19 months old, this is supposed to be my baby. My last baby.


We haven't told Landon about the move yet. Now that our vacation is over and we're about to get a sign in our front yard, we'll tell him soon. He's going to be sad to leave his friends- most of them have been in the same class together for 3 years, but he's a nice mix of mellow and outgoing, so I think he'll adjust pretty easily. Claire won't care as long as her books and her family come with her. And as always, as long as we're together and we can snuggle in bed on the weekends, everything else is secondary. No matter how much I cringe at thinking of moving twice in the next year. And oh, I cringe.

Calm abiding. It'll come back. Perhaps tomorrow.

18 comments:

  1. You're right -- it'll work out because it has to. Somehow we always manage to muddle through, right? I'm sorry about the bonus situation; that bites. :(

    Obviously our move was just across town, but I was pleasantly surprised at how well Pea took it, given that transitions are not her thing. I'm sure Landon will do great.

    Is it me, or does Landon look more like JP every day?!

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  2. I am very excited to hear about your journey over the next several months. I am curious to see how your move plays out in comparison to ours. Moving twice definitely sucks, but in the current real estate market, it is the wise thing to do. It is also nice to test drive a neighborhood before you decide to buy. I am so happy that we choose to rent for a few months before we found a house even though that meant a tiny apartment and an unfortunate burglary.

    I was just a little older than Landon when my family moved to Texas. I remember my biggest fear about moving was being homeless for a few nights. I didn't like that my stuff was not in my room. I didn't really care where my room was as long as my stuff was in it. It is still one of the things I hate about moving. If possible make Landon and Claire's rooms the last thing that you pack and the first thing that you unpack.

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  3. I think Landon will surprise you. We were sure Eli was going to be totally devastated about leaving, but he wasn't. He misses his friends and teachers, but he adapted and adjusted WAY before the rest of us. I think of it as a little consolation gift from the universe.

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  4. i agree that moving twice in one year is no fun (i did it myself this year). but knowing the second move will happen is an advantage. if you pack strategically there could be certain boxes that are never opened while you're renting, making the second move much easier.

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  5. Michelle from the Underwear Drawer has a good post on moving somewhere with kids. WE moved a lot - I don't ever recall being upset to leave, but always excited to be going to the next place. You'll probably find Landon telling Claire what happens when you move (as he's done it already - even if he doesn't remember moving from Chicago.)

    Key things: the boxes of stuff you'll need immediately, favourite bedding, books, cuddlies, dishes, tea, coffee (maybe not in your case), the pasta pot perhaps?

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  6. This is more what i want. I have seen all the pilates machiens and they intimdate me I want the core workout benefits that i can do at home with a dvd or video or simply at a womens gym. I am ready for something pop and fun!

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  7. We moved 8 times in 11 years and the kids weather it well...especially when they are young. Keep up your great attitude and take a lot of deep breaths. Keep your mind on the end result...perfect job...perfect house...perfect family living happily in Dallas! It's within reach...and just a few months away! Praying for your family!

    Patty from TX

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  8. You know this already - but you're going to be fine. Keep in mind the moving deadlines are your own, no one is forcing you. If you have to stay in an apartment for a year, you'll live. It will eventually be a blip on the radar. Who knows, maybe you'll even find some sort of condo or town house that has a little fenced area for the dogs. I would be there'll be lots of good places to walk them too. It will fall into place, even if the next year or two are huge times of transition. BTDT. Survived it. (And ended up thriving eventually.)

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  9. "My last baby" -- you decided you don't need any more stress, huh? (Don't worry, we won't hold you to it if you change your mind.)

    Personally, I think renting is not such a bad thing. You won't have a mortgage to stress out about, you won't have to make a giant commitment before you even get to your new city, you won't have to deal with home maintenance and repairs for at least a year. It'll be good.

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  10. Sounds like y'all are going to be my neighbors.

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    1. Also - tanglewood has started kindergarten registration already.

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  11. (I posted this earlier but I don't think it went through.)

    If YOU did not "merit" a bonus with all the blood, sweat, and tears you have given that firm, due to circumstances totally outside your control, the Biglaw compensation model is totally broken. Run away, run away!

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  12. Try zillow.com I like it better than trulia. It gives you the history on the price. Good luck !

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  13. Are you going to be in Tanglewood? I am in Fort Worth, long time reader, first time commenter, and am very curious what part of the city you will choose. I thought Tanglewood, but then you said there were 3-4 houses for sale at a time, and there are many more in Tanglewood. I am now thinking Mistletoe Heights/Berkeley. I am in Mistletoe Heights... great area! Good luck with whatever you decide. Fort Worth has many great areas.

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  14. My advice on stress-reduction is to pay the movers to pack your stuff. Having survived three cross-country moves, I can conclusively tell you it's the best, highest-margin money you will spend during the process. If you're already paying someone to load and drive the truck, the additional expense of having them pack the boxes is marginal and it saved us DAYS AND DAYS of living in a half-packed house.

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  15. Yoga is the bomb. It is amazing how beneficial an hour or so of communing with your muscles, your thoughts and silence can be. It gives me perspective on my mind and my body. Huge fan... if only there was a studio near my firm or near my public transportation.

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  16. I am constantly amazed at how much you do (all your meals in a weekend? Clean out drawers for fun? Baking? Oh, & that litigation thing?) & how diciplined you are. You will conquer moving & it won't know what hit it. Re: renting - I don't know Ft Worth at all, but maybe you can rent something kind of urban & get the city feel you miss from Chicago. It could be a nice interlude, with only a third of your stuff...

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  17. I'm moving to another state in 6 weeks, so I'll be reading here with interest. Everyone told me to rent first, rent first, rent first, but I just couldn't make myself do it. If I had to sell in this market, I wanted to buy in this market. And I just wanted a permanent home. Maybe it's a big mistake, but we've got a contract on our house; we've found a home to buy, and it makes me happy.

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