I came up with the title for this post before starting to draft the post itself (a reversal from my usual protocol, as I am notoriously bad at coming up with catchy titles and usually leave this annoying task until I’m about to hit “publish”) and immediately had a sense of deja vu about it. It was strong enough that I actually went through all of my previous posts to make sure I hadn’t used this title previously. Nope, I had not. Still, the feeling is familiar, as it seems like we are often “on the cusp” of something: a move, a home purchase, a trip, or some other change. Or maybe it’s just that these moments put me in a more reflective mood, hence all the posts that could have been named the same as today’s.
We are scheduled to receive final confirmation about our loan this week, and, if all goes well, we will become homeowners this Friday. Well, better say that we will start our 30 years of being indebted to our mortgage lender (or whoever they sell the loan off to) this Friday. It’s a bit of a scary prospect, but somehow we’re not too scared. At 40 and 35 years old, P. and I are older than the average American first-time home buyer, so maybe it’s just time and we’re ready. In general, because of P’s chronic illness(es), our lives move slower than most people’s, and achieving your typical milestones – buying a home, starting to earn a decent income, having children (still have to cross that one off the list) – takes us longer.
While this can mean feeling perpetually behind, over the years I’ve grown the accept the fact that we are simply on a different schedule than most other people, and that’s all right. There is actually a benefit to it, I’m coming to realize, and that is being better prepared and having a better sense of what is important to us. Perhaps even appreciating these milestones more when we finally do reach them, because, with us, it is often not simply a question of “when” but of “if” when it comes to these sorts of accomplishments.
For me, being “behind” is also a reminder to value what I do have, without striving for something bigger, better, or different. We are house-sitting for our friends this month, and I am making a conscious effort to enjoy the air conditioning (SO helpful in 90+ degree heat); the abundance of berries in the garden, where we go early in the morning or at sunset to graze, our hands moving non-stop from plant to mouth; the chickens that we are taking care of, some neurotic, others friendly, all fascinating; the pastel-colored eggs that these chickens leave in their nest boxes for us to discover and collect, like presents under a Christmas tree. (P is already in love with the chickens and wants to get as many as the town of Twisp will permit as soon as we move into our new home; in fact, he is trying to see if we can hatch an egg that he believes was laid by the most sociable of our friends’ 26 hens.) So, we count our blessings and we wait, on the cusp of yet another major life change.