We've been in our new home for five weeks now and we absolutely love it. So much has been done in terms of remodeling, and there's still so much to be done as we continue to live here and make it ours.
It's been an exciting time and it's been an exhausting time for both of us.With so much to be happy about - so much to be grateful for - why then, WHY? would either of us feel down-in-the-dumps, discouraged, depressed or out-of-sorts? Why, indeed...
Being able to rent our former home for a few months before our actual move gave us more than ample time to pack and prepare. One of the things I took on was to go through my belongings and purge the things that no longer served me. In hindsight, I think my funk started way back then.
I sifted through cards and letters from my mom, drawings and sweet notes from little Carrie, a memory of an old flame, and photos from oh-so-long-ago. All those emotional ties connected to things and people, and the letting go of them...phew. Tough stuff right there.
Then came the actual move. The going non-stop day after day (and now week after week) took its toll physically. And when one is not well rested, one can usually not handle the emotional side of things as smoothly as one normally would. Sigh.
I'd been moping around for weeks and it was really getting old!
One day last week I swung by the grocery store on my lunch hour. Before I got out of the car I flipped my visor down to check my look in the mirror and noticed the scowl on my face. "This has got to stop," I thought. "It's just not like me..."
I did my shopping and grabbed an iced tea from Starbucks, all the while silently grumbling to myself about the long lines, the toddler throwing a fit over a candy bar, and the oblivious woman taking up the entire damn aisle with her cart. Seriously, lady?!
And then something happened that changed everything.
As I walked out the exit door, grocery bag in one hand and iced tea in the other, another customer was entering. The woman looked at me - looked me right in the eye - and her face lit up with the most generous smile. A smile that spoke volumes of all-is-right-with-the-world. The sparkle in her eyes combined with her kind expression melted me just a little. My heart burst wide open with gratitude.
It was a brief encounter, and one that touched me so deeply that I was reduced to a few tears on my way out to my car. She had no idea of the gift she'd given to me. No idea that her happy disposition, shared by way of a simple smile to a grumpy scowling me, could rub off on me and shift my perspective. She set me right back onto the path I am meant to be on.
Our recent house move has been wonderful. It's been exhausting. It's been rewarding and challenging and easy and frustrating and awesome. It's been a drastic change wrapped in the most amazing blessings we can imagine. And that's just it - it's been a huge change.
If I've learned nothing else in this process, it's this: even when we are enthusiastic, ready and willing, change is still tough. It takes time to feel settled after a move and I may not feel completely that way for a while now but that's ok.
A stranger smiled at me and changed my perspective in a profound way.
Never underestimate the power of a smile to someone who isn't already wearing one.