The Random Writings of Rachel: While They Last

While They Last

With good reason, I've been on a 'make the most of every moment' kick for a while now. Angel and I have known since last fall that this season of life with just the two of us living alone in our farmhouse in the Michigan countryside wouldn't last much longer. I've been determined to enjoy this time for the little we have left of it.

I've been sewing because I don't know if I'll ever have a sewing machine again. I've been painting my nails regularly because there's no way I'm carting 15 bottles of nail polish to the other side of the world.

Sunday Afternoon: Hanging out at Calder Plaza listening to the Great Lake Chorus at the Festival of Arts--next year we won't be able to go, so we made sure to enjoy it this year!
 
I relish a little more the fact that I get to see my grandparents and aunts and uncles and sister and brother with semi-regularity...because once we move, that won't be a part of our lives anymore.

I make sure to smile and say a little "thank you!" every time I put a tray full of fish filets or cookies in the oven to cook, because I know I'm about to embark on the adventure of feeding Angel and I without the convenience of a home oven. I don't grumble about folding warm laundry from the dryer because I know soon I won't have one. I'm really starting to appreciate the fact that I can go just about everywhere within a 30 minute driving radius without getting lost...AND all the signs are in English and I don't have to wrack my brain to try to understand what they mean.

I've never moved to China before, obviously. I've never even set foot in the country. But I am experienced enough in the ways of this world to know that with this move I'm giving up a lot of little luxuries that I have occasionally taken for granted during these newlywed years in Michigan.

No more G-Rap for us! Side note: I'm wearing a jacket in mid-June. That I will not miss.
 
These little luxuries--dryers and ovens and proximity to grandparents, are just that--luxuries. I know they're not necessary for life, and I know that lots of people go their entire lives without ever having them. I've been blessed. I haven't always appreciated my temporary home in Michigan. Some of the years I've spent here have been very, very difficult. But I'm grateful for the things that are good about Michigan. For the adventures I've had, for the friends I've made, and for the fact that it was on this soil that I fell in love with Angel.

I'm ready to go, there's no doubt about that, but as our leaving date approaches, I seek to enjoy the little blessings we have right here in Michigan, while they last.

28 comments:

  1. There really is so much we take for granted! I really miss the proximity of my family and washing machine. But now I have friends that live super-close and no car or appliances to maintain... it's always a trade-off!

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  2. This is a perfect post. I am seriously inspired by your outlook on life. Take in every one of these special little moments while you still have them!

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  3. You never know how much you miss something until you no longer have it. I'm so happy you are taking the time to appreciate what you have right now.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  4. Wow, this post is humbling. Sometimes we don't realize what we have until it's gone (or it's about to be gone...lol) When do y'all leave?

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  5. "I've never moved to China before, honestly." Ha, I love how frank you are! This is such a wonderful little post and I love how you're viewing everything from this perspective right now--things that are normally maybe chores are now almost like luxuries taken for granted. I think that's how I need to start seeing things right now especially since it will be my last year in college and things will be so different afterward.

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  6. I'm glad you are soaking up as much as you can before you leave. That is what it means to live life to the fullest!

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  7. What a beautiful post, and mindset. Also, LOVE the orange dress! The whole ensemble is one of my favorite outfits you've posted actually. All the pieces just work.

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  8. You look amain- the dress, jacket and shoes are all perfect together!

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  9. Nope, not amain- AMAZING. Stupid Siri.

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  10. I absolutely love your outfit, and I love your outlook!

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  11. That's absolutely bittersweet, I mean at least to me it is. Moving has always felt like that to me and I can't imagine how it is to you that you're moving to the other side of the world. Great idea to seize the moment and appreciate the things you have there before you leave. I'm sure a lot will change. And please go to Great Wall and post photos, haha! I hope to be there someday! :D

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  12. So glad you're taking the time to relish these things because you are so right - they go away and then you miss them. Strangely enough, I missed the crap out Target after I moved to Germany. I loved the German lifestyle, though, and found myself wanting to incorporate some of their habits and designs into my life back in America. You will leave behind some luxuries, but you may find yourself redefining that word.

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  13. Good luck with your move! I, too am making a move abroad THIS WEEKEND (gosh, it's here already!) and I have been learning what is really necessary and what isn't.

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  14. Beautiful. We should all try to appreciate the little things. Sometimes it takes a big change to make us do that.
    Debbie
    www.fashionfairydust.blogspot.com

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  15. What a wonderful way to appreciate what you have!

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  16. China! That is amazing. The adventures and memories will be priceless. I am considering a similar move...but to Japan for a year. I may go next year to teach English. It's a scary possibility but one I am excited about and intrigued enough to try. I will probably do the same things you are doing right now...appreciating the simple things that we sometimes take for granted. When do you leave? And will you be continuing with blogging?

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  17. It is true that the things you mentioned are daily items we take for granted but are actually luxuries in another land. Hope the adaptation would not be too difficult.

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  18. I spent a few months in China and was actually shocked at how many amenities were available. While at times I craved an NYC bagel or a regular toilet, the experience more than made up for the little things I was missing.

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  19. Wow, moving to China. Thats going to be some experience. Apart from family and friends you'll soon get into new habits and appreciate different things. You stopped by my blog and mentioned a move and I just thought you were moving house not another country! I admire you and your husband, it's a brave step to take and one that many of us think about but never actually do. So good luck, you definitely have to blog about your new experiences!

    :-)

    ❀Kate❀

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  20. Great perspective on some big changes -- not like you haven't had a bunch of those before, right? =)

    Is that the dress that's bright green on the back?

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  21. I could NEVER leave my nail polishes behind! ahahah :P

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  22. Such a great life lesson. I am doing the same thing on a smaller scale as I prep for my little move.
    One day I want to make a big move like yours :)

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  23. oh gosh, i feel like you could write a beautiful short story about making the most of life and possessions as you prepare for your move - shouldn't we always be living that way?

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  24. Such a great attitude to have while you are preparing to leave! Maybe, just maybe, it won't be such a shock to your system.

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  25. I wish I had your foresight before moving overseas. I had no idea how much I'd appreciate a big American oven or a dishwasher. I almost wept with joy when I got to do my laundry at my mom's house...without leaving the house...so much easier!

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  26. This post is awesome. You soak up each of these little moments girl. Living abroad is going to rock your socks off I am sure. Like you said though there will be moments when you miss the little things. We've been abroad 15 months and went back for a visit around 9 months abroad. Now, those little things are what we look forward to most when we are home this summer for a long visit. Those hugs with our loved ones, a nice delicious beer, live music, drying our clothes (although I love air drying!), convenience food, and gosh darn it my oven! Living abroad is so worth it though and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

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  27. This post is awesome. You soak up each of these little moments girl. Living abroad is going to rock your socks off I am sure. Like you said though there will be moments when you miss the little things. We've been abroad 15 months and went back for a visit around 9 months abroad. Now, those little things are what we look forward to most when we are home this summer for a long visit. Those hugs with our loved ones, a nice delicious beer, live music, drying our clothes (although I love air drying!), convenience food, and gosh darn it my oven! Living abroad is so worth it though and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

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  28. You have the right attitude Rachel. Gratitude is everything. I wish you well on your voyage to China. How exciting!

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