Yesterday I said goodbye to my sister’s study and packed up my car with my surprisingly small baggage footprint in order to begin the next chapter of my life. I have to say I was rather impressed that I had managed for two months with what basically constituted two bags of clothing, my bike, my yoga mat and a load of books. Travelling certainly does teach you how little you really require, day-to-day. Although, I confess, I have been missing the full complement of my shoe collection of late and it has been challenging putting together ‘work-appropriate’ outfits from the random selection of my wardrobe that I ended up bringing with me.
It was with sadness that I left behind my temporary surrogate family. I will miss the daily background noise and energy of my niece and nephew, and all the easy chats and hugs with my sister. But it was time to go. I issued a special thanks to my brother-in-law; as I said to him, it is one thing having your sister/aunty as a lodger, but quite another hosting your sister-in-law long term! Bravo, Hugh.
So here I am, in new digs once again. I totted up my past addresses and discovered that I have lived in 16 different houses over the last ten years. Blimey. No wonder I have the shoulders of a male shotputter – that’ll be my furniture-removing credentials.
It made me ponder on my relatively nomadic existence. I often seem to reach a point where I feel the need to move on, to experience new things. I have berated myself for this in the past. But I am realising that it’s a key part of me, and one that I should embrace rather than stifle. I have a strong sense that I am only on this planet for a short while, and I’d like to experience as much of it as I can in that time. I love meeting new people, discovering new places, travelling, trying out new experiences. I am also incredibly nosey. People fascinate me.
Amidst this frequent change, I hold on to certain constants in my life, which ground me. One is my family and close friends. I know that, no matter what is going on in my life, they are there for me, and I feel immense gratitude for that. I also have my love and appreciation of the great outdoors – whatever I’m doing, I know I can just go outside and feel wonder and happiness at the incredible natural world around me. I also have my daily yoga practice – wherever I am in the world, each day I step onto my mat and enjoy a period of calm and belonging. I know this all sounds a bit ‘Annie’ (i.e. Americanised over-the-top sickly-sweet, over-earnest, barf-inducing etc), but I think everyone has their own set of ‘grounding-truths’ if they really think about it.
The importance of these three elements to me was highlighted yesterday. On arrival at my new place, I felt the usual pang of what, ironically, I can only describe as ‘home-sickness’, which I always feel when facing the strangeness of a new home. Without consciously thinking about it, I found myself doing the following things:
- Wandering round the lovely garden with bare-feet, enjoying the sunshine and the feel of grass between my toes, listening to the birds;
- Ringing my sister and feeling heartened by a familiar voice; and
- Laying down my mat in an afternoon shaft of light and revelling in the familiar movements of my ashtanga routine, enjoying the soothing effect of deep breathing.
After unwittingly applying the salve of my grounding elements, I felt calm, happy, and ready to accept my new life and enjoy what my new home had to offer.
View of the garden, seen from my new bedroom window… 🙂 (I won’t show you a picture of my actual room right now, as it seems even my small baggage footprint can expand to fill all four corners with undignified chaos.)