All the boxes are unpacked. The house is all put together. Things look nice. The kids are getting settled. I’ve found my way around the neighborhood. Our ward is nice enough. So why do I feel utterly untethered?

Bubbles of panic keep rising to the surface— little breathless pockets of fear and isolation. I know this was where I was supposed to go, and there’s a reason I’m here instead of in SLC or Seattle, even if I’m not sure what it is, so I hold on to that faith. Perhaps it’s just that I have unstructured time for the first time in years. I don’t have a paper looming, or a project due. Perhaps I’ve gotten so used to living in a state of near heart-attack inducing stress, I simply don’t know what to do with a little peace. It’s disquieting.

(There are still things to do- the kids’ school offices open this week for registration. I have to meet with my GW advisor to plan out some grant writing and what to do this fall. I have to get my car registered. The kids want to go to the pool. We haven’t even ventured into DC proper yet. Everyone I know says to wait until the crowds abate with the end of summer, and after Udvar-Hazy last week, I’m inclined to agree.)

So I guess this is just another day I have to knuckle through— it won’t be like this forever, and it’s a pit-trap to think any one day is indicative of the future. Onward. Right?

5 thoughts on “Untethered

  1. Tethering takes time. Unfortunately, waiting for the tethering to occur is unpleasant, stressful, frustrating. But it will come, as connections with new people solidify, as the environment becomes familiar and warm (in the emotional sense, not in the weather sense, since it’s definitely warm in the weather sense!).

  2. Sounds suspiciously like some PTSD. Stay on top of that, it gets ugly otherwise. Can’t imagine why you’d have THAT problem…. oh wait.

  3. Before Little House, how long had it been since you moved? Years, right? I recognize your symptoms. I am feeling similarly, though this time is easier than 3 years ago when we moved from where we thought we’d be forever. Does it help to know that you aren’t alone and that it is a very common post-move reaction?

    Time, my friend, and patience and awareness. Allow yourself to go through the very real steps of grieving – you’ve lost friends, familiarity, routine. Be patient with yourself and your kids as you adjust. Be aware of the ebb and flow of the emotions, and do something to counteract the swings (like going to see your grandpa).

    Most of all, try to enjoy the slowness of these days, because soon enough you’ll all be back in school and life will get hectic again. Bask in the ability to be untethered for a while – even as you work to build new threads of friends, familiarity, and routine. Appreciate the peace! (It won’t last…;) )

  4. Thank you, Michelle. That’s probably very good advice, and I’m going to attempt to take it.

    Em, you’re always spot-on.

    Tanya, yes- its hard to remember that it took time in WA too. I just have to have some patience.

  5. I always find great change untethering myself. Whether it is a new job, a new house, a new place, a new routine, whatever … it is hard and disconcerting. I am going through something similar myself but in a totally different way and I am freaked out, some days more than others. So, if it makes you feel any better, you are not alone :-). I’ve been a long time lurker but wanted to de-lurk and comment. Hang in there!

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