Monday, September 24, 2007

restless and twitchy


Some good friends of ours moved away this past weekend. It all happened kind of quickly. A surprise job interview for the husband in mid-July turned into a position that started the beginning of August. Their house went on the market, the husband went to Austin to start his new job and the wife stayed here with their son to sell the house. Depending on the day, their son is either Gumby's best friend or practically his best friend. In almost no time their house sold, they bought a new one in Texas, the wife has worked out her job situation into a telecommuting position and, as of Sunday, after a going away party Saturday night, they were gone. On the road. Driving southwest in a blaze of anticipation.


It's all very strange.


I'm old enough to know that physical proximity to people doesn't really mean much. Friends stay friends, whether they're next door or halfway across country. I worry about how the kids will handle it, but I think they're going to be alright. They'll see each other. I'm sure of that. Plans have already been broached about a kid swap of some sort next summer, and as most of their family is still here, I know they'll be back. It's not that.


What's strange for me is my reaction.


It's a gorgeous sunny fall day. I'm looking out the window of the house we moved heaven and earth to buy, in the town we handpicked after a nationwide search, in a state that surprises me daily with it's amazing (unexpectedly good) quality of life. And all I want to do is pack everything up and move someplace new and different and exciting. I want to go. I want to throw a dart at a map and just move to a town where we know no one and nothing. (For optimal fantasy value, the dart will land someplace coastal on the Eastern seaboard). I'm restless, twitchy, looking for some kind of fabulous adventure for my family. Everyone, not just me. I want to go - with every little bit of my being.


Do I even need to mention that my entire family thinks I've lost my mind? My kids looked at me curiously when I said hey wouldn't it be fun if... and then walked away, shaking their heads and speaking to each other in low voices, glancing over their shoulders at me the entire time. My husband, bless his heart, suggested that I head out to my folk's lake house by myself for a few days while they have a "guys weekend" here. He thinks maybe I just need some down time. It's not a bad idea. But it's not what I want. I want something else. I don't know what I want.


When we moved here it was such an adventure. We really did pull out a map and make lists of all the places we would and wouldn't live. The FG and I each had preferences that, for the most part, the other one respected. I was the guilty one here, since one of the places he really wanted to look into was, coincidentally, Austin and I flat refused. It isn't anything against Austin (or Texas in general, for that matter). I just thought that if we were going to uproot our entire family and move someplace completely unknown, we should move someplace different. I wanted four clearly defined seasons. I wanted snow. I wanted wild, blistering thunderstorms that took your breath away. I wanted a calmer, quieter pace. Austin was too much like LA for me. I wanted a 180 degree change. Luckily for me, the University of Texas at Austin wasn't hiring at that time. It might have gotten ugly if they had been.


I know there were aspects of moving to a completely unfamiliar place that were sheer hell, but I still remember the thrill that I felt when we actually got here. We had a whole town to learn, an entire outlying area to explore. Every week we picked up the newspaper and laughed ourselves silly over the real estate prices. We leisurely looked at houses that we ended up really being able to buy. We were able to immerse ourselves in a brand new experience. During our first year here, every weekend we would pile the kids into our battered Volvo station wagon, pick a direction and explore our new home. It was a time full of anticipation, discovery and adventure.


It was fabulous. And on some screwy level, I'm chomping at the bit to do it again. Oh, maybe not really. We have put together the most wonderful extended family here, an amazing group of friends. The FG and I both love our jobs. He has a thriving freelance business here. I adore the people I work with. The kids have great schools and deep friendships. I love our house, our neighborhood, our town. In every sense of the word we're in a good place.


But as I listened to our friends planning their move I just wanted to pack our whole family in the car with them. I wanted us all to go. Even Austin looked good.

22 comments:

Sweet Irene said...

Oh no, you've been bitten by the bug! This must be avoided at all times and quickly remedied. The problem is, I don't know how, because I have had moods like that myself in the past, when I wanted to go, but knew I couldn't uproot a whole family. I still have visions of moving to France to some small village and living in a stone cottage there overlooking the sea.These are all daydreams and have very little to do with my reality, which is just fine. I'll call it the Meryl Streep syndrome. Fitting yourself with a whole new personage in whole new set of circumstances, with a whole new accent too. I think I is for the eternally romantic to feel this way. The eternally realistic part of us knows it isn't practical, but still we wish and dream. Maybe this is something for your retirement years.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

I know the feeling. I used to get it a lot. It's because your life has settled into a routine, you're at that age (middle youth), and you feel a change is as good as a rest. I know a couple who took their four children on a six-month round-the-world adventure. A bit extreme, but it satisfied their restless spirit. I got over my restlessness when I moved to England. It was such a huge wrench and adjustment that it quelled my restlessness for probably the rest of my life. Just go on a weekend camping trip or fit some changes into your routine as much as possible. Realistically, you must know you can't uproot the kids again so soon. But you can dream.

Flowerpot said...

I get like that sometimes, corresopndent, but it usually passes. Not sure if that's a help or not!

PixelPi said...

I used to get like that, RC, and then after our move from Old House to This House last year (same town), I got over it really fast. So much so that I told Mr. Pi that I had just moved for the last time. I still have fantasies about taking small trips (a month?) to England or Italy, but no yearning for a Real Move. I'm not sure when this change took place, but it did, and no longer do I dream of packing up to move to Montreal or Idaho. No more wandering for this girl.

Jen said...

I can completely relate to this feeling, RC. We used tom ove around a lot when I was a kid. Me and Ray have lived in seven different cities since 2000.

There's this rush and anticipation of the unknown, of learning and seeing something new.

Whenever we stayed in one place for more than a couple of years, I'd get antsy to go somewhere else. You're not crazy (well, not any more than usual).

auntie barbie said...

It’s the Gemini in you. Always looking for the next adventure and thriving on chaos. It has always been a big letdown for me when something is finished, as if I have nothing to look forward to. But I usually find something new to throw myself into, as I know you will too.

Diana said...

Hm. Maybe what you really need is a good long road trip. Call the kids in sick for a week and hop in the car pointing it at a place on the map where your finger landed. Ok. There are a million reasons why you can't/won't do it but at least daydream about it. All of the travel and fun with none of the finding-a-job/dealing-with-realtors parts.

ciara said...

i get that 'restless, twitchy' feeling myself at times...not so much about moving though. it's more about doing SOMETHING...ANYTHING with my life than what i'm doing now.

hmmm just scrolled down and noticed you're a gemini. maybe that's the reason my son is restless and wants to just be a nomad.

Dumdad said...

I felt a bit like this today! But in a more selfish way - I thought it would be great to get on a train and head for the sea and spend a few days alone walking along the coastline.
The feeling passed after a bike ride and then I went off happily to pick up Princess Perfect from school at lunchtime.

Anonymous said...

Well come and visit, we are just 1 hour from Austin. We have a brand new pool with a spa which is sooo relaxing. I would love to show you San Antonio, it's a great place.

Akelamalu said...

I never get the itchy feet syndrome - I don't have an ounce of gypsy in me at all so it's hard for me to understand why you would want to move. I can understand longing though - after my first every visit abroad (Greece) I came home reluctantly and cried every morning for six months when I woke up to find I was in England and not in Greece!

Akelamalu said...

PS you have an award honey, call by and collect it. :)

Crystal Jigsaw said...

It's obviously just the fact your friends have up and gone that's making you feel like this. Perhaps in a few weeks when they have settled into their new home, you will carry on living as if you never had these feelings. Maybe. On the other hand, if you still feel twitchy in a few months, maybe it really is time to up sticks and move on. We spend too much time in the next life and not enough in this. Make the most of it.

Crystal xx

Kimberly said...

I understand this feeling quite well. When we moved here last year, knowing no one, it was so exciting. I crave that excitement...that opening up of oneself to all sorts of new opportunities. It's a bit intoxicating, really.

Willowtree said...

You'll get over it. It's just a feeling of being left behind.

pursegirl said...

A. Uh, NO!!!!! B. I totally understand. I had a bad, bad case of wanderlust not that long ago. I was ready for anything NEW. I'm not sure why or how I got over it, but it did. I don't want to leave this town and my existence here. It could be that I get to be away for long periods of time in a place I love- so maybe you could pull something like that off??!! There are camps everywhere, and you know full well you can work anywhere as a nurse, even for a short time. Let's not forget, as long as I can go along, there is a house in Germany just waiting for us to live in for as long as we need to.
But, the main message, is, think of the phone bills- you can't afford to move away from me!!!!!!!

pursegirl said...

http://www.suburbanbliss.net/

This is the blog I was telling you about. My advice is to travel around and read back a while. The entire house fiasco is a riot you will both love and relate to.
Sorry, this will suck any free time you thought you had. She's addictive.

my two cents said...

Hmmm...pursegirl is on to something...remember those long summer vacations you used to spend here?

The Rotten Correspondent said...

Thanks to all of you for listening to me. I don't really want to go anywhere and I certainly wouldn't uproot my family, but I do feel restless somehow. I'm sure it will pass soon.

Maybe I need a project. Hey, I know. What about a blog??

ciara said...

or how bout those pif gifts? lmao i really need to work on mine, too lol

Jo Beaufoix said...

Ahhh hon. Sorry you were feling a bit lost.
Hope you feel better now. I'll read on to find out. x

Jo Beaufoix said...

Feling?? Feeeeeeeling.