May 16, 2012
Eleven sleeps till we move out the chalet. Five sleeps till Céline and I leave for a three day, two night birthday celebration with my mom.
The chalet we live in is a vacation rental. Which means it comes fully furnished with kitchen stuff, linens, etc. I needed my own kitchen tools and wanted to fully organize my "work" space to suit my needs. So when we moved in last November I boxed up all the chalet stuff to store in our black trailer. This month I'm moving it all back in. As well as packing up all our stuff that we moved into this space to make the rental our home for the last six months.
You can imagine it's messy. You'll have to imagine since photographing it depresses me so you won't see many of those here.
Our internet is not working, the same internet access we rely on for our work. The work that pays the bills (vs. the kitchen work which depends on the work that pays the bills to buy the groceries but does not depend on the internet directly). We can cook and eat without the internet but not for long since we do need to buy those groceries.
Some days the internet is terrible. Like today, it will be a miracle if I get this published. We're getting creative, Damien sits in the car at the neighbors to use their wifi, or he goes to town to a cafe. Not exactly the work-at-home ideal, but you do what you gotta do.
And then this morning there's just a trickle of water pressure. What's up with that? Not even enough water in the shower for Céline to wash her long hair.
Did I mention we're moving in eleven sleeps? And I'll be out of town for three days next week and Damien has to somehow manage working, two kids and cooking without the car.
So I find it ironic that my book Nurturing Creativity is featured today at Simple Homemade. I'm giving away five copies of the book, so go check it out. Nicole wrote a really nice review also. (I'm always shocked that these people are talking about my e-book and my writing.)
The irony of course is that there isn't a big creative vibe in my life right now, besides creative problem solving (but that's part of creative living isn't it? I think I even said so somewhere in that little book). I feel like what I'm nurturing right now is the those most basic things in family life - love, peace, and supper on the table hopefully before bedtime.
Video games are a big hit at my house right now. What was that I was saying about creativity? I've forgotten.
I'm teasing myself on purpose here. I'm learning to be ok with life falling apart at bit at the seams during transitions.
Like the ball of yarn unraveling while you knit the work of art.
(Wow, I can't believe I just made up that beautiful metaphor for my life.)
I know, from experience, it doesn't stay this way. This moment of craziness does not define my life.
This flux and change, and creative problem solving, is part of the package of creating the life we want for our family.
Which is some of what I shared in a recent interview with Melissa Corliss Delorenzo at Her Circle: A Magazine of Women's Creative Arts and Activism.
Melissa interviewed me for an article she wrote, The New Domestic: A Contemporary Redefining and Legitimizing of Homemaking. This is a topic near and dear to my heart. Homemaking. Not just being a homemaker, but speaking and writing about it as a "career".
Melissa and I chatted via Skype earlier this spring, or was it winter? (I don't even remember.) We talked homemaking, homeschooling, working towards our family dreams and other life stuff.
What struck me when I read her interview is that I use the word difficult three times to describe the path we're on. Sharing life together at home. Working, educating, playing, cooking, learning, etc.
And it is, especially in moments like these, where the course we've chosen gets complicated and messy (chalet rentals, travel, and spotty internet).
Yet, I wouldn't change it. Because we are living the life we want right now. And I have to remind myself of that sometimes, "this here Renee, is the beauty of it."
Sharing this with your kids. Sharing this with your husband. Overcoming challenges. Together. Not just creating together. Or traveling together. Or skiing together.
But video gaming together. Heading to town together, father and daughter, one to earn our living, the other to complete her online course work. Me staying home to pack and do dishes. Each of us sacrificing in small and big ways to support each other.
This is family life. Together. In all its crazy, unraveling, knitting-a-piece-of-art glory.
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Kika on May 16, 2012, 4:15 p.m.
I will head over and read that article/interview with you!
A local friend is in a crazy move situation too - must leave her house by end of month but they will be away a couple days and her husband must also be gone more time. She has four kiddos including a (four?) month-old baby and must pack up her home and clean it for their buyers. Then they'll live in a trailer for a month in a church parking lot so her husband can finish our his work commitments, before they relocate to their new province/town :) Phew! I'm exhausted just writing that out.
Kimberly on May 17, 2012, 1:59 a.m.
After having left our comfy city life in Denver to buy a run-down homestead in rural Idaho difficult would be the best word to describe it all. We did a series of three moves in sixth months during which time I had a baby and left all that I knew and loved behind. But you know what I have learned? Difficult isn't wrong, or forever. Sometimes, it's just difficult. And the rewards of working through the difficult times, are a stronger faith and a closer family.
Catherine Forest on May 17, 2012, 2:29 a.m.
What a sweet and timely reminder for me Renee! "I know, from experience, it doesn't stay this way. This moment of craziness does not define my life.
This flux and change, and creative problem solving, is part of the package of creating the life we want for our family."
Yes, yes, yes! I so desperately needed to hear this. Right now. Thank you for this. We are so in the same boat you and I...
renee on May 17, 2012, 10:13 a.m.
Yes, we are!
Jill on May 17, 2012, 2:21 p.m.
I LOVE the article/interview with Melissa! Wow! So many of the things I've been thinking about ALL IN ONE PIECE!
I really think we (as a family and possibly WE in the larger sense of our society) are on the verge of making very important changes. Seismic shifts. At look at you! A spokesperson for a movement! Yay Renee!
Yay for all women (and men) everywhere thinking hard about what the good life means.
renee on May 17, 2012, 2:31 p.m.
(blush) thanks Jill. I'm so glad you get the gist of what I was trying to communicate. This isn't just about working at home (as a homemaker or computer programmer) but about looking at family life through a different lens entirely. Living a different model, one we're making up as we go along!
Jill on May 17, 2012, 3:15 p.m.
Interestingly, "feminist" would have been the last word I would have used to describe myself. I'm beginning to understand that my CHOICE to stay home with my kids reflects my values as a "feminist-of-the-new-millenium". And my desire to redefine my family's relationship to our society's culture is a radical political statement about the status quo.
renee on May 17, 2012, 6:32 p.m.
You said: "And my desire to redefine my family's relationship to our society's culture is a radical political statement about the status quo." I love it! Let's start a revolution.
Charity Hawkins@TheHomeschoolExperiment on May 18, 2012, 2:01 a.m.
Love this and I am so inspired by your life. I am hungry to get back to the basics right now since my book promotion activities (and energy) are winding down. I have Walden on my reading list, decluttering on my to-do list, and reading more of this blog on my fun list. Thanks for sharing a glimpse. This is the direction I want to move this next year.
renee on May 18, 2012, 10:45 a.m.
What direction is that? Moving a bunch of times in one year? (ha, ha).
Rachel Wolf on May 18, 2012, 12:19 p.m.
Beautifully said. As you have seen in my world lately, I get it - that earnest search for the silver lining. I think there is a Thoreau quote that belongs right here. About sucking the marrow out if this life. It's messy, but it's all yours. Hugs.
renee on May 18, 2012, 12:29 p.m.
Thoreau has been a constant companion of mine on this journey! That's a book I own! And highlight and make margin notes, etc..