Embrace change: Chicago mom throws out predictability

Early on, I knew I loved change. The more the merrier. Rooms rearranged a few times a year for a ‘fresh perspective,’ donating closets full of old clothing to change up the wardrobe, trying new foods, new Sunday outings – I loved it all. I vowed never to become a monotonous, predictable friend, wife or mother.

I am not certain when I became this complacent person – but somehow I ended up living over ten years in the same house, un-rearranged for quite some time, with predictable Saturday night pizza and a movie in pajamas. Sunday routines fell in next and even Pasta Mondays and Taco Tuesdays. My children could barely believe that I had ever been anything but boring. I became ‘one of them.’

I think this happened naturally, effortlessly, because as adults we are inundated with ads and doctors telling us to live a stress-free life. As we find ways to reduce stress, we immediately remove spontaneity, take away items that only provide joy and replace them with practicality and predictability. Marriages become stale routine, friendships become a lunch prearranged weeks, if not months, in advance. Times out as a family are rare and if they happen outside of activities it’s because it’s a birthday or holiday.

Two years ago, I had this itching, gnawing inside of me for change. Spontaneity was tugging at my heart and I did something crazy. I pulled my kids out of school for a week, booked my saved airmiles and off we jetted to Disney World. It was insane and my kids could barely believe that I, their denim and black t-shirt wearing mom, would ever do something so wild. We had an amazing trip and that led me to believe that there may be more of the old Sara coming to the forefront.

So, as I inched closer and closer to the big 4-0, my house growing smaller as my family growing larger – I decided it was time for some serious, life-changing change. I wanted to pack up and move to Los Angeles but thought that’s a little too much for my kids, so I started smaller-scale, deciding to upgrade our tiny house and find something more accommodating for our growing family.

This proved to be both an adventure and a disappointment as it took more than two years in a dead market to find something. Finally, after much searching and roller coaster rides – we found a great place for our family.

Finally, my havoc could be wreaked, my sameness shaken up.

At first, this was a little overwhelming.

I literally felt as if my predictable, safe little world was being upheaved. Paperwork for buying and selling, purging years worth of life as it was torn apart and sold, memories in boxes being unfurled and re-lived.

Moving in your 20’s, which I did six times and three cities is easy- shmeasy. Moving twenty years of your married life, not so much.

As I stood between boxes and bills, lawyers and appraisers, it hit me – you aren’t living life if it’s always the same, always predictable, always safe. It feels so good to start over, try something different, make mistakes, throw out the old and open the new.

Sometimes it’s amazing, scary and needed to grow as a couple, as a family, as a person – to shake up your life. Go out of your comfort zone and grab beers instead of your favorite TV show this Saturday night, rearrange a room on a Sunday instead of watching the umpteenth soccer game on the field while lazing around in PJs all day, and then finish off your day with breakfast, instead of dinner. Heck, skip out on the Dells for your next vacation, throw caution to the wind and head to Disney!

I try to live life and embrace the changes, because I am reminded that without risk, there is no reward.

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