Changes, large and small, define our lives. When the changes are out of our hands and seemingly beyond our control, they can inspire fear, anxiety, and resentment. For the past several years we as a family have been at odds with change. Though we were seemingly living the good life with a house and generous opportunities for family time due to Five String’s teaching schedule, we found our lives still filled with dread. Dread over the school week starting back up again, over the ever-increasing list of household maintenance, over the rising cost of covering basic expenses with decreasing income.
However, as we started planning our trip to drive the length of Route 1 and transitioning to a less settled lifestyle, our feelings about change began to change. The idea of driving south with no set itinerary, of choosing what we saw and where we stayed on the fly, cast change in a whole new light. Since we had chosen change, the unforeseen and unexpected became new and exciting.
Now, living in the first of our many upcoming rentals after the trip, we’re finding it easier to embrace the changes we have no control over. The weather has been dull and dreary for days upon days, which can feel maddening when you are close to the ocean and can picture the beach walks you could be taking as a family. With no choice but to push through, we’ve discovered the joys of pushing two couches together to make an ultra-comfortable reading nook, of having pancakes and waffles for dinner, of greeting the rain with raucous dance parties.
Then today the sun pushed through the clouds and we were presented with a gorgeous afternoon. We hastily threw on our bathing suits to take our usual course down the beach. Though the beach looks different each time we walk it, there are usually familiar sights such as a massive washed up tree. Even it changes each time we pass by, disappearing more and more under a blanket of sand. In the end, it seems we are changing each time as well: the more we embrace the changes we are creating, the more the unexpected offerings of the world seem an invitation rather than a source of anxiety.