Usually when there is big change (for the good) my anxiety levels go down and I bask in the good big change and life seems great. Then things become normalized and my normal fretty-little dog anxiety levels rise again and I am once again stressing about whatever it is I am in the habit about stressing about at that point in my life.
I have had my moments of stressing here in our new neighborhood. And I have had my small existential crisis moments that I am so want to have for some reason. But on the whole I have been so much more relaxed the last three months that I am a little surprised. I think I can definitely chalk it up to life is just all around easier out here. One thing that stands out: I can literally just open the garage door and say, "Go down the block and find your friends," and my 1st grade daughter can grab her scooter and run off down the street to play with her friends without me having to go along and make sure she's ok. Back in Seattle that was not safe at all. Add up these factors: frequent drug deal sitings on either end of our block, narrow street that people like to tear down at 40 mph in their giant SUV's and souped-up gangster cars (usually poser white boys), three registered sex offenders living within a few blocks of us (and those are the ones who have been caught and are registered), a park three blocks away where the junkies/drunks like to sleep and get high, and frequent daytime break-ins within a few blocks of our house (and sometimes on our block - never at our house while we lived there thank god!). Even our neighbor's sixth grade daughter was not allowed to walk to the bus stop three blocks away by herself to go to school (and everyone thought that was good thinking - no one thought that was overprotective!).
Seattle didn't used to be like this when I was growing up. But I guess that's the price you pay when cities get bigger and bigger really fast like Seattle did. A lot of people say that "it's the economy turning people to crime" but the crime I saw in our neighborhood in Seattle was all about either professional thieves or drugs. I can honestly say that was a problem more than five years ago when the economy had not tanked yet. I think that a lot of people are naive to what crime is really about and want to put some sort of comfy, touchy-feely spin on it like everyone is Oliver Twist and wouldn't steal if only they had a loving mom and a good job. When the reality is, most of the crime in Seattle is based around drugs, professional crime and the fact that Seattle is super soft on crime and super soft on vagrancy. Thus the bums name for Seattle "Free-attle". I probably sound like the worst Glenn Beck lovin' Republican right now, but the reality is I sound more like someone who has volunteered/worked for homeless groups (food banks, school for homeless kids) and has first hand knowledge of poverty versus crime (two completely separate things despite what the majority seems to think). It's like the flipside of hard core right wingers - they think everyone who lives in poverty is a criminal or lazy. Hard core left wingers think every criminal lives in poverty and if it weren't for that they'd be wonderful people.
Hmmm ... impromptu morning rant. Most unexpected. I better drink more coffee.
What else is so much easier? Well, maybe it's just our street but people are so friendly (except our next door neighbors who my mom and I are formulating theories on - more on that later). I definitely don't feel as lonely here even though I don't know as many people as I did after living in Seattle for ... basically forever. Maybe it's an Eastside thing? Now I'm wondering why I swore I'd never move to the Eastside.
And it's quiet. And my mountain ash tree is doing better than it ever did in Seattle. That is very unintuitive to me because the soil here is so awful. Wait - did I say soil? I mean the clay and rocks where soil would normally be is so awful. But then I look out my back window at the environmentally protected area and it has the same clay (worse cause it turns into swamp and then the creek) and the trees just grow like crazy back there. Maybe there was just way too much sand in our soil for it? That could be it - our soil there was still clay, although a different, softer red clay than this really hard concrete gray clay - but we were also so close to the Puget Sound that there was a lot of sand. So, I'm happy to see if finally thriving. My friend, Libby who is a professional landscaper gave it to me about three years ago and I've really wanted it to bounce back and this is the first year it has.
Cliff Mass (the weather guy) says to wait until June to plant starts outside because it keeps getting down to almost freezing at night still and it's going to take awhile for the soil to get to a consistently warm temperature. Which is good because I still haven't gotten the soil for our raised beds yet. I need to get on that, but I'm glad that I have time to procrastinate. Meanwhile my starts are actually beginning to get kind of big inside. Maybe this is good and they will have a better chance of surviving if it's later in the year and they are bigger when I finally put them out.
This afternoon, apparently, Sinatra is getting moved to my stable and today will be our first official day of him being my foster horse. I went out and got him a jolly ball for his stall since he's going to be on stall rest for three months!!! Poor little guy. He just turned four years old this month so I'm sure he'll be climbing the walls. I may research what other kind of toys to get him too. And I'm going to make sure that I find ways to keep him stimulated and entertained even though the only exercise he's allowed the first month is 15 minutes of hand walking 3-5 days a week. I'll have to do lots of grooming and see if there are ground work exercises we can do that don't involve a lot of walking.