AW

The “New Normal”

In Family, Pursuit of Happiness on February 1, 2010 at 8:37 pm

On New Year’s Day, I picked up my niece from the airport.  It was the first time since leaving New York that we got the chance to spend time with any of the family that we left behind.  As my niece’s visit was ending, my mother-in-law and father-in-law were arriving for an extended visit.  Since their trip was planned before we moved, we knew that the kids would get to spend time with their grandparents around the holidays, which somehow made things easier.

This morning, before starting out on their journey back to New York, my in-laws came by to say goodbye.  It was almost as hard as when we said our goodbyes over the summer.  My son bravely choked back the tears until the door closed, and then he broke down, as did my wife.  The guilt feelings that I had for moving the family to Texas came rushing back and hit me like a ton of bricks.  Thankfully, my 3-yr old daughter has no concept of time, so she did her best to make us all laugh, as she flailed a toy sword around wildly.  “Don’t worry” she said, “I’ll cheer you up!”

Her antics definitely lightened the mood for all of us.  Still, I couldn’t help but dwell on the fact that this was the beginning our “new normal.” There are no more visits planned for the immediate future from any of the family that we left behind, and we have no plans to visit New York until sometime this summer.  Even though we have been here since mid-August, in some ways, my in-laws’ departure served as a stark reminder that we live far away from most of our friends and family now.

Every day, people have to deal with their own version of a “new normal,” so we are certainly not unique.  The passing of loved ones, the loss of a job or home and virtually every other life-altering event creates a “new normal.” The only question that remains is seeing how we adapt to ours.

Some days are obviously easier than others.  In fact, most days are so busy that there isn’t much time to think about what we’ve left behind.  But other days, it is difficult to be so far away from home (holidays, birthdays and other special occasions for example). The traditions that we had established over the course of many years are now changing.

Perhaps if we had relocated to an area that was within realistic driving distance, we wouldn’t feel this sense of disconnection that we do now.  It’s not like we can easily jump in a car and drive for 28 hours to get back home, nor is it financially practical to book a flight for a family of four to visit New York.  While we are all looking forward to visiting New York, I realize that we cannot spend our time focused on the future at the expense of the present.

We don’t know exactly what our future holds.  I imagine that we will see in the coming months if our “new normal” suits us or not.  For now, we just have to do our best to adapt and live each day to the fullest.

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  1. Adam, I can relate. Relocating is tough to do, no matter the circumstances. I’ve been in Huntsville almost 2 years and I’m still homesick for Nashville. The older I get, the more I realize I am slowing losing my sense of adventure. I long for my “old friends” and all the memories that come with it.

    Hang in there. Maybe soon you will begin to feel at home in Texas. Keep an eye on Southwest Dings. They have some amazing deals at times. Maybe you could catch an unexpected trip home 🙂

  2. Hey Adam it’ll get easier. My entire family (parents and two sisters) all moved to AZ and we were the every Sunday dinner kind of family, and now I see them every couple of years and it makes the time together that much more special.

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