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On Moving, Traveling, and Being Present

Harper Lee Cat in the Yard

Harper has been enjoying our new yard!

I’ve been living in Lancaster City for two full months now. It feels both much shorter and much longer than that to me though. Similarly, we’re quite solidly in midsummer, yet it feels like the summer just began. I’m fairly certain that’s because I haven’t really been here here for a lot of that time.

I’m certainly not complaining about the amount of travel I’ve been doing, but it does make it hard to establish oneself in a new place. My goal was to show up here, throw myself into everything Lancaster, make new call-up-at-a-moment’s-notice friends for impromptu backyard hangs, set up coffee dates with Lancaster folks from Twitter and Instagram, jump into the tech scene, and just generally announce that I AM HERE LET’S BE FRIENDS.

Except I haven’t been here. And when I have been, I’ve been working on, well, work, or working on the house, which is a whole other series of posts unto itself. We’ve barely scratched the surface of all there is to be done in the moving-in, fixing-up-the-house department.

I’m noticing a pattern about what happens when we move to a new place.

When we moved to West Chester, Chad actually moved two and half months before I did. I’d travel down on the weekends, but I was loathe to quit my job and so I procrastinated joining him there.

When we moved to Philly, Chad was commuting to Manhattan every day, and I was commuting to the western suburbs. I got home in time to make supper before he walked in the door, devoured it, and then crashed so he could get up the next day and do it again. We were so excited to finally be living in Philly, but had no time or energy left to throw ourselves into getting involved right away.

And now, during the past two months we’ve lived in Lancaster (and now three months since becoming homeowners!), we’ve collectively been to the Bay Area twice, Chicago, Chapel Hill, and back to the farm for a family reunion.

I never mean to busy myself so intensely during times of deep change, but somehow it seems to happen pretty regularly. I don’t think I’ve been doing it on purpose, especially since I had all of this travel lined up before we closed on the house, but I am wondering about how it’s become so much of a pattern, even if it is unintentional. And, to be frank, sometimes periods of big change are just weird. Both good weird and bad weird. So sometimes it’s nice to be too busy to think.

On a smaller scale though, I have been less than stellar at being present. Always thinking of the next project, the next trip, the next thing to tackle. Maybe it just becomes especially apparent during big transitions. I’m hoping bringing some self-awareness to this area will help going forward and motivate me to appreciate and be where I am right now.

I got a Lancaster County library card this week, both because I’m in need of a good summer read (got recs?) and as a small act of ingraining myself into this place.

What do big moves look like for you? Do you accidentally over-busy yourself or do you manage to be where you are?