Brave or Crazy?: When You Reset Your Life

Brave or Crazy?: When You Reset Your Life

Sometimes, a change can do a world of good

In September of 2016, my husband and I realized that we were discontent with our lives. An outsider to our relationship would wonder why, as by just looking, it would seem we had the American dream, the thing that all people should be striving for. We were in our mid-thirties, homeowners, with 3 children, adequate income for all the wants and needs, a dog, a fenced in yard, the whole she-bang. Yet, something was missing, so we formulated a plan, a life reset.

Our house was nice. We had bought it for sale by owner for a great price and put a lot of time and effort into remodeling it. I spent quite literally months of my life painting walls and sanding hardwood floors, which to me meant that all that time and labor would soon pay off when we sold our palace and took a leap. Our original plan was to move to Phoenix. I don't know why, I have just always wanted to live there, but in the end, we chose Las Vegas as our next home.

We had a plan pretty well laid out. We had a realtor come check out the house right away, to see if she thought it was worth what we thought. She pointed out some additional things we would need to do, so it was a good thing we had all that extra time to get it taken care of. Our last Nebraska winter was spent tearing down walls and building new ones, painting, laying carpet, and fixing tiny details that really, in the end, don't matter anyway. But by March, it was done and the house went up for sale. This is the part we thought would be easy. We would just sit back and wait for offers to come in, no problem. We had no idea that this part would actually end up being the most stressful. The town we moved from was not large, not a lot of houses for sale at that time, but lots of lookers, so several times we had to leave for an hour or more so people could look. After 3 weeks, we had had enough of that and took an offer from some people we knew, even though we probably could've gotten more, just to get that part over with.

Luckily, during all these months, because we knew the house was going to be sold, we had been packing up things we weren't immediately using and selling other things on our local Facebook exchange site, serious downsizing. However, once the final offer had been accepted, all that kicked into overdrive. I could never have imagined the amount of stuff we had acquired over just 3 years of us living there. So many things were donated, so many things were thrown away, and still, it was lucky that our U-Haul ended up being larger than we planned or we wouldn't have gotten anywhere near what we did.

Then came closing day, with its own little set of stresses and headaches, but at the end of the day, we took the check to the bank and headed outta town. This part was planned to the detail as well. Some of our close friends made the trip with us because, well, they can pull a trailer and we can't. So westward our wagons headed, through the Nebraska Sandhills, the Colorado Rockies, and the amazing plateaus of Utah, before finally pulling in to Las Vegas.

Two months later, we have replenished our furniture and then some. We have Nevada plates and driver's licenses, and we now drive like we are from Las Vegas, trust me, it's a thing. The kids are getting ready for school to start. My husband and I have each lost about 40 pounds. We love the weather, the palm trees, the neighborhood we chose, we are just all super happy. We miss our family and our friends, especially since we came out here literally knowing no one, but we are adjusting well.

For us, the reset made a huge difference. It helped our marriage, it bettered our relationships with our kids, and it gave us back the self-confidence that we had lost in the humdrum of small town life we had become so accustomed to. It forced us to try, actually try, rather than just sitting back and waiting to see what happens next. I am looking forward to what life has in store for us next.

Cover Image Credit: Jessica Knight

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Why Having A Sister Is The Best Thing In The World

She's my built-in best friend.

I have considered myself one of the luckiest girls in the world to have been given the world’s best older sister to ever exist. We are a little over two years apart, yet, I feel as if the years between us don’t even amount to how close we are and how special and important she is to me. I know I don’t only speak for myself when I say that having a sister is the most amazing thing in the world. You are automatically given a life-long, built in best friend without even having to try. I, for one, know my sister is the only person who will always be there for me. She is my favorite person in the entire universe, she is my role model, she is the one person I will constantly look up to. All in all, she is my ultimate best friend.

Growing up, my sister and I dealt with the same minor arguments that all sisters face as they get older. Whenever my sister had her friends over, all I wanted was to hang out with them. Whenever my sister started a new sport, I immediately decided to try that sport as well. Half the time, the things I have tried in life are all due to the fact that my sister decided to try them first. All I ever wanted to do was be like her. And that’s exactly what I did. While it may seem like I didn’t really have a brain of my own or any real separation from my interests and my sister’s interests, as we both got older, we forged our own paths in very different ways.

As we both got a little bit older and a lot more mature, the pointless bickering came to an end and we actually got incredibly close. While I had always looked up to my sister from the start, this was different. We weren’t just sisters anymore, we were becoming best friends.

The day my sister left for college was one of the most emotional and heart wrenching days of my entire life. My best friend, my go-to, and my person was taken away from me and starting a new life in a completely new state. She would make new friends, and we would only have some small window of time to talk, over Facetime, of course, about our new lives away from each other. Honestly, I do not enjoy expressing my emotions and showing my weak spots to other people. When my sister left for college I don’t think I fully expressed to her the extent to how much I missed her. It took me a long time to be okay with the fact that she wasn’t right across the hall from me, that we didn’t share a bathroom anymore, that I could walk into her room and talk to her, and that we couldn’t steal each other’s clothes anymore. I thought that distance would strain our relationship in a really bad way. But, as it turned out, we got so much closer than we were before.

My sister is a brilliant, smart and intelligent person. She has the brightest future ahead of her. Whenever someone asks me about my sister, I am always so proud to speak about her and all of her accomplishments. When I visit her in college, we have the most amazing time together. I love getting to see a piece of her life that is outside of the one we share at home. And, as she is now getting ready to graduate from college, I only know the future she has ahead of her is going to be nothing short of successful.

Honestly, I guess not everyone is as lucky as I am to have the most amazing sister. She truly is my best friend in the entire world. She is the only person who knows how to make me feel better in my dark moments, and she is the one person who knows me better than I know myself. She is my rock, she is my person, she is my ultimate best friend, and I could not be luckier to have been given the greatest sister of all time. I am forever grateful.

Cover Image Credit: Franki Rosenthal

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The Thank You I Never Got To Give My Aunt

And she is someone who deserved it a million times over.

I have had the pleasure of being raised in a family that provided a bountiful amount of female role models for me to admire. Like with everyone else, I sometimes did not realize everything those role models had done to help me until it was too late.

My parents are both the youngest amongst their siblings, which means their parents were sickly and elderly by the time I was really old enough to remember anything about them. My father lost his mother just after I was born, so I only ever knew one of my grandmother's.

What I didn't realize at the time was that my fathers' sister. Maryanne, affectionately referred to as Aunt Mairz, stepped up and held the family together. She was my aunt, but she was so much more than that. She pretty much became the "Nan In Training" for the family. She was the grandmother I never got to have.

She passed away the August before my senior year of high school from cancer.

If there is such thing as an angel on Earth, it would be this woman. She always put others before herself. As much as my parents demonstrated the same, something she did for my mom has always stuck with me. When my Aunt Mairz was extremely sick, my mom lost her father. I had lost another grandparent. Family and friends came to the viewing, as expected. What we did not expect was for Aunt Mairz to come, considering how sick she was at the time. But she did. I cannot imagine how exhausting that time was for her, but she did it anyway.

Because that's who she was.

When my family moved to the house we are in now, she (and many other family members) were here helping unpack boxes. She placed almost all of our dishes in the cabinets for the first time. Again, she didn't have to. But she did it anyway.

She taught me that even when you are in the worst situation you could ever have imagined yourself in, there is someone in the world going through more pain than you.

When she passed away, I was devastated. For me, it felt personal. The reason it felt personal is that a few months prior I held a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. It wasn't super successful, but it accomplished what I thought I wanted. I thought I wanted to just raise money and awareness. But in my young mind there was a direct correlation between my fundraiser and my aunt getting better. I was wrong.

I guess part of the reason I am writing this is for her grandchildren that will never have the chance to know her. They know what their parents and Grandfather say. I thought they would like to know from another source how amazing of a Nan they had. They're all too young to read this and fully understand how much she did for me. She helped me let go of a lot of anger and resentment that was blocking my faith. Words can never express how grateful I am for that.

Cover Image Credit: Erin Beatty

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