Déjà Déménager

I haven't been blogging because I've decided to participate in self-torture instead -- in the form of voluntarily simultaneously moving and new job hunting. You see it was so fun the first time, when I did the exact same thing last year at this exact same time. Maybe I'll make it an annual way to mark the coming of spring!

This time, to make it more challenging and stimulating, I added 6 relatives coming into town and a 2nd birthday party to throw right at the end so that I could prepare for that at the same time. I threw my birthday somewhere in there, too, just to make sure it won't be celebrated at all. I made sure my parents were out of town for part of it and moving into their own new house for the rest of it so that they couldn't "handicap" me at all by helping, and that my sister was 7 months pregnant and busy with a toddler of her own so she wouldn't get in my way either, that my two brother-in-laws would be out of town on the main weekend we need to lift heavy objects and that I would live in a new town where I have hardly any other friends and don't even know where the home improvement stores are.

Tomorrow I dress up to go to a job fair where I'll try to sell myself in the hopes of finding a position more fulfilling than the one I have now. And try not to think about how much it will suck if I don't find anything. And how much I miss my old job.

Meanwhile, my awesome friend, T, is helping to prep the new house for painting and babysitting Turtle so that I can prepare my docs and interview mindset and go attend the event. She's basically taking over my household/family responsibilities for the day in addition to her own. She's really incredible like that!

I am so lucky to have met her and already sad about moving only a few streets away in the next couple of weeks because right now she lives next door and our daily family lives have ended up seamlessly woven together because of the incredible convenience of being right there. We feed each other. Ok, well, actually, it's way more accurate to say she feeds us all the time. But we do other stuff for them and sometimes we bring the salad or the wine! We watch each others' kids, help each other with household projects, lend each other listening ears and shoulders to cry on, borrow stuff, consult on decisions trivial and important, go on outings together, and most importantly just hang out in the front yard and ask "how was your day?".

I've never really lived anywhere where I felt much of a sense of community, but now I do and T is the biggest reason why. Plus, we live walking distance to several safe, clean parks and a nice community elementary school. There is an active neighborhood association that protects the neighborhood's interests and encourages people to build relationships via neighborhood watch, block parties, and semi-annual socials. All of which are why we spent an ungodly amount of money on a tiny crappy old house to buy our own house in this neighborhood that we've been renting in. We found ourselves willing to cut back on other luxuries in life so that we could retain this sense of community and raise our son in a family friendly 'hood.

I really want to commit myself not only to keeping my ties strong with T, even though we'll be a whole 3 minute walk away, but also to trying to do my part to contribute to building community in my life. At Turtle's daycare, when you go to the restroom and sit on the toilet, there is a poster hanging across from you on the wall, called "How To Build Community".

You can order this poster or make your own to hang on the wall or fridge. I plan to do that for the new house so that it will serve as a reminder of what to focus on. Here's what it says (
from the website where you can order it):

Turn off your TV. Leave your house. Know your neighbors, Look up when you are walking; Greet people; Sit on your stoop; Plant flowers; Use your library; Play together; Buy from local merchants; Share what you have; Help a lost dog; Take children to the park; Garden together; Support neighborhood schools; Fix it even if you didn't break it; Have pot lucks; Honor elders; Pick up litter; Read stories aloud; Dance in the street; Talk to the mail carrier; Listen to the birds; Put up a swing; Help carry something heavy; Barter for your goods; Start a tradition; Ask a question; Hire young people for odd jobs; Organize a block party; Bake extra and share; Ask for help when you need it; Open your shades; Sing together; Share your skills; Take back the night; Turn up the music; Turn down the music; Listen before you react to anger; Mediate a conflict; Seek to understand; Learn from new and uncomfortable angles; Know that no one is silent athough many are not heard. Work to change this."

Which of these do you make a point to do? Which would you like to do more of? What keeps you from doing so?

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