Partnerships of the big and menial.

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.

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Plans make it all easier…

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.

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Where my dog can wander and my horse can graze.

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Where my dog can wander and my horse can graze.

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Sacrificing the feeling of home…

“It takes hands to build a house, but only hearts can build a home”

-unknown

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. 14063960_10153843186621616_4402275452750311089_n

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.

Changing and Growing Roles

Depending what definition and age range you take “Millennials” to be, I could be a millennial or ‘Generation Y’. Ideally I would like to think of myself as Generation Y, but that would strictly out of a desire to not be associated with a generation that is allegedly “instant gratification” seekers. However, This is EXACTLY what my own partner has called me, just not in so many words.

As a youth, young adult or even a full adult (yikes!) I think we would all like the instant response to our questions. The questions could be on life and where we are headed or it could be on “what that pineapple bush really looks like in real life”. We are the product of our society- we Google and we find out the real image of the pineapple bush. It is simply a matter of typing out what we want and heaven forbid if it takes more than the .2314 seconds it should to give us the results we want. I will be honest – I am NOT against the instant answer on what I want to know, I think everyone likes such information whether we want to admit it or not. However, I do not like the accusation of being called entitled which goes along with the idea of the millennial generation.

I will be the first to tell anyone, which I instantly told my partner of, that my “instant gratification” tendency has always been backed by hard work and the appreciation for any job. I have always worked. Never can I remember a time where I did not have some form of employment, whether it was being a nanny, an archaeologist or an advocate and coordinator for a not-for-profit association; I WORK HARD. Now factor in that I am on maternity leave and I spend ALOT of time under a baby with a dying cell phone battery and a book, that always seems,  just out of reach. This “instant gratification” is not seen often- unless I post a photo of my baby daughter and blush at the rush of likes, comments and praise over how good I’ve done at creating a small human. Don’t get me wrong, there are days I will take this praise, if not just merely to appreciate that there are people acknowledging what I think daily. It is this change from working hard and ALWAYS having a job to realizing my only job right now is making sure this small, beautiful, little human is given everything she needs for the rest of her life. While no small feat, it is also a Change in Role and a major milestone for growing up.

I constantly worry of not being enough for this bundle, of not having enough (very millennial thought, I know), and of not being career motivated enough to have developed that financial cushion to give her everything she will ever need. And it is here that I remind myself, it’s okay to not have it all. Things come when they are supposed to and its okay that I haven’t established myself as an executive for the not for profit I always thought I would be doing or that my horse sits in the field for majority of the year because I cannot manage to ride her daily with everything going on. I need to tattoo it on myself that it is OKAY to coast through  few things, to not have ALL the answers or the bank account built up RIGHT NOW. Life’s trail is windy and this is merely a loop in the road that crosses many paths.

I regularly talk myself through the anxiety driven worry that I am not enough or don’t have enough for this little bundle I have been graced with. It helps that life’s trail I’ve taken is with a very supportive and loving partner that accepts my anxious, worry filled babblings in stride. It is this relationship that lets me slowly grasp my changing role in life from equestrian/ traveler/ employed self to Mama/wife and everything I used to be and still am.

Humblest of ramblings,

AM

 

Amongst this changing role is the need to find a sense of home and building that sense of home within our new little family so that its a mental home and not dependent on the constraints of 4 walls.

What this is all about

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.

13331114_10153653961976616_1424146072592250104_nThis 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 of12115766_10153184299676616_3025414778271779904_n 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.