Change in life is certain. Things never stay the same- we all get older, our environment changes, we move, we get a new job, we lose our job, we lose people we love, new relationships are formed. The list is endless because change happens.
While settling into our new rental house, I realized that within a few weeks, I am already feeling at home here. The streets feel more familiar and we are meeting new people. Also, surprisingly, I feel happy and hopeful. Pennsylvania is our new home and I am enjoying what it has to offer. The stark differences that I saw in my first visit that shocked me are now ordinary. The town that I live in is two hundred years older than my previous town. The old buildings and roads have weathered many years, but instead of shaming them for being old, I embrace their character and wonder what stories they could tell.
The accents of New Englanders that were so foreign upon first encounter are charming to me. I have found that as I put love and interest into my conversations, I receive kindness and interest back.
When dealing with a move to a different part of the country, I have found the following to be helpful:
1. Radical acceptance. Embrace the differences; there will be many! Instead of complaining about them, just accept them.
2. Get out and meet people. Meet your neighbors at your own pace, but be brave and introduce yourself. Wave at them and smile when you see them. Go to your local library. Go to a local church. Attend local events.
3. Settle in to your new home as fast as possible. Get unpacked. Don’t ask when you might have to repack and move again- that focuses too much on the future and leaves little attention to the here and now. Enjoy the present.
4. Do things that make you happy. Yoga, running, reading a book, walking, baking, whatever brings you joy- do it for at least 30 min every day.
I recently heard some advice that really helped my perspective in regards to our move. The happiest people do not focus on what “should be”, rather, they live with “what is.” Accept what your reality is and enjoy life. A grateful heart will find joy anywhere it moves.