Monday, June 26, 2006

Discontent

I didn't mean to come home and be discontented. Of course, vacation is vacation and home is reality. Most of the time, I am quite content with my home, my family, my life, my choices. Lately, even before going on vacation, I have been working the idea of moving. Someplace more sustainable once peak oil causes changes to surburbia. Someplace with more nature. I want local food, local products, a local economy. I don't even think what I want actually exists in a perfect way, at the moment.

But what we have is good in its way. Proximity to family and grandparents (yet always a 30 minute drive at a minimum). I really can't discount the importance of this, even if the family is dysfunctional at times. Mild climate, with lots of solar potential. An old house in the walkable area of a good town. Papa's job...that's the real thing we have. A good job with a stable company that pays well, has decent benefits, and is within walking distance. A casual dress code, flexible hours, a month of vacation. He likes his job...that's important. We're settled, established.

I know that we need to ride it out for the next 5 years or so. The way housing is even a lateral move would be costly, and it would be difficult to find a location as good as the one we have now. There is no way to stay within the core of downtown and get more property.

Usually when I feel like this there are two important things I can do. The first is to find a place of gratitude. I have so much more than so many in this world, and even than many in this country. Really, do I have the right to sit here and think that my house is too big, my yard too small, and heck, I don't want carpet in my bedroom?

The other thing I do is make changes. Get rid of more. Simplify. Keep things clean. The getting rid of is what is so hard. I want to let things go, but they have value, so they sit in boxes waiting for eBay (but I don't have time for eBay and need Papa's help to do the listings). I peel back layer after layer. What can we let go? What might be useful later? What is the price of getting rid of things only to decide later that you want them back?

I know the clutter isn't only physical, but in my mind as well. Guilt. For instance, I'd love to get rid of all my scrapbooking supplies. I have tons, and even having pared down I have a lot. I don't really scrapbook. I had even come to a place where I was okay with that. Then Papa makes a comment about how the pictures we have scrapbooked are the best record we have, and I think that yes, I should record my children's history for them.

This place in my mind is uncomfortable. My eyes are open. Yet I know that it is the discontent that helps me grow, as long as I don't let it spiral me into a place of total unhappiness. Wanting to make things better in all areas, striving, changing. It is a pruning, in preparation for new growth.

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