How do you like being back in town?
Everyone has asked me this question since returning to our small home town. It has been a few months since we decided to say goodbye to the big city and I can’t say that this question has been easy to answer.
My typical response jokingly references the fact that there are some major differences between Denver and small town life…
- I have to remember to bring cash with me (seriously, cash and checks are totally still a thing here).
- Stores are closed at night and on Sundays (except for Walmart, the one and only Walmart).
- School zone speed limits are enforced ALL day and not just while the sign is flashing (thankfully I haven’t gotten a ticket for this… yet).
- There is NO Starbucks drive through!
- The entire town fits in one picture
All joking aside, the truth is, it’s been hard. I read somewhere that for every “major” life change it takes about six months to adjust. Our list of changes at this time include: moving from big city life to small, moving in with my father-in-law (adding a person to our day-to-day life), our oldest started grade school, our youngest preschool, and my husband switched careers. I’m pretty sure that we’ve got at least a solid two years before I have to be “ok” with all of this change.
As I write this, I feel overwhelmed just thinking about it. These are the times when I have to stop and revisit the reasons why we made this decision for our family.
We did this so my husband would be home every night when our girls go to bed and still home in the morning to tell them good morning. This alone has made it all worth it.
We wanted to escape the fast paced lifestyle. My vote is still out on this one… We have escaped the feeling of always being in someone’s way or that we need to drive 10mph over the speed limit at all times (seriously, you WILL get a ticket for that in a small town). Though, oddly enough, we have been busier with commitments and engagements. I think this must be due to the fact that we returned home and we have built in friends and family here. Now we are making the most of those connections. This makes sense because being close to the people we love played a part in the decision to move home. Having the people around that we missed while we were away has been wonderful.
My husband and I both say we don’t think the girls have ever been happier.
They love having family and friends so readily available to them. They have been such troopers throughout all of this change. As moms, it’s so easy to create all these scenarios in our heads about what will effect our children. The truth is, they’ve had very few problems with the whole move.
The only thing that comes to mind is that my sweet three-year-old often asks, “Can I go back there?” any time we leave her preschool and sometimes when we leave my parents house. I’m not positive, but I think the fact that she knows we can’t easily go back to some of the places we used to frequent in Denver has made an impact on her ability to process what’s now common place vs. things she can indeed do “again.” Either that or she loves school. If that’s the case, then I’m pumped that I have a kiddo who loves school as much as I do!
While I reflect over this insanely fast last three months, I’m able to say that I’m past the stage of clinging to the life we had in Denver. I miss it deeply, but this last month has been nothing like the emotional roller coaster I was on in the first few weeks after moving. We are finding a new normal and settling in.
There are moments when I’m overcome, with a smile on my face, at the amount of joy I have in my heart. I’m thankful for this change. While I know the road ahead might not be straight and paved, it is our road. The road my husband and I have picked for our family. With them by my side I don’t mind a few bumps along the way. We’ve proven we’re a pretty awesome team.
Thank you, Mary Ellen. I think you hit the nail on the head… Thank the Lord they are resilient!
Thanks for sharing this perspective Jamie! Oddly, sometimes Denver feels like a small town to me after having lived in NYC and SF. A good part of this feeling comes from the fact that it’s my hometown. Your post is a good reminder that it is a thriving, bustling city! It’s also a nice reminder, though, that what makes a place feel comfortable and like home is not necessarily culture and amenities – it’s family and community.
Hi Emma! Wow, NYC and SF… I bet coming home to Denver does feel like a breath of fresh air. Thanks for your comment and for getting “it.” Family and community are what my little home town thrives on!
I’ve come to realize that not everything has to be better, but things can just be different. I feel as a society we tend to always try to prove or determine why an item, experience, or event is better than before, when in fact the item, experience, or event is just different. There are positives/negatives to living and raising a family in Canon, while there are positives/negatives to raising a family in Denver. I know Ashley and I got asked a lot about why we chose to stay in Pueblo. I know for us we love having the amenities for a nice dinner, with tons of outdoor fun all within an hour and minimal traffic. Great blog!
Hi Justin, thanks for taking the time to reply! I spent some time in Pueblo and I think it still has the small town feel of community to it. I’m glad you and Ashley are happy there. I completely agree, things are just different – things change. What works at a certain point in life may not work in another. This getting old business sure does come with a set of challenges that I don’t feel equipped to navigate. Never the less we move forward and make the best choices we can!
Many times as mothers we agonize over changes that we know will be best in the long run. I commend you on your decision to choose a slower-paced life and one that connects your children better with their father and extended family. Children are quite resilient and other changes will happen in their lives and they will be that much more prepared in how to handle them.