The next big adventure has begun.
Ben and I spent the last four days physically moving from Florida to North Carolina and the two weeks before that packing and silently preparing for this change.
I have always struggled with change, mostly because it is uncomfortable. Bilbo Baggins, as quoted from The Hobbit, summed up this sentiment quite right: “We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner! I can’t think what anybody sees in them.”
But I've been trying to envision this week, and the coming weeks, with the same optimism and excitement of an older Bilbo, as quoted from The Return of the King, when he exclaimed, "I think I'm quite ready for another adventure!"
With that said, its high time I admit that we not only survived but came out the other side of our latest great adventure - in the tropics of Florida - with an abundance of knowledge and wisdom. Ben and I spent our first years together as a married couple in Florida, learning the highs and lows of living with a spouse in a tiny home far from most family.
Life can be a bit angering and sobering, but it can also be funny, sarcastic, wonderful and surprising. We experienced many nights apart, lost many family members, changed jobs, and lived on pennies. But we also experienced many peaceful mornings together, gained new family members, new jobs, and made headway in many areas of our life together.
On our second to last night in our tiny house, we put together a (still growing) list of things we learned during our time in Florida. Its quite incredible to see just how much goodness came out of a generally difficult period of our life together - yet it makes it all the more beautiful.
We are still processing everything, but I wanted to briefly share the top 10 things we came up with. Interpret them how you like, though I hope to have a more in-depth post for yall in the near future!
In no particular order:
1. Love is forgiving
2. Life will hit you where it hurts, so learn to dodge the bullets and stand strong
3. "Small" things mean the most. Text/call people when they cross your mind
4. Family is most important. No matter how present they are in your life, work to be present in theirs
5. Health isn't linear and we can't forget to heal physically and spiritually in the midst of hard times - not just when things are good
6. Space is sacred, but company is more so. In other words, sharing is caring!
7. An open heart leads to an open mind and an open home (see #6)
8. In marriage (or any relationship), it is prudent to think before you speak. Specifically, it is better to respond rather than to react
9. Be tough, but fair. Learn to stand up for yourself in difficult situations, but also strive to understand the other side of the equation
10. Trust your gut. Also, its not the stuff on the outside that matters as much as what feels good and right on the inside (similar to #3)
I hesitate sharing our plans for the future simply because they always change, but I can say that there is a lot in store for 2018! And while our Instagrams will no longer feature Florida beaches and sandy pups, they will feature woods and fields of wheat. I think that's a pretty even trade!