Thursday, February 23, 2017

Rooted and Restless

Yesterday my husband and I closed the deal on a new window set for our living room and two sliding glass doors for our kitchen and study. While feeling trepidation about the cost (windows are expensive) we knew the work needed to be done. I awoke this morning thinking about the new windows and the cost.

My back deck and backyard a week ago after a big snowstorm.

My Facebook and Instagram feeds this morning were full of exciting and beautiful pictures. One friend is currently on a pilgrimage in India. My cousin shared a witty anecdote about backpacks and the differing personalities between she and her husband as they navigate life in Sri Lanka. Another friend who currently lives in Prague was visiting Dubai with her husband and shared beautiful pictures of the skyline there. As I looked at those pictures, I felt deeply envious. I know the rush that comes from trying to figure out a challenge in a foreign country. I know the awe one feels when encountering ancient and exquisite architecture. I know how alive I feel when living in a new country and how fascinating it is to learn about that new country and culture.

A view of Caeaserea in Israel from the amphitheater. This was one of the most interesting places I have ever visited.

Suddenly my window purchase felt boring, mundane, and settled. For what we just promised to pay, we could have easily made the trip to Sweden that we have been longing to take for several years. The conflicting parts of my personality raged up and clashed. We bought our home three and a half years ago after years of dreaming and hoping about home ownership. I get a happy little kick in my heart when I pull up my driveway and park. I have spent hours outside mowing the lawn, raking leaves, weeding flower beds, and tending to our vegetable garden with varying degrees of success. We are trying to set down roots in our community through volunteer projects, school involvement, and meeting new people. My kids are settled in their schools. At the moment, we plan to stay for at least a few more years yet.

My hydrangea bush/tree was out of control with incredible blossoms last summer. The butterflies and bees loved it. It was absolutely magical. 

But there is another part of me anxious and bored, longing for adventure and excitement abroad. It is the part of me that is only partially appeased with trips to the city to explore a museum or a trip upstate. It is the part of me that complains that I haven't gone anywhere or done anything-despite two trips to Wyoming, two trips to Kentucky, a trip to Albany, a few trips up to the Adirondacks,a fun weekend in Cleveland, and a cool little trip to Philadelphia last year. I am traveling plenty. It doesn't help that ten years ago we were living in Israel and five years ago we were in Riyadh. So putting in new windows in comparison with exploring ancient cultures seems kind of lame.

Enjoying the pool in Riyadh. 

I know the antidote to all of this is gratitude, but I want to indulge in a little envious dreaming of foreign climes. I really hope that we get another opportunity to travel and live overseas again.

Do you ever feel torn between two very different lives? How do you negotiate that?