But, we’ve all done it. And, we all have our war stories from moving to tell. So, I’ll not bore you with the details of my move except to say I think I’ve developed some emotional scars from this move, maybe some mental disorders, at least a phobia or two.
This move almost overwhelmed me and I’m not easily overwhelmed.
As you know, it’s not my practice to give advice on this blog. I don’t write this blog because I have any particular expertise in parenting or grandparenting or single-parenting. I’ve said it before, I write because of my incompetence, my inexperience, and my particular lack of skill in all of the above. And, if I have any advice to give, it’s usually in the form of “what NOT to do.”
So, I’m adding another category to my lack-of-qualifications resume–moving! I have quickly become an expert in what not to do when you move. Here’s the three most important:
1. Don’t move at the same time school is starting. If you don’t remember any other of my points, remember this: if you’re going to move, move before school starts or after school starts. But don’t move at the same time school is starting! You don’t want to be in the process of moving while the kids are starting school, especially a new school. (If you’re moving, the kids are probably starting a new school unless you left them behind!)
When we sold our house, it was a couple of weeks before school started and I had to make a quick decision about living arrangements. So I just rented a house in the general area we wanted to live in. The first night we spent in the rented house was the night before the first day of school…because that’s where the beds were! But a bunch of other stuff was still at our home because it hadn’t been moved yet.
It was like staying at a hotel and living your regular life out of a suitcase. It was disorganization and pandemonium. It was stressful. And, it’s not a good way to start at a new school. And, it’s not a good way to to start in a new home!
2. Don’t think that moving is an event. Don’t think that moving has a definite beginning and a definite ending. Moving is a process. Sure, it has a definite beginning but it never seems to end!
We just moved across town. Actually, we moved into town from the country. I was shocked by how much it cost to hire a mover to move just a few miles and then I was even more shocked by how much stuff was still at the old house after the movers were “finished” and after being shocked with how much I paid the movers!
Don’t get me wrong, the movers did a good job handling and moving our stuff. But there were still a lot of things they didn’t get and some they just missed. This thing left hanging on the wall, that thing left in a closet, still more things left in cabinets. And outside, more stuff. I think we would have been better off to move across the country. Then, either the movers would have picked up everything or at least we wouldn’t be able to see it if it got left behind.
And then when I’ve needed something over the last few weeks, it’s always at the “other” house. Need to clean the new house, all the cleaning stuff is at the old house so we can clean it up before the buyers take over. Need to mow the lawn at the new house, the lawnmower is still at the old house so I can keep the lawn mowed there until closing. Need a tool, well at least I brought all my tools to the rent house. Unfortunately, I’m at the old house when I need a tool that’s now at the new house.
The house we are renting is also considerably smaller than the house we lived in. Consequently, about half our stuff is in storage. So, that presents an even further complication. If it’s something I need and it’s not at the “other” house, then it’s in storage. Or it’s here at the rented house taking up space when it should be in storage. Why do I even need all this stuff anyway?
3. Don’t love your house more than the people that live in it. Moving is a bittersweet experience. You get sad and then you get sad again. Of course, leaving our home behind was also sad for the children. Sissy tells me almost every day that she misses our house.
Our old home is the only home the kids have ever known. They’ve lived almost all of their short lives there.
And it was a beautiful home. And we will leave a lot of wonderful memories and adventures behind in our beautiful home. But we will be sure to tuck some away in our hearts to take with us.
Sure, I loved that house. I loved our home, our beautiful home. But I love our family more. And, the path of this new adventure we’re on is leading in a new direction. And, the old home is in the past.
And, we can’t let the past dictate our future. There’s new adventures to be had. The kids have a future ahead of them. And, that future is not about my past.
We can always have another beautiful home, but we can only have one life together…