Survival Tip #163: List the pros.
We moved. Just temporarily. While a damaged wall and the associated peeling paint in our apartment gets repaired, we’re one flight down, in a space nearly identical to our garret home, but with higher ceilings and taller windows. In the kitchen, there’s a very apparent missing dishwasher, and everywhere a less noticeable, but still present trim in square footage. Rugs overlap in this space. Turns made around the table by a toddler hoping to escape capture need to be made slightly tighter.
Moving house always creates a moment of reckoning. When it’s time to pack my earthly possessions into boxes, I nearly always notice that I’m less perfectly organized than I wish I were. There are still too many mason jar lids. The spice cabinet has gotten disorderly, again. Why, again, are we hanging onto this blanket? It takes work to move, not just physically, but psychologically, too. The cons are obvious enough: exhaustion and precious time and peace of mind. But instead of focusing on all of that, I thought I’d write a list of pros. An exercise for myself, mostly, but also because it feels nice to remember that we’re surrounded by so much that’s lovely even when we’re momentarily displaced and rather wishing the kitchen cabinets were not so grimy.
+ Cardinals. A pair of them, diving in and out of fire escapes and occasionally landing on our very own. A four year old who recognizes their call. A baby brother who double-steps with glee at the sight of them.
+ Daydreams about a garden on this south-facing fire escape. Moonflowers, for sure, running up a length of twine in front of the kids’ room. Moonflower-scented dreams in an alternate universe where we’re settling into this spot more permanently.
+ Across the way, an elderly couple for neighbors. She brings him a bottle of beer to sip while reading the newspaper and settles to sip on her own—foamy in a tall glass—from her perch on an ancient sofa.
+ One door over, a child’s nightlight spotted while kissing sweaty foreheads goodnight. Rainbow lights circling the room. No doubt we read simultaneous bedtime stories.
+ One flight up, a flickering candle in the window. (Lives in tiny apartments abound.)
+ In the bathroom, a medicine cabinet mirror that closes all the way.
+ On a marble fireplace mantel, a romantic place to light a tall candle. And peonies from a husband who took care to ask the florist to leave off the plastic wrapping.
+ Mourning doves. Cooing from a cherry tree only a week denuded of her blossoms. Underneath, a carpet of pink fading to brown but still caught somewhere in a transition you might call rust.
+ In the afternoon, sunlight on floorboards. It’s a never-occurrence in a north-facing apartment and no wonder this place is more expensive than ours. Someone sunlight-loving must have worked out those numbers. (We’re determined to soak in every last ray while we can.)
(More details on our temporary move in my Instagram stories, if you’re interested in following along.)