Sunday, November 24, 2013

As It Was

After this latest move, we found stability remarkably quickly.  After less than two months, it seems as if we have been here forever.  This is partly due to the fact that we lived in this community only 9 months prior to this return, barely giving people the chance to miss us, and we were welcomed back with open arms.  This is also partly due to the fact that we know how to move - we have honed the fine art of chatting with new people and accepting all invitations and quickly getting involved.

But I'd like to give our family some more credit than this.  I think making such a quick transition has shown that we are essentially the same people no matter where we are.

In the midst of our craziness and our turmoil, our priorities and our routines stayed essentially the same.  Our immediate family was always the highest priority, as it should have been - Dave and I cared for our family's basic needs for food and shelter and school, both now and in the immediate future - and this took quite a bit of our time.  But we saw a few other stays and essentials stand strong.

Our routines followed through, no doubt carried back by our children.  Bedtime and morning each had their own chores and no one considered dropping them.  Personal responsibility looked the same here as it had before.  We had movie night every Sunday night, with an enjoyable new rotation of pizzas until we restocked the kitchen enough to make ours homemade again.  School looked the same, as it would.  But time out of school looked the same as well, spent in parks and libraries and museums, or spent reading books and playing simple imagination games with whatever was handy.

Sunday mornings saw the same routines as well, with us transferring quickly from a much-loved church community in Caracas to much-loved Sunday programs.  We always attend on church on Sunday mornings.  Sometimes we attend thoughtlessly, because it is what we do.  Sometimes we attend begrudgingly, sometimes only because we prioritize living and worshiping with others.  And sometimes we attend because we have responsibility and friendships and a strong desire to worship God in community.  But always we attend on Sunday mornings.  And this is where this entire concept became so stark to me.  On Tuesday, we were in Caracas and on Thursday we were in Washington and different things happened and life simply propelled us forward, but on Sunday morning we were back in church, as we had been the Sunday before and the Sunday before that.  Its just that the church itself had changed, which made the worship service an emotional time for me each week. 

In a large and well-planned move, you begin stepping out of your normal life at least a few weeks (if not a few months) before you actually leave; and you take as much time to enter into your new life as well, feeling out place and people and redefining yourself in a new space.  But with such a quick departure, we had no time to withdraw.  And returning to a known place for such a short timeframe, we have no time to redefine ourselves. 

And so a few weeks after learning we would no longer live in Caracas, we fully lived in Arlington.  Because life in one place is not actually so different from life in another.

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