The Other Side of the Leap
by Holly Varni
August 24, 2015

“The difference between what we fear and what we want, is the width of an eyelash.”

-Maggie Smith

We did it.

We made the leap.

We moved far away from where we had lived.

Not only in miles, but in culture, politics, weather, and landscape. It’s a new life.

We left the old one behind and began again. How many times in life can a person proclaim that?

Everyone in the family got to pick a dream last year, that they wanted to see come true. Some were easier to fulfill than others. My husband’s dream was to move. After packing up the house, driving through states and deserts, the professor was reunited with his beloved ocean.

Arriving two days before the movers, we wanted to experience the new house quiet and empty. We wanted to be present before all the craziness and endless boxes arrived, and take time absorb to the change. We hoped to bond as a family with the house.

With swollen feet from days of driving, and droopy eyes from not getting any sleep the night before because the hotel was situated right on the freeway, we pulled into the driveway holding our breath along with our high expectations.

The kids immediately darted for freedom, the dog disappeared, the professor went to inspect, and I staggered a few feet, trying to get circulation in my legs.

Exactly five minutes after arriving, our oldest son plugged the toilet and I had to forego the dramatic entrance to get back in the car, and find a Home Depot for a plunger.

The professor exclaimed, “You’ve got to be kidding!”

I laughed it off. “Consider the house christened,” I responded.

I stopped laughing when I accidentally backed into the cement mailbox as I was leaving, putting a huge dent into the fender of my car and broke the brake light. The mailbox was completely unharmed.

After unplugging the toilet, emptying the car, and setting up the blow up beds, I was ready for the day to come to an end. When checking on the kids and their epic slumber party, I discovered that the dog had vomited all over the kitchen floor.

The next day, I called a repairman about the dryer that didn’t work. The problem was that the gas was not turned on. All the service guy had to do was reach behind the dryer and turn the valve. To look stupid these days, costs $90.

The dog went from vomiting to gifting us with diarrhea, and we figured out that the bad smell in the backyard was the septic tank “breathing.”

Bottom line, don’t set yourself up for a perfect welcome because it doesn’t exist. At least not in my world.

The cleaning, unpacking, repairing, remodeling, and resolving plumbing issues is overwhelming at times. Our oldest son swears that he has developed arthritis in his back at the ripe age of 16 from carrying in all boxes from the garage to the house.

The days are long, but progress is made little by little.

Collapsing into bed, I asked the professor, “Was it worth it?”

“Absolutely,” he smiles.

Is it everything we envisioned? Not quite.

But the story is still unfolding and seeing the professor this happy, makes me think it’s going to end well.

On the other side of that leap we took, things have not gone as smoothly as we anticipated. But choosing to act on what we wanted rather than all the fears that could have kept us from uprooting our life, has already paid off.

We have come together as a cohesive team, a family, to work towards a common goal…

Establishing a home.

Home is defined and looks different to everyone. For us, it’s four walls that hold in a busy life filled with love and laughter, along with dirty laundry, plugged toilets, a pile of shoes at the door, homework and a puking dog.