A year ago on July 24th I spent my first night living in Westchester. I’m a few days late to this post (because I couldn’t find the time to sit down and let my lengthy thoughts flow), but it’s officially been a year that I’m living in a house (crazy) and I no longer call Tribeca my home (although I still have a 212 home phone number- that I can’t part with). There have been peaks and valleys that in no way could have been predictable. While I feel (more) settled now, I still am dealing with new things and obstacles on a weekly basis.
I would be lying if I said that every day I love living out of the city. I love Armonk as a town and the sincere friends I’ve made, but a part of me still misses the city. As far as suburban towns go though, I think we hit the jackpot. We went into it sort of blindly (although I did memorize every house on Houlihan Lawrence’s website) in that we only knew a couple of people who lived here, but heard about what a young town it is and that the school system is superb. On both of these notes, they were absolutely right. But what I learned for myself is how friendly people are (the local bakery and dry cleaner brings me things to my car window when Steele is napping so I don’t have to shlep him) and how small town it can feel (we have the cutest town center). My friends look out for one another, and for the most part, everybody’s in the same boat. While I knew I would make new friends leaving the city, I wasn’t looking for it. I truly love some of the girls I have met and we’ve got each other’s backs (whether it’s carpooling, meeting for a necessary cocktail or just dropping off cookies when one of the kids is sick).
Friends are necessary or you’ll go mad. It’s not like the city where I could be walking alone for hours and wouldn’t need to be with people, because after all, the city is your friend. But spending a day inside when there’s a blizzard can make you go loony. The upside is that you have the space to do it, but the downside is that you can’t walk next door to Duane Reade to pick up cereal or throw a plastic stroller cover over your Uppa Baby and trek to ballet class a few blocks away. If you are stuck in the house though, it couldn’t be more perfect that your good friend lives a block away, so you and the kids can be stuck together. One of my biggest struggles though is coming to terms with juggling two kids in the suburbs and driving places. It makes hiring any help harder (they pretty much need to drive) and makes any free time one might have be dwindled down to nill. Much more advanced planning goes into my weeks.
I thought I would have a harder time adjusting in the beginning and was blown away that I didn’t. Eight months in, however, is when it became more of a wake up call. Winter should have been winding down and instead we were having storm after storm, school closure after school closure. I couldn’t even imagine what our grass used to look like from last Summer and had to look back at pictures and assure myself that “this too shall pass”. I would wake up longing for the city, but in actuality it may have been me longing for a simpler time (although at the time it didn’t feel so simple). A time when I only had one kid, could walk out of my apartment and be on the West Side Highway for a long run, never had to worry about a snow plow bill or deal with a water softener company (you mean I can’t just call a super?!). But today I’m very happy. Part of it has to do with the beautiful weather, the fact that recently I’m working a lot more (for me I need this external focus) and the wonderful people that I can call my friends. I’ve learned to enjoy my home and all it has to offer and to be in the moment. Come Summer Fridays I’m not itching to leave, but relish the long Saturdays spent at the pool with our friends or Sundays spent barbecuing.
It’s not perfect, but it’s my new normal. I’ve come a long way since my last July post. I’m proud of the fact that I’m the same person I was over a year ago, despite the fact that I’ve had many variables to adapt to. Two kids to take care of, a house to clean, a blog to write, a job to keep and a plethora of household bills to write. Some days are easier than others, but every night after successfully putting two kids to sleep on my own, cooking dinner and putting the house back together in its original state, I give myself a pat on the back (or a glass of Sancerre) for tackling yet another suburban day.