Tonight is our last night in this house. We moved here in 2018 thinking we’d be here for longer than this, but factors became factors and the housing market moved in our favour.

A lot of things happened after we moved into this house and I started to blame the house for it all. Disrupting our lives, moving neighbourhoods, moving school zones, it all created havoc and sent us down a spiral.

In March 2020 we were sort of starting to get our feet back under us and then the world shut down. Suddenly we were stuck in this house all the time. Incredibly lucky to be so, but stuck.

We knew how lucky we were to be able to work from home, have our daughter learning from home – and her being old enough to work on her own and take care of herself.

But of course this 14 months has worn us down mentally, and sharing walls and backyard space – at the start of the pandemic we didn’t even have a fence between our yard and the neighbour’s. It became a lot. Especially when one side started doing renovations.

I started hearing about the market for townhouses, and we started talking about the market, and we started talking about the fact that we know we want to get back to a detached home, and if not now when?

The final straw was when we asked the kid.

The last time we moved she did not feel included. She told us later that she didn’t understand that it was really happening, and she didn’t get to see the house before we bought it, and then she had to change schools – which we had told her we would try to avoid.

This time we started talking to her almost immediately, we took her to showings, we talked about what we liked and what we didn’t, and when we asked her if she wanted to stay at the same school her answer was that she absolutely did NOT.

And so tomorrow the movers come. The pandemic continues, but we carry on in a new place with no shared walls. With sidewalks and walking paths. With a bigger backyard all our own and a fence that will be up by the end of June.

Right now I may be the least healthy I’ve been in my entire life – mentally and physically. There is a lot going on and stress eating is a thing, revenge bedtime procrastination is a thing, not doing the things I need to do to take care of myself is totally a thing.

So once we move and once we get unpacked and set up my goals are to start doing the things that take care of me.

Step 1 – New house has a gigantic bathtub in the en suite and I am going to take long baths and read great books, because I now understand how important this is for my mental health.

Step 2 – New house has a beautiful back deck and we’re going to get a fire table because outdoors around a fire is peace. New house is also around nature and water where walking is possible. Walking and nature are good.

Step 3 – New house has four bedrooms and one is my office and my office alone. Getting my office set up unpacking the art supplies I packed before we started showing the house and getting back to practice and taking online courses.

Step 4 – New house has a master bedroom big enough for my treadmill. All the health things need to come back into play. Including wearing my wrist brace so my fingers stop going numb. Stretching, moving back up to yoga, walking, maybe up to running. Improve my posture. I am super unfit right now and I can’t do this anymore. New house is also a walk away from a river and a public dock and I really want to get a kayak and get out there, just me and me.

Step 5 – New house is in a small town that is full of memories. I have been visiting since I was a kid – my father’s mother grew up there and he used to take us. My Great Aunt and Uncle lived there for decades and we drove up to visit regularly, and eventually my mother’s parents moved out there too. My father is now buried out there with his parents, and my Granny’s parents and grandparents.

I want to be there. I want to get through tomorrow and be there and get settled and hope against hope that we can move forward, but the fear that it all moves with us sits like a stone in my stomach.

What if all of this doesn’t help? Then what do we do?

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