Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Price of Distance

I'm still trying to sum up our trip to the Northeast a few weeks ago. As I reflect, there are some good ol'fashion mayhem stories, funny stories, but there's also another side to the trip that is nagging on me. There is a price to living so far away. A price that weighs on my little family, it weighs on me. Am I the only person who lives far from their friends and family that gets this? I don't even know if company would help to ease the burden of distance.

In a few short months, we will have been in our new home for a year. A new city, new state, half way across the country from our family and many friends. Here's the thing about being away: it isn't always awful. I know many of our friends & family hate it. I know this because they beat it into every conversation or visit we have. Actually, let me clarify... here's the thing about being away: it isn't awful at all. It's a certain kind of wonderful, with the exception of when we are visiting or having conversations where we are told how awful it is.

Guess what? We know where we live. We know we are far. We know that it isn't easy. We know you miss us. We miss you, too, for the most part.  Ironically, how people handle our distance actually makes me miss you less. True story. 

There is a TON that we are grateful for, when it comes to how far we are. It's true. Why does that irritate people to hear?   And if it doesn't, why do they behave as such when we talk about how much we love our new life? We live in an amazing neighborhood, outside of a city that has a lot to offer. There are parades, street parties, farms and zoos. Tons of things to do with the kids, good food, beer is everywhere, a great little (temporary) home and a gift of successful and enjoyable careers. We go to parks, shop at small markets, walk to dinner or out for an ice cream treat for the kid. There are new neighborhoods to explore and favorite spots we like to frequent.  We love the STL.

The fact that friends and family aren't close, it's hard. We miss out on fun get togethers, dinners, weekends away, parties and celebrations. Here's the thing, that maybe no one else will say.  You know what else we love?
We miss out on fun get togethers, dinners, weekends away, parties and celebrations.

This gives us, our family unit, a unique opportunity.  A chance to enjoy each other, get to know each other and bond in a way that let me tell you: you don't get when you are stressed and driving all over God's creation to participate in fun get togethers, dinners, weekends away, parties and celebrations. We get to make new family traditions and special holidays that make our kid's eyes light up.  Why aren't more of our friends and family excited about the opportunity we get to have strengthening our family unit? Maybe they are, but why don't I see that in their actions or the words they use?

I'm trying to be okay with it. Use these experiences to add to my list; my "I'll never" list. Maybe my friends who move away will appreciate it.  Or perhaps when it's my turn, someone will be forwarding me this link to remind me.  When it comes to my kids? I'm sure if I forget this valuable lesson they'll fire up the antique internet and throw it in my face. At least I hope they do, because I want them to be happy. Near or far. I know, at the heart of things, our friends & family are happy we are happy. I just wish that it was less about their experience.  I want them to feel our happiness.

Self indulgent disclaimer: I am writing about this, because it's part of my story. It's how I feel, and maybe you don't understand - but this site helps me. It is the cheapest gD therapy on the market. I am writing about this, because it's what I do and if I didn't I wouldn't be staying true to myself and why I have a blog. I am not talking to one person or even two. It's a theme I experienced. You, the person internalizing this, (I am assuming many will) I hope you think about this in another way.  You're lucky!  Not only would I talk to you about this given the opportunity, but you get to read my thoughts. You're welcome. Now since you are internalizing it, perhaps it's because you know you lament over our distance. Let up next time, huh. Enjoy the time together and let's spend less time complaining about how little time we have.

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