OK Commuter

Today marked the very first time Sean and I made the commute on public transport from our new house to work. Don't get me wrong: we lived in it for three days last week before heading off to Barbados on vacation, and they were all days we could have tried to figure out the bus or the train, but we drove to work instead: mostly because our heads were packed and spinning at that point and one more new thing to understand would've driven us, I think, to the brink.

So today was the first time we walked the three blocks to MUNI, then rode the thirty minutes into the city, and it really wasn't half as bad as I'd thought it would be. But sure, it was a change. For the past three and a half years, we lived so centrally in our apartment that we walked pretty much everywhere: it was a twenty minute march to work each way, and not much more anywhere else. And I loved walking to work: loved the way it divided the day in two, the way it gave me a chance to psych myself up or calm myself down, the way it gave me a foolproof excuse for skipping the gym on the days (yeah, mostly every day) I forgot to go.

Ironically, the street corner where we say goodbye in the mornings now is the same street corner where we always used to say goodbye when we walked to work: in front of a MUNI station that never actually meant anything to us before. Standing there this morning, I had a brief and dizzy flash of confusion: how did we get here? I don't remember walking from the apartment! I thought I was going crazy, and then I remembered that I wasn't going crazy: we'd just moved. But already the old apartment seemed so far away, like something that happened---distant, hazily---to someone else.

As for the new house, it's in complete and utter disrepair at the moment---boxes everywhere, DIY projects only half done, both of us recycling the same pair of shoes and the same juice glasses because everything else is packed up god knows where---and this evening after work we sat down to make a nice, sensible list of all the things we need to accomplish, which went really well in that it ended with me throwing the nice, sensible list at Sean's head and both of us eating dinner in separate rooms. (On the upside, I guess, at least we now have separate rooms for mid-fight eating. We used to have to just sulk on the sofa side by side.) Tomorrow we'll get up again and catch the train to work, and tomorrow and tomorrow and the tomorrow after that as well, and I haven't given it much time yet, I know---barely a week! would I cut myself a break!---but I guess all I'm wondering is when it's going to start feeling more like home.

Locusts and Wild Honey
Jul 06, 2010

I love that one of my very first questions for you was: How was your new commute?!

And then I think it was, How was Barbados?

It's funny how important commutes are and how they factor into our lives.

And wow, separate rooms for sulking. You're in the high cotton now, my dear.

Amy---Just A Titch
Jul 06, 2010

My boyfriend and I just moved, too and oh my god, SO MUCH THROWING OF THINGS AT HIS HEAD. Moving is really one of the most stressful things you can do as a couple, isn't it?

Thankfully, we've been hear nearly two weeks and it's really feeling like home. I hope you feel more settled soon, too.

Jul 06, 2010

My husband and I spent a very quiet DAY in Ikea passive-aggressively fuming at each other because we each had different priorities of what we needed after our move.

Moving is stressful, and so is learning a new commute. Didn't you sort of feel that everyone on the train would be staring at the 'newbie'. That's how felt my first day on our new train.

Jul 06, 2010

Once your things are unpacked, the new house will feel like home.

Jul 07, 2010

After switching apartments in Chicago, it took me some time to remember what EL stop to get off- a few wrong exits and waiting for the next train cured me.

Jul 07, 2010


I am new to your blog and have actually sent you an email message. Please read it when you get a chance. I was refereed to your blog by Amanda from "Amanda blog and Kiss". I would love it if you checked out my message and got back to me via email or phone :)

Oh and of Congrats on new experiences. Moving is a hassle with no end (well eventually, thank God!) and as for new commutes - at least you didn't get lost! I am hopeless when it comes to figuring out new routes.

Kate (and Ben)
Jul 07, 2010

oh, ho! The only thing that gets us through moving is a bottle of sangiovese for me and a bottle of whiskey for him. In fact we've thought about staying in our current rental house until we're ready to buy because we hate moving that much.
It'll get better. And the more you find a new place for your old belongings, the closer you will get to "home."

Jul 07, 2010

I remember thinking, after I moved to a new city, as I climbed into bed that night, "Some day this bed will feel like normal. It won't be so strange." I thought that for a few eeks, but eventually, it became my bed, my house, my life. And right now, being away from it and back home, I'm missing it very, very much!

Jul 07, 2010

I think when everything is unpacked and put away, it will start to feel like home. And with each change you make to the apartment, it will feel more and more like YOUR home.


Welcome home!

Jul 07, 2010

At least on a train commute, you can use the time to think OR read a good book (or stare at people, I suppose). More possibilities! And maybe now you'll be more motivated to go to the gym.

I hope you'll feel more at home soon! I'm sure it'll help to have a few boxes cleared out of the way. It's hard to feel like you're at home when all your comforting mementos and furnishings are hidden away somewhere.

Hang in there!

Jul 07, 2010

Once the kitchen was unpacked, even though the rest of the house was in shambles, I stopped throwing things at my husband. Once our bedroom was all settled and unpacked I started to feel like maybe this wasn't the biggest mistake we had ever made. And about three months later, when everything was unpacked and we had a list of all the stuff we wanted to do (painting, etc) and when I knew how to get almost everywhere from the house - that's when it felt like home.

But I think the first step is to stop throwing things at each other.

Jul 07, 2010

I agree - I always do the kitchen first. Feels more like home & less temporary if you can eat off your dishes like normal instead of scrounging, rewashing the same 2 glasses like you're on a camping trip. Then it's just a matter of getting the rest unpacked. And ongoing projects, like trying to paint before you unpack certain rooms, lengthen the process. But you feel so much better when you can say, that room's done - fixed & unpacked, stick-a-fork-in-it done. And our lovely fights almost entirely centered on the differences btw man's/woman's version of "done". But you'll look back a year from now & won't be able to believe that you were eating off paper plates at this point. The commute does 'normalize' faster, I think. Because it's not a "home" until you've made it yours, does that make sense?

Renee from GA
Jul 07, 2010

I third the "kitchen first" comment. And if you can figure out where at least one of the pictures you really like will hang, and commit to hammering one nail in a wall (putty and touch up-paint are easily applied should the worst happen and you change your mind), you will enjoy the visual distraction from the surrounding boxes and other un-made decorative decisions.

Jul 07, 2010

If you're missing the walk that was part of your other commute, consider either getting on or off the bus at a different stop. It may make sense to tack it on the to end of the trip, as seats tend to be more plentiful farther from the center of town.

And it will start to feel like home soon. I just know it.

Jul 07, 2010

In August, I traded a 5 minute walk to work for an hour of walk+tram or bus+walk...and a two bedroom apartment for a studio. And, yet, 10 months later ... well, it's all familiar. And it feels like this is always how it's been. And it was totally worth the trade.
Something tells me yours is too.

Jul 07, 2010

Should that have been farther or further?

Angela in Tx
Jul 07, 2010

Let's hear it for seprate rooms for mid-eating fighting! We recently finished a remodel that had out of commission at the same time: the living room, the family room and one bedroom. If we were mad, one person could be in the main bedroom and the other person had to sit at the dining room table. Let me tell you, whoever got stuck at the dining room table always got madder and madder. Not a good situation! LOL

The good news is, "this too shall pass!"

Jul 07, 2010

I hear that moving is one of the top most stressful things on the top most stressful things to happen in life!

But I understand. Moving is a biatch. Once the boxes are gone and things have somewhat found a place, you'll get there!

Barbados...I'm so jealous. Want to see pics!

Jul 07, 2010

I'm thinking you might want to indulge yourself in buying a bouquet of flowers -- maybe some nice fragrant ones like lilies if you like those. Or heck, stop at a flower stand together and buy *two* bunches -- he buys one for you, and you buy one for him, and you give them to each other right there on the sidewalk, and somewhere a violin starts playing, and then you kiss, & maybe do a pirouette or two before heading *home* together holding hands and remembering that giddy feeling you had in Rome the night he proposed :-)

Seriously, flowers will help it feel like home even while all the mess and chaos is still in process. Create just one table or counter space that's "done" -- the flowers, a cup for tea, and maybe your favorite wedding picture just to remind you what the whole thing's all about.

Sanity will be restored eventually. Happy nesting!

Jul 07, 2010

Hang in there. Just keep picturing how fabulous it will be when you are done!!

Jul 07, 2010

Oh, it'll get better! You'll get there!
We moved in to our new home 2 months ago and have been renovating both bathrooms and the kitchen so I totally know where you're coming from.
Biggest lesson learned so far: Everything takes like 10x longer than you anticipate! But it is worth it, so rewarding!
Best of luck!

Camels & Chocolate
Jul 07, 2010

Ooooh I'm so looking forward to seeing the new place, though, when you finally are welcoming visitors! =)

Jul 07, 2010

It will get better really rather soon, though do try to be nice to yourself if you have a few more weeks of that wretched unsettled feeling. (I threw an empty garbage can across the room during our post-move fight - and I am not a thrower.)

You're going to be fine. This really is one of the hardest things to do, period - especially with another person. It'll all make for good stores later. But I think it's good and brave of you to admit that it's difficult. Hang in there!

Jul 08, 2010

Love the title of this post!! Saaw half of Radiohead @ Glatonbury last weekend! Congrats on new home.

For me, when we're in the middle of DIY projects and the house is a mess and I want to rip the head off my boyfriend for daring to breathe in my general direction we force ourselves to take a break from the project.

Even a day to do something, ANYTHING other than that stupid DIY project will help you detox.

The projects always sound so lovely, and they always turn out so lovely, but the middle part? The part where you're actually spending all your time DOING the project really just blows ass.

There is a reason the DIY network is full of reality programs. Couples who do it themselves, scream at one another.

Jul 08, 2010

Getting used to a new location, especially in accordance with the rest of your life, can be really odd. I'm sure you guys will figure it out and it will all become routine right now, but for now, take a deep breath and take each day one at a time.

I am picturing you throwing the list at his head and giggling. I can totally see my husband and I doing that; well, we've had huge fights over putting IKEA furniture together. Because those wordless instruction books are evil.

Jul 09, 2010

Once your pictures are up. I spent my life as a military child and always found that once the pictures and other decorations were on the walls and displayed, it felt like home. Congrats on the new place.

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