Saturday, January 17, 2015

People Who Don't Hate You

Today was a pleasant day with visiting family, skyping with other family and a friend, and just general cosiness. I found myself thinking just now, "Always nice to hang out with people who don't hate you." And then I had to think about that for a few minutes. I never hang out with people who hate me, and I'm not even sure if there's any one out there who actively dislikes me. Then again, I don't hang out much in general so I probably wouldn't notice. Maybe the thought was just another moment of amused hyperbole. Maybe it was an unconscious reminder that just because friends move away or we fall out of touch, it doesn't have to mean we don't care about each other. Not always, anyway.

Faramir and I talked about moving today. That was rare because normally it's just me talking about moving. As in every few months. As a TCK, moving makes me feel safe. It's exciting. Challenging but in a familiar way. Staying in one place for too long makes me feel itchy. And my husband is both a traveler and a patient man, so he understands some of the itch and is gracious with me about the rest. A clever man, he brings up great points to think about while talking about moving. Like whether we'll be putting Pippin in school in a given area or how much his work reimburses travel. The thing that didn't really come up was friendships, which are much harder to quantify.

Part of me wants to move to some beautiful village (maybe on an island?) where we can build friendships that will last for years and drop by for coffee with the neighbors while our children play outside and grow up together. Part of me wants to stay in this general area, so we can still keep the friendships we have with the people who already come by for coffee! There aren't very many of them, to be sure, but they are special. And I'm just now getting to the point of being so comfortable that I'm not embarrassed if my floors aren't swept, etc., when they come over.

The other day, two girl friends were visiting, and we had a lovely talk before deciding to extend the visit and have lunch. After a few minutes negotiation, I ended up chilling on the couch and feeding Pippin a bottle while they fixed the soup and toast! There was some giggling and calling back and forth between the living room and kitchen, but it was the highlight of my day, if not of the whole week....

Other friends may not live so close by, but at least we have the option to meet up in town or at home for coffee. Even if that's only once every two or three months, it's fun to look forward to and savour when it happens. If we move far(ther) away, it probably won't happen. There will be new friends, and that will be great, but there won't be the old options of 'just biking into R'dam for the afternoon' or 'just hopping on the metro to your house.'

And yet, I feel like we're in a 'holding pattern' here. We knew this was temporary, and some of our friends are also expecting to move before long. So looking at houses is practical as well as soothing. We may not be able to narrow down options much at this point, especially since we might not move for another year or so. But it helps me to see that we do have options, and to give me a chance to dream about living somewhere fun and new before reality comes knocking with the packing boxes.

And thinking about moving helps me appreciate the place we are now.  "Everything is more beautiful because we're doomed," Achilles tells Briseis in Troy, one of my all-time favourite movies.  Knowing our time here is limited helps me not take it for granted. It also gives me fresh appreciation for the people I get to hang out with who don't hate me.

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