life, thoughts

The Adjustment

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We’ve been in our new, old hometown for five months now. For those of you who haven’t read here before, I call it my new, old hometown, because twenty-seven years ago I moved away from where I grew up. Now I’m back.

I slipped right back in as if I never left, right?

Wrong.

Why is that? I mean, after all, this was where I learned to ride a bike, got my first kiss and learned to drive a car. It’s where I transformed from a middle school geek to a feisty teenager. It’s where I met my love, got married and then moved away.

ttltnl (800x599)The mall I frequented as a teenager is still there, but the movie theaters where I sold popcorn are gone.

nalo (664x800)I’ve been in contact with two of my best friends all these years, and I’m blessed to live back near both of them. I get to hang with my girls again.

(Yeah, yeah, I’m the short one)

I’m fortunate to still have my parents who are also nearby now.

homepalm (530x779) wmThe thing about when I was living in Florida, aside from the warm weather all year round, was I had none of the above. Sure, I had a mall and movie theaters nearby; who could live without them? But, I didn’t have any of the people mentioned above.

Florida has a lot of transplants, many from the northeast (of the U.S.). A lot of them move with entire families, uninterested in outsiders. In other words, we didn’t make many friends. Not having children also put a damper on forming friendships, since parents were busy raising their kids.

I had my wonderful writer’s group, and that was about it. So, for over a quarter of a century, my husband and I had only each other.

Not only do we need to adjust to four seasons and thicken our blood again to cold weather, but we are figuring out how to integrate people into our schedules. This has left me somewhat flustered. Fitting in writing and blogging has been challenging.

I won’t even go into the details of the move or perils of selling our home in Florida. Also, renting a home and looking to buy.

I won’t even go into the details about all the Murphy’s Law situations that interrupted our integration, some of which were shared on this blog.

The things that changed since I returned … three of my grandparents who were  living when I left have passed away. My parents divorced. My brother married, had a son, then twin sons.

gram n boys wmMy mom with her grandsons (my nephews)

While living far from home, my own introspection, growth and aging process has changed me as a person. So, I’m trying to learn how to interact as a different person than they knew when I lived here.

Those who stayed in touch with me the most, know the newer Lori. One person in particular knows me the best. Her support has been immeasurable.

As an older woman now than when I left, the aches and pains are difficult to move through. They are worse during the damp, rainy days, which we didn’t have a lot of in Florida. I’m okay with the weather here though, at least so far. No need to complain about 70 degrees in November, while I watch Florida sweltering at 90 since March.palm people

We’re still trying to catch up with bills from the move, and also … clothes. I need winter clothes, snow boots and shoes (instead of sandals).

I still keep forgetting I live in Illinois. I’ve said things like, “back home we ….” and then remember this is my home. I’m still on eastern standard time and forget when my shows are on. I start to give people my Florida address when asked, and I’ve put in my Florida zip code when searching for places of business in Illinois. It’s like forgetting to write the new year after the first of January.

Could this just be an extended vacation and I’ll be going back soon?

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I’m pretty sure it’s going to take all four seasons before I feel at home. Even then, we won’t be settled because we need to move again into our own house. When that will be, I have no idea.

The adjustment isn’t as smooth as I would’ve hoped, but I’m not sorry for any of it.

 

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27 thoughts on “The Adjustment”

  1. I’ve read that it takes at least a year for us to settle into a new place—even if we’re from the area in general. I think there’s some truth to the old saw “you can’t go home again” in the sense that everyone has grown older and had separate experiences. Some people have passed away, and a new generation has come around. But I believe the connections can be re-established and can be stronger than before. It just takes time and understanding from all parties that the past is past and we’re dealing with the now.

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    1. Wise words. Some people here need to get to know the new Lori, and hopefully that will come to pass and we can establish stronger bonds, like you said. Thank you for your input, JM.

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  2. Your post and experiences interest me, as someone who is on the cusp of a relocation. I find myself looking at the here and now with fresh eyes, acknowledging the things I enjoy and will miss… and that on the whole our years in the inner-city have been good. Not quite the same as you but sort of we’re familiar with our “new’ place but that won’t save us from the settling in for real adjustment period. I will heed your wise words “That was another life. This is a new one.”

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    1. Hi EllaDee. I repeated those wise words from Anneli, and thanks for reminding me of them. I know you’ll be happy in your “new life” despite the adjustment. I am very happy in mine, even though I’m looking to balance it all off. I look forward to reading about your new life.

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  3. As someone who has never moved far from my roots, and having been married and living in the same place for nearly 27 years, I can only imagine what you’re experiencing. A part of me is jealous of all of the new adventure you’re experiencing, but the side of me that likes things as they are feels a bit sorry for the adjustments you have to make.

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    1. Thank you, Terri. I understand the contrast of both of those things you shared. I feel the same way about liking things the way they are and wish they didn’t change, but also enjoying the new adventures. I appreciate you stopping by with all you are going through. Hope all is going well.

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  4. Good post, Lori. A good read, as one would say.
    Sometimes I wish I had gone back home to MS, but that time is gone. I have good friends here; sometimes some leave the circle but that is o.k. Their life took a turn in another direction.
    You were wise to have kept up with friends because you have them and family. My family is scattered everywhere, as you well know.
    By next spring, I dare say your time in that foreign state, will be a distant memory.

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    1. We had no one in Florida, so it’s fantastic to be near friends and family again. It’s just a trick to learn how to add all this to a schedule that I never had to worry about before. But, I know you understand.

      I thought you didn’t live too far from where you grew up. I got the impression you like where you are now. I know your family is spread out. My husband’s is, too.

      Thank you for reading and the kind words, Linda.

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      1. About 5 hours; really like where I am; miss those days of living in a small community where everyone knew your name but those days are gone. Even if I went back, the important ones are in the cemetery where I use to play.

        Hope that sorts me out 🌠

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  5. It’s weird going back after a long period of time. Whenever I go back to Reno, it’s the same, and yet, it’s different. New buildings have popped up while old ones are gone and everyone just seems to be in a different place in life. Of course, the culture shock between the other sin city of Nevada and Bible belt Oklahoma doesn’t help. LOL. Chicago is one city on my list to visit, though. I just want to go up there for the pizza. 🙂

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    1. When I used to come back to see family in Chicago, the area never seemed to change, and I missed it. I just didn’t stay long enough to see the changes, but now that I’m here, I see them.
      So, did you grow up in the Reno area? I don’t think I ever met anyone else who grew up in Nevada.
      If you ever make it out this way, I’d love to meet you. Yes, the pizza is fantastic, and there are many other wonderful delicacies to savor as well. A lot of it junk food. 😉 Thanks for sharing your experience with going home, Angela.

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  6. I imagine it is a bit of a ‘culture shock’ to live in two such different states. Every time we’ve moved, it hasn’t been all that different (other than slightly warmer winters each time). From North Dakota, to Iowa, and now Ohio. And when I visit family in New England, temperature-wise that’s similar too. But were we to move to California or Florida, I imagine that would indeed be a big change. Plus, I’ve spent my life in the Midwest (granted where we’re at in NE Ohio is almost considered the East). So it would definitely require some acclimation for me too.

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    1. Good point about the culture shock, Carrie. One commenter said that it is strange to have to adjust to familiar territory. I think you’ve answered why. After so long, I had settled into a way of life in the Florida culture, now I have to readjust back to the old one. Thank you for sharing your experience and for the validation.

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  7. You’re lucky you have your family and friends nearby. I don’t and sometimes I miss them badly. You’ll adjust fine and soon, Florida could be a distant memory unless you visit. Great post Lori
    Blessings. 🙂

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    1. Hi Seyi. I feel for you being away from family. I was away from mine for all of those 27 years. It’s hard. It’s so fantastic to be back near them again. One of the commenters here said, “It’s strange to have to adjust to being back in familiar territory.” She put it perfectly. It’s an odd feeling, but I’ll get there. Blessings to you, Seyi.

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  8. I can relate. We moved to the area where I grew up (but not the same town). I had a few unrealistic expectations. We’re much closer to family, but most haven’t visited yet. The people here don’t laugh at the way I talk like people in the city did because I still have the local accent. But the people here laugh at me because we came here from the city. The small town gossip gets to me at times, but if I ever want people to know something it’s real easy to notify people by using the “village grapevine.” But we’ve been here about a year and a half now and people are starting to warm up to us. In fact I’m hosting a neighborhood party soon and people are actually saying they are coming.. It is strange to have to actually adjust to being back in familiar territory, but things are starting to smooth out and I think we’re going to be okay here. I hope you are able to make the adjustment to being back home again and things work out for you too.

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    1. “It is strange to have to adjust to being back in familiar territory.” That’s a perfect way to describe it. Thank you for sharing your experience. I don’t live in a small town for gossip, but a couple of people in our cul-de-sac are certainly nosy. Heh. Good luck with your party and enjoy.

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  9. Home is where your good friends are, and if you’re lucky, you have family there too. But it takes time to settle in, even if you lived there before. That was another life. This is a new one. Very exciting venture though. I have a feeling that things will work out fine.

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    1. “That was another life. This is a new one.” Great words, Anneli. And yes, it is an exciting venture. Once the dust settles, we’ll be just fine. Thank you for sharing your smart words.

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