On March 31st, Martin and I will celebrate our one-year anniversary closing on our house, which is super incredible! I think back to the uncertainty, while we packed in Florida and all the plates that were spinning:
- When is our closing date?
- How long will it take to get to Illinois?
- When is the moving truck coming for our belongings?
- How long will it take for our belongings to arrive in Illinois?
- When does Martin need to start his job?
- How will the animals (a dog, two cats, and a fish) fare in the cars for so many days on the road?
These days, there are still plates spinning, but they are a completely different set than a year ago. Now I’m spinning these:
- The nesting plate – Which makes me want to clean, organize and purge every room in our house, and the garages, and finally tackle all those little projects I’ve been meaning to tackle for the last year.
- The birth anxiety plate – I’m about to not only push a life form out of my belly, but I’m also expected to keep it alive, love it, feed it, change it, and help it grow and develop and become a real person.
- The pregnancy plate – I’m gaining weight and inches by the minute it seems, and my posture is changing, my sleep patterns are changing, and my comfort is slowly dwindling away and will soon be non-existent, my baby is practicing Thai Kwon Do, kickboxing and sweet dance moves almost every hour of the day, and even pregnancy pants seem restrictive to the point that I live for the moment when I can put on my pajama/sweat pants at the end of the day and I’ve never experienced anything like this before.
- The >100-year-old house plate – It seems like each week or two I’m waiting for some repair person, or some worker to arrive and fix, tweak, explain, or replace something which I’m really familiar with since as a kid my house was a perpetual work-in-progress, but it’s still a plate to keep spinning.
- The impending arrival plate – Will we have everything we need for this baby, and will everything be ready when this baby finally arrives? Will I know when things are finally ready?
- The new in town plate – We’ve lived here almost a year. Martin has coworkers that he is able to socialize with during the day. Martin plays with the Parkland Band once a week. I am on the Board for the choir I sing with (we sing once a week), and I plan great social events for the choir and family & friends throughout the year. I go to yoga once a week. We go to political activist events all around town to meet like-minded people and get involved in the upcoming elections.
We’re working hard.
We’re trying hard.
We’re as strong a team as we’ve ever been.
We’re spinning those plates.
For me, though, there is still a source of sadness:
We have not made any close friends yet.
Yes, we’ve made acquaintances, and I don’t wish to diminish those that we have met up with here and there (let’s get together again!!!), or our friends and family in Florida or Chicago who we see here and there. I’m talking the friends you can grab coffee with when you each have an hour to spare. Friends who come over to play board games on a weekend night. Friends who want to catch a show in town together. Friends who throw dinner together with what you’ve both collectively got in the fridge. Friends who text for no reason. Friends who are just a few blocks away, or a short drive, and make us as much a priority as we make them.
Where do thirty-something people meet other thirty-something people open to new friends?
Where do thirty-something married couples meet other thirty-something couples open to new friends?
Where do first-time pregnant soon-to-be-moms meet other first-time pregnant soon-to-be-moms?
Sometimes it feels like M & I are the only thirty-somethings in town, the only married couple with no already-established friends, that I’m one of the only pregnant people in the entire Champaign Urbana area and holy crap, does that feel isolating.
As I’ve grown older and gathered life experiences, I’ve learned that it’s quality (not quantity!) when it comes to close friends. But it can’t be so much to ask, for less than a handful of friends to lean on, close by. Can it?