Partnerships are great. You meet someone. Fall in love. Tip toe around each other’s worst habits and then agree to annoy each other for the rest of your lives with marriage.
Don’t get me wrong, I do believe in marriage and even more in the power of love but I sure am not naive enough to think you get married, have a baby and everything is gorgeous sunsets and lovely, meandering walks into the evening night. Relationships take work , and we all know it, right ?
What happens when you start to have to point out the bigger issues. That financial support is obviously a part of life but so is the menial tasks of dishes, laundry, picking up clothes and toys and feeding animals?
Let’s face it, at some point we all think about how much being an adult sucks. It’s paying bills, making meetings, taking care of payments and trying to plan for a future. But it’s also staying up late to talk, to snuggle, to do everything your parents would raise an eyebrow at. Yet at the same time it’s the balance and the life we have that we need to focus on and enjoy what we have in front of us by balancing out both the menial things and the big. … how do we balance them all while remaining sane ?
I like to think we talk it out. We move through life connected to those around us and and need to face them head on together.
Planning is a great tool, although I am sure Josh would tell you it is my downfall because as soon as an idea is out in the open it means my planning can start! I love planning, I like the process of working out the troubles in my mind or for the big projects drawing them out, in fact I think disaster management should have been my fortay.
Seeing as we only have one truck up here, on the edge of the continent, I have been feeling more house bound…errr RV bound… then usual. This feeling really tightened when it looked like the transmission was done in the truck and we were stranded without a vehicle for days on end! We walked, ALOT, and the dogs loved it and I think Emma did too… only I tired of walking the groceries back. So on one of these walks I spoke up, I told Josh I feel like I’ve lost the feeling of home I’ve been searching for, for so long. He took it pretty well, however I felt I needed to explain that while I was working on forming our home in my mind and building it without a physical landscape to officially call home I have always felt the draw of the Cariboo as my true “home”. Now to be told that the feeling of home has been without him in it for so long is not necessarily fair I suppose, but wherever my boots have landed, where horses have taken me or planes flown me to… it has always been the Cariboo I refer to as home. It is where my dog always felt he could wander, my horse could graze and I loved the feeling I got driving through the gate… it’s the feel of home.
So, once Josh dropped the idea that we should use my allotted acres my parents have always offered me, to build a house at the ranch, my heart felt full and I realized my searching for home was waiting for him to realize home was where I always dreamed it was, in the rolling hills of the Cariboo and with him and Emma it meant so much more as HOME than he could ever know.
To bring the feeling of home together with the mental building of home is a huge bonus but to know you get to build part of it as a partnership with the love of your life is truly a gift. So know I sit planning our physical home while still trying to build the mental and emotional home that I hope will draw our children back to us just as my parents built for me and my sisters. I was recently told that it is up to me to build my feeling of home, but I truly believe that family is what builds the home… the sense of safety and support builds ties that cannot bound you. The landscape you dream of and retreat to for mental repair is where you long to be in the hills and misty mornings. It is part of the feeling of home to build on and establish in our lifetime for our children to come.
– AJM, seeker of the feeling of home.
Where my dog can wander and my horse can graze.
Where my dog can wander and my horse can graze.
“It takes hands to build a house, but only hearts can build a home”
As I’ve mentioned before on my writings I am a constant seeker of finding the feeling of home, so to sacrifice the physical feeling of home is a hard hit. But I am learning (slowly at times) that the physical building of home is a mere piece of the feeling of home.
My husband-to-be, like so many in today’s economy, had to go where there was work. I really cannot be surprised as I was the one who sent the application for a job in NW British Columbia. However, Northern BC is remote and not always the easiest to find somewhere to live, let alone put horses. Horses will always be my true passion and a major contributor to the feeling of home. So I have no chance of having horses up here it is not helping with the sense of displacement, yet the feeling of physically giving up our house in our hometown that we painted, created the nursery for our daughter in and planted plants and made it feel homier is what really makes me feel like I’ve sacrificed a feeling of home. So now we have the fun of searching for a rental, but we all know to find a rental you must have the damage deposit (hopefully just 1/2 of rent) and then in our case a pet deposit for our two dogs to join us. So before you even move in the first item of your own you are pushing $2200 down the drain and feeling like you are never going to make ends meet AND save for that ranch you’ve always dreamed of. So what is a family to do in these times? You can invest. You can borrow or you can scrimp.
In this case, we chose to scrimp I suppose. Whether we are scrimping out of necessity or scrimping out of a desire to save I cannot tell you exactly as suitable rentals are rare and saving is difficult when you have one partner working and the other on maternity leave. So we sacrifice. We made the decision for staying in the 5th wheel while we search for a place to live full time. What a whole other life, the feeling of home couldn’t be further away when it’s raining so hard you feel like you live in a waterfall and it is beating down on your home on wheels. Don’t get me wrong, its really not hard living when the trailer comes with two flat screens, lazyboy chairs, a fire place and relatively a bit of space. However, that space quickly fills when you add in a baby all her baby things and her swing, two dogs and two adults.
It is merely the knowledge that what I am sacrificing is what I find myself searching for everywhere my feet land. The feeling of home waivers when you long for a place you know you cannot be right now and that you have to keep your family together, so you sacrifice the feeling of home for a while and focus on the mental aspect of “home”. I try to build the feeling of home amongst just us, I try to bring pieces of home in pictures, draw on social media and technology to bring your extended family into your world a little more everyday. It’s a day by day thing to feel more at home in a world so different from our regular everyday with horses and open fields and rolling hills, but we try.
At the end of the day that is all the can be asked of us all, that we try. We build our family and our idea of home in different ways. We grow with sacrifices.
I used to tell my clients that working with horses is like working with a toddler…they can’t verbally speak to you so it’s a bit of a guess situation sometimes. Well! How worlds collide and change so quickly! Now I find myself using the same skills I use with horses with my new baby- odd parenting style ? or just good optimization and use of prior skill set? I like to think the latter because horses have always been my go to for understanding the world; it’s a simpler world when it just fight or flight instinct that drives you. However, it is this world where I find my comfort in knowing that things will be okay when I feel like I am not following the best parenting method for any given day.
As I type this my daughter quietly swings in her baby swing (for now, here’s hoping I didn’t just jinx my luck) and I can’t help but wonder what is running through her mind. Most likely with babies it is hunger, dirty diapers or sleepy but is that always the case? Lets be honest, sometimes our little ones are just uncomfortable in how they are sitting/ laying or are bored of not moving and just like the horse who can only act out of a fight/ flight instinct, or don’t know what we are asking, use their only method to get a change: acting out. Whether this acting out is crying (or more dangerous actions in the horse( we as the parents of both need to adapt our schedule to match theirs. THIS fact right there, that has just come out of my own mouth, is what I struggle with the most as a new mom sometimes- realizing that my time is not longer my own. What do you mean I can’t leisurely drink my coffee on the porch till I feel like I should go back to work?! Or how I can’t ride for hours on end till the sun sets …oh, how those days are missed sometimes.
Till I can bring my little one along with me on more adventures, I realize I will continue to use the skill set from before, from the equestrian/ ranching world, to understand and adjust to raising a beautiful little girl.
I would love to hear what skill set you find yourself using while your worlds of parenting and your passions collide, send me a message or a comment!
Until recently I have always known home is in the Cariboo. It is the walls of an old ranch house and the hills that roll down to meet the Fraser River in British Columbia.
This knowledge of home never waivered, and in some ways still to this day doesn’t, so when people would ask where I was from I would proudly state it. I even remember being asked on my first solo trip- going to work at a kids camp in upstate New York when I was 19 years old- where I was from. I proudly squared my shoulders, looked them in the eyes and smiled and said… “Quesnel.” In my mind I didn’t need to say British Columbia, Canada nor that it was 9 hours north of a major city. It was just where it was and that was that. Well, to my soon to be friend, it meant nothing and could have been in Antarctica for all they knew, but to me, it meant home. The more I travelled, the better I got at telling people where I was from but this story of naïve pride in where I was from always sticks out in my mind.
This innate sense of home means safety, a place to escape the confines of societal pressures and the social issues that life throws at you. “Home” was my escape from a world that sometimes felt overwhelming to me, yet it is a world I have always craved to explore. As I pushed out of home and explored the world from Vancouver to Bangkok, and Europe to every small town in New Zealand and Australia I found that what home meant to many varied. Today I am still drawn to my childhood home, a place I one day hope that my own little family can find a way to fit our lives into the ranch but now I find I am navigating the world to fit my idea of home into an ever changing experience.
From new motherhood with a beautiful daughter and husband-to-be, to the rugged NorthWest Coast of British Columbia I am learning to create home wherever our feet land and to involve my life of horses and love of the country in whatever world we create. A feat that is not always easy, nor that always feels possible.
So as I sip my morning coffee and hear the soft beat of the baby swing and the pitter patter of rain outside I wish you a good day and best wishes as the search to Find the Feeling of Home continues.