The move reminded me, not everything has to change

I’ve discovered the biggest silver lining to this whole move, well, besides the pleasure of living in a big, beautiful house with actual bathroom counters — I am in no way compelled to do my kids’ laundry.

If you’ve followed me at all, you’ll remember how obsessed I have been over the years with laundry day and my laundry methods. For many years I had threatened to quit doing my daughters’ laundry but never really followed through until one day at the end of summer I found out my youngest just throws all her clothes in the dryer. She had no regard for all the years I spent hanging her shirts and jeans to keep them from shrinking. At the same time I found my oldest didn’t like taking her own time to do her laundry but had no issue with me using my time to do her laundry.

Though upon that revelation I declared I was done, every Monday on laundry day, I still had an existential crisis over not doing their laundry. I had clearly gotten my identity wrapped up in the task. Cut to the move — not only has the urge to do my kids laundry gone away, but I only wash my husband’s and my clothes when I need to wash them, like when we’ve run out of underwear or the laundry basket gets too full. I’ve been too busy trying to learn how to efficiently live in a new house to think about laundry. It’s rather refreshing and has been a big part in helping me accept having moved at all.

I know I’ve been very whiny about this whole process of moving and it doesn’t seem like I feel blessed to live in a larger house with bathroom counters and a gorgeous view, but I do.

However, just a short month and a half ago, I had no plans to move from our home of 27 years. Why would I want to leave? Not even a year ago I spent hours hauling rocks from my neighbor’s house to create a dry creek bed. My friend and I turned it into a succulent garden and spent much time and effort hooking up a drip system. So forgive me if I seem ungrateful, I’m still trying to wrap my head around the whole idea.

So I’ve decided to put on my big girl panties and deal with it in a mature manner. This is a different house and different life, so I’ve decided to make everything I do different. I’ve already talked about rethinking my new kitchen and stopped trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, that is I can’t use my new kitchen the way I used my old one.

I switched my indoor morning routine to look out our new front window so I could watch the sun rise. I observed my view from the sunporch and I can’t see the new garden because it’s ground level. But the rest of the yard is raised and my mind is reworking the whole thing so I have a lovely morning garden view that will take my breath away as much as my old backyard garden did.

In fact, I’m irritated at having to settle the inside of the house when I’d rather be digging large flowerbeds.

I’m slowly putting things away, figuring out my new office space, ecstatic at having one whole location for all the family photo albums.

My Florida friend and her daughter are coming out for Thanksgiving, but I’m not stressed about having a perfectly clean home. Not everything has to change.

Gretchen Leigh is a stay-at-home mom living nearby in unincorporated King County. You can read more of her writing on her website livingwithgleigh.com, on Facebook at “Living with Gleigh by Gretchen Leigh.” Her column is available every week at maplevalleyreporter.com under the Life section.


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