When Your Home Isn’t Quite A Home

I wrote this post two weeks ago, but we just recently got wi-fi access so I’m sharing a bit late. As an update, things are going much better and we are happily settling into our new (albeit temporary) home. xx

Ten days ago, my husband and I moved into our new apartment in North Carolina. It’s a modest one bedroom apartment, and since we can’t nail anything to the walls, it doesn’t quite feel like home. But it is. And we’re adjusting. Since we’re moving again in such a short period of a time, I don’t have a job, which is mind-numbingly boring. I am a doer. Unfortunately, for me, the only doing I’ve been doing is the unsung glory of towel-hanging, laundry washing, toilet scrubbing, and, when I’m really bored, alphabetical-spice-organizing. The second full day we were here, my car got towed incorrectly by the slimiest tow company I’ve yet to encounter. In an attempt to not spend on credit, we paid for the majority of the things we needed for the move in cash. Guess what it takes to buy your car back? A few hundred dollars in cash. Of course this happened hours after we paid all of our bills and rent for the month. In an attempt to make our apartment more home-y, my husband tried to hang some things on the walls with command strips, only to find that they stick a little too well to these walls, so we’ve got a couple patches of missing paint as decoration. I suppose we’ll lose some of our deposit. We still don’t have internet access (these are truly first world problems) and our dishwasher overflows into our sink – which conveniently has a broken garbage disposal, and the previous tenants left us a welcoming gift of what appears to be months old steak, that likes to float up the drain every time we run it. It has been difficult to adjust to a phase of life I haven’t yet lived, and to choose happiness in spite of the hiccups we’ve encountered. It has been difficult to put on a smile and pretend I’ve enjoyed the drivel of cleaning and unpacking as I welcome my tired husband home from work, as if I wouldn’t rather be returning from a day of meaningful work myself.

Spending all day at home has given me too much time to think – to analyze, sympathize, and criticize myself. I should have planned better. I should have saved more. I should have cooked this for dinner and said that encouraging word and been this kind of wife today. I’ve been so consumed with the molehills that feel like mountains and the weight of believing I need to be the perfect housewife that I’ve forgotten to simply be content.

And at 3:00 in the morning, as I laid in bed, unable to sleep, I said a prayer of thanks. Because for all of the silly misunderstandings, minor inconveniences, major expenses, and humbling life lessons, my husband has been so graciously supportive and uplifting. With his hands stained black from a hard day at work, still smelling faintly of diesel. With his boots by the door, neatly prepared for another tough day. With his chest rising and falling rhythmically and his body blissfully unconscious, recovering. I wept. I nuzzled into him, and I wept tears of pure thankfulness for this life and this love. For the roof over my head, for the food on my plate, for the keys to my car and for the meager amount of money in my bank account. For a husband who sacrifices a whole hell of a lot, for a family who has graciously shared advice and well wishes, and for friends who have continuously checked in on me throughout the start of this new journey.