1. Apartments are LOUD. Our upstairs neighbors are big-time "stompers." I can't even hear myself think for all the stomping around. And it keeps waking up my children, which makes me CRAZY.
2. Apartments are LOUD. I cannot stand sleeping next to a window, which is next to a sidewalk, which is next to a parking lot where everyone parks as they come and go from work and wherever else they need to go / come from at all hours of the morning and late night. I hear locks beeps and see lots of headlight flashes ALL. NIGHT. LONG. Arrgh.
3. Apartments are LOUD. So loud that my 2-year old can't sleep at all here. He normally sleeps 12 hours a night and takes a 2-3 nap during the day, for a total of about 15 hours of sleep per day. Here, he's getting about 10-12 hours of sleep on a good day. For many children, that would be acceptable. But not for him. He's constantly yawning, sporting red and watery eyes and cries and whines pretty much all day, making the rest of us miserable.
4. Apartments and pets don't mix. I hate taking them "out" four times a day, sometimes taking 2 children along with me, other times locking the children in the apartment and going alone (only when they are both sound asleep, of course). I hate watching them stress out over the constant noise and activity going on all around us. I hate that they really have no good way to get all of their energy out.
(Crash, boom, bang - huge noise just heard upstairs. If Charlie was still sleeping by some miracle, he's certainly not sleeping now!)
5. I hate getting my mail in those little slots. I don't like retrieving my mail from those little slots.
6. I hate unloading the car. Babies and bags of groceries are hard to carry at the same time.
7. I hate how Charlie almost gets hit by a car every time we get in and out of the car. I don't have enough hands to carry both kids.
8. I hate sleeping on a cot on the floor, though this is not the fault of apartment life, it's still worth mentioning.
9. I hate how there are no overhead lights at all in the living area or in Charlie's room. WHY would anyone omit lighting?
10. I hate paying so much money for a place that we do not own. We paid well over $40K for our 3-year stay in our Charlottesville apartment.
11. I hate taking the trash to the compactor that is quite far from our apartment. It's scary in the back corner of the complex at night!
12. And this is bratty but I hate not having a garage. I really grew accustomed to having a garage and now I'm not sure how to function without one (See Items 6 & 7 above).
But some what I've been reading by Elizabeth Elliot lately speaks directly to my grumpiness, dissatisfaction and complaints:
"It is always possible to be thankful for what is given rather than to complain about what is not given...ingratitude to him amounts to rebellion...let thanksgiving by the habit of your life...Is it not reasonable to believe that that same God, the God of Heaven to whom all thanks is due, will provide for us today the materials for sacrifice? For one who has made thanksgiving the habit of his or her life, the morning prayer will be, 'Lord, what will you give me today to offer back to you?' "
So today, right now, if I'm honest, I'll admit that it's hard not to be bitter, angry and grumpy about the things in the list above. I'm a perfectionist and an anal, picky person who thrives in organized and controlled environments. As such, this current living situation is the "anti-Emily" in every way (my clothes are piled up in a suitcase beside me and my office materials are in a box under Ryan's cot). But by the power that lives IN me, I'm going to purpose today, right now, to be thankful for my life, full of blessings without measure - healthy beautiful children, a wonderful marriage and coming soon, a beautiful new home with plenty of room for playing and sleeping.
And I have my new hobby to distract me, woohoo! :) Coming soon - a blog for my new business! Highlighting gift ideas and my favorite products!