As I write I am in the middle of moving into a new house. I find moving to be so stressful. I feel out of sorts when my belongings are disorganized and in boxes. I don’t like chaos and that’s what moving is for me. I never realize just how much clutter I accumulate until I actually move.
I have to admit I got grumpy this past weekend while we were moving and was short my family. Mostly because as a mother I feel like I am always doing everything and fulfilling everyone else’s needs before my own when what I need is to have everything in its place before I can relax and feel like I am at home in a new space.
My grandma used to be this way too. It was important for her to have clean counters and all her chores done every day before she went to bed. She especially would not rest until her dishes were done. I think she was that way because she grew up on the land where there was always something to do and if it didn’t get done it would result in going without. I think about my grandma having to break ice to get water from the lake in winter or having to wash her clothes on a washboard in summer. How did she ever survive without appliances? I don’t know how my grandma did it helping to take care of her 16 brothers and sisters and then later in life my sister and I but somehow, she managed to do it all without ever complaining.
But getting our houses in order does not only mean cleanliness. It means caring for one another and making sure that our homes are safe, peaceful and a place where we can feel happy and loved. Unfortunately, I didn’t always have that feeling growing up when living away from my grandma. As a child I witnessed domestic violence in the form of physical, verbal and emotional abuse and as a result I sometimes find it difficult to communicate in a healthy way and can be quick to use my words as a weapon. I am still learning how to bite my tongue when annoyed. These are all things that I am working on but correcting learned patterns is not easy. When a child is exposed to domestic violence that is how they learn to be in relation with those they love. Children learn from what they see, feel, and hear so when they witness fighting, the repercussions of that will come out in their behaviours. Which is why it is so important to model what healthy relationships look like in our homes.
Anger can be a powerful tool that doesn’t have to result in harm. I was once called tenacious by a colleague and at first, I thought it was an insult but now I take it as a compliment because the anger I displayed prompted a necessary change.
As I make the transition to this new home, I am leaving behind an empty house that no longer serves my needs. I am keeping the good memories and leaving the bad ones behind. I am sorting through the clutter and unpacking my life reminding myself that even though I am moving from one space to another I am still taking myself with me wherever I go so I better make the most of life while living and not worry too much about the whether or not I have a dishwasher because what matters most is caring for my family, the dishes can wait.