I keep a five-year journal , a charming little gem that allows me to write five-line entries for five years.
Every day, it tells me exactly what I was doing the previous year on the same day.
My daily entries from last year at this time included :
- Last visit to our home in Virginia. That house is packed with memories. Not sure I can handle any more tears or goodbyes.
- Signed our closing papers and hit the road for Utah. I can’t believe it.
- Staying in Missouri.
- Just outside Denver.
- Arrived in Utah at our new home. Stood on the deck and marveled at the beauty.
- Roughing it with a folding table, two lawn chairs and an air mattress until the moving van arrives.
As I read these entries, I thought about everything that has happened and changed in our lives in the last year.
Here are 10 lessons I’ve learned:
- While moving is a major life decision and a big risk, it turned out to be easier than I expected.
- At a going away party last year, a wise millennial friend said, “Don’t compare Utah to Virginia/D.C. Just take Utah for what it is.” Best advice ever. It’s not better or worse. It’s just different. (Thank you Jason McDonald.)
- There is beauty everywhere. While I love the green, lush world of the East Coast, I love the spectacular mountains and scenery of Utah.
- Being near family is better than I imagined.
- My Virginia friends are still my friends. I’m grateful for phone calls, texting, social media, and lots of visitors.
- While I miss the vibrancy and closeness of the Mormon church community in the DC area, I’ve learned there are unique cultural challenges and tests of faith in different places. Again, one place is not better or worse. It is just different.
- Going to the Outer Banks is still worth it. Even if we have to fly, rent a car, and go less often, it’s definitely still worth it.
- Making new friends doesn’t mean I’m forgetting my old ones. I can cherish old friends and still make new ones. In fact, it’s essential. We all need friends — near and far.
- Another wise friend who has moved many times in her life told me to give it a year to adjust. She said it takes a year to find doctors, hair stylists, dentists, favorite grocery stores, etc. and to feel comfortable in a new house, new neighborhood, new community. She said not to judge whether I like it until a year passed. She’s right. It requires some patience to rebuild your life in a new place.
- Finally, I’ve learned that being happy is a choice. So, I’ve decided over and over to be happy, and guess what? I am.