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changes This morning, I woke up sad.

For several minutes, the inaugural minutes of this July day, I didn't know why I felt this way. I looked around me for clues. My legs were tangled in powder soft sheets. The door to the bathroom was ajar; through the opening I heard the rumble of Husband's shower. Out the window, tree branches swayed, flirting with the sun, cocky even at this early hour. A muffled melody came from the corridor; the sweet chirping of little girls. And, at all of this, these small things that are so big to me, these mundane morsels of the everyday, I did smile. But that smile faded too quickly. And I was left there, alone in my bed, swaddled in sadness once more.

But like a good existential trouper, I sat up, reaching for my glasses on the bedside, eager to see. Eager to see more clearly the lines of my life, my good life. Eager to see more clearly the lines of my melancholy. Because there is one thing worse than sadness: unexplained sadness.

I paused on the edge of our tall bed, my feet dangling freely like that of a little child. I continued to listen. The sounds changed. Husband turned off the spray of water. My girls started calling for us. And it hit me. Suddenly and swiftly. I am sad because we are moving. Because one week from today, our life will be in boxes and crates. Seven measly days into the future, my family will migrate.

And I know this is exciting. That it is a distinct privilege that we have been able to dream and design, brainstorm and build, and pick wild purple papers. I know. And I know that it is a matter of time before we are settled there, before the new place is home.

But for now. For now, this is home. This is our place. This is the place where I have spent seven-plus years, stumbling and evolving. I arrived here a young girl, a student of life and law, confident and confused. I will leave here a different breed. A wife and mother and wordsmith, a student of love and loss and longing, ever confident and ever confused. Husband proposed here. Our babies were raised here. Dad knew this place. I wrote my first book here (and at Starbucks). I threw killer parties here. A lot of good things happened here. A lot.

In the kitchen this morning, as we were pouring our coffees, I hugged Husband. Like always. But this time I lingered, not letting go. "I'm sad that we're moving," I said.

And he hugged me fiercely. "I know, but we are moving in the right direction."

With these words, something lifted in me. Lightened. A smile settled. And, this time, it didn't fade.

"Thank you," I said. To my man. The man who moves me every day. Who will move with me next week.

And then I felt a rush, a tricky emotional tide. Of sadness, yes. The sweet kind. Of happiness, in muted and magical tones. Of excitement, building. Of change, scary and sublime. Of relief, that I can be honest, that I can be sad, that I can say what I'm feeling. To my guy. To you.

With my cup of coffee and my computer, I went to the couch. The couch that will be soon hoisted by strong strangers into a big truck. I did what I so often do when I'm a bit lost. I looked for words. Words about change. And I found something that made me smile.

“There is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction”

Winston Churchill

This made me smile because Churchill and my man said the very same thing. I told Husband. You are a very smart man, I insisted. And I kept smiling.

But behind that smile, this smile, the complex sadness lingers and asks. What is the right direction? Is there such thing? How do we find what is right? What if we are not as happy in our bigger home with the high ceilings and crystal door knobs and  fancy wallpapers?

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  • Do you ever experience unexplained sadness? How do you cope?
  • When you approach big change in your life, are you more confident (a la Husband and Churchill) or confused (like I am)?
  • How have you handled the moves in your life? Has it been hard for you to leave behind the space, the memories, the years?
  • In life, do you think there is such thing as the "right direction"? Or do you think there are just directions, paths, this way and that, and we tell ourselves they are "right" to feel better about our choices?
  • Am I a spoiled brat (indeed likely) for not being 110% ecstatic about moving into our lovely new place?

{Shameless self-promo. Because I want a big, bad writing career and rumor has it that sales matter :) }

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