So let me tell you a fun little story. A little under two years ago, Denny and I were in a total state of upheaval. Our apartment lease in Milwaukee was scheduled to end on January 31st, and we had spent the previous 4 months living in separate states. Denny had left his steady job in Milwaukee following some questionable actions on their part, but they made sure to really seal the deal by rescinding a large amount of money they had promised us. (Like, a lot of money.) I moved home with my parents so that I wouldn’t be living in a two-bedroom apartment in a city that never really felt like home by myself, and I was commuting an hour-and-a-half to work- each way. I had gone back on my anxiety meds thanks to massive panic attacks that kept me up all night, and Denny returned from his job stint in Nevada with no job prospects. We ended our Milwaukee lease and moved into a fixer-upper home my parents had bought in the suburbs of Chicago. The night we moved in we found the previous owners left it filthy, most of the cabinets were broken, and the one toilet didn’t work. However, it was a godsend since we could barely afford a rent payment at the time anyway. I spent four more months working six days a week while Denny searched for solid job options. We listened to news of friends buying homes, getting pregnant, and taking awesome vacations while we struggled to pay our health insurance.
In the year and a half since, our life has completely changed. Denny managed a great campaign that really boosted his reputation in the political scene, and I started working at a new pediatric clinic downtown Chicago with great benefits. We moved into a new apartment (and, now, a second new apartment) where Denny worked from home, and I could walk to work. We could finally pay our bills and see enough leftover that planning for a future finally seemed feasible. We also finally felt settled enough to let out a deep breath and feel okay enjoying life again.
I really struggle with living in the moment because I’m always so focused on what comes next. I try so hard to avoid the comparison game, but it can be hard to quiet that voice telling me what I should be doing next. However, last week while getting ready for work, I looked around and just felt so lucky. Denny and I are closer than we’ve ever been, and I’m living in a city that makes me feel so happy every day. I get to walk to work which is a luxury you can’t even imagine until you’ve been able to do it. I wake up feeling hopeful about the future instead of dreading the next major hurdle. I’m trying to be more okay with the fact that we don’t have our dream home or know exactly what the next step is.
Everyone’s life has ups and downs, and I know that our struggles have been smaller than some and larger than others. I’d like to believe that the struggles help us appreciate when things are really going well. Of course, there are still things I could find to complain about on a day-to-day basis, and I always love the commiseration I get from my fellow blogging ladies. However, I’m also really trying to slow down and live in the moment. There are only so many, and I know I’ll miss this phase of my life when it does pass.