What Moving Is Like…So Far

A friend asked me last week, “so what has moving been like?”

I am only a few months into the “change your whole life” process, but here are a few bullet points about the experience so far.

Moving has caused some shifts in my identity.  It has changed my long-term plans, my job (I am not teaching this summer and have no teaching job lined up for the fall either), my sense of stability in and support from my community, and my day-to-day life substantially.

When we first moved here, David had to hit the ground running for his job, and worked a LOT.  Things have calmed down, but throughout March/April, I spent many days entirely alone with only the girls and an hour or two with David to keep me “company.”  I had to take responsibility for having some social interaction by calling friends or family members, going to the park even though it was freezing and starting conversations with random people, and being so friendly it was borderline socially awkward.  I joined a small group boot camp class, which included Burpees (ugh) but helped me get social interaction with the same people 2x/week, and I have some friends now, but I literally haven’t been home this many evenings in a row since elementary school.

When you think of yourself as an active part of a social community, a friend, a teacher, AND a mom, and spend your days and nights accordingly…and then switch to spending 90% of your time with your kids without an outlet for some of those other parts of yourself, your identity shifts.  It’s NOT bad.  It’s not something to resent or rail against.  It’s just different, and honestly, challenging in a good way, as I have to remind myself that my value is found in being a child of God–not in any of the roles/identities I play.

I’m trying to take this time as a gift, savor the opportunities to really dive in deep with my kids, learn what I can from the experience, be friendly, be curious, and be expectant that God will provide. Who knows what opportunities will emerge…and in the meantime,  I am thankful for the character building and personal growth.  (And hey! More time/mental energy to blog!)

Moving has made life calmer (at least temporarily).  Before we moved, I felt like our pace of life was borderline stressful.  I was always intentionally trying to calm it down and create more balance. Now, life is very calm.  🙂

Somehow I still can’t find time to do laundry though…

I know this will likely change as we build more relationships and as Zoe gets into elementary school, but the overall pace of life is slower here, and I think the life we build here will be calmer and slower too as a result.

Moving has made our family stronger.  I LOVE my little family, and I am proud of what we have done together.  We are a tighter-knit unit because we have HAD to spend more time together—we don’t know anyone else! We have had to be flexible and make new situations work (we lived in four houses in three months).  IMG_3643We arrived during a cold, rainy season in a small town and had to find the joy in rainy day hikes, family movies, and making cookies together, because we couldn’t figure out what else to do with ourselves. In Florida, we had a constant roster of activities and friends keeping us busy; I feel like we have better discovered how to make our own fun, and I’m really proud of us for learning how to be more intentional and creative.

IMG_4624.JPGMoving has let us have new adventures! Everything (even a trip to a new grocery store) is an adventure when you’re trying it for the first time. We are having a blast exploring the beauty of our new state. IMG_3594.JPGIMG_4620.JPGIMG_4626.JPGIMG_4632.JPGIMG_4636IMG_4542.JPGIMG_4556.jpgIMG_4638.JPGIMG_4634.JPGMoving has made me even more grateful for the friends I left behind.  Like I said, I am making friends here, but the high point of my day is often talking with friends from back home.  I am so grateful for these wonderful friends, and look forward to visiting Florida in August for a girls’ beach weekend.

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Seven Stages of Moving

We are officially moving.

It isn’t a decision I really wanted to make.  I loved our little house, love our neighborhood, love our neighbors.  I know all the dogs in the neighborhood.  I know exactly how long it takes me to walk to Starbucks, with and without the stroller.  I know the shadiest streets and the closest parks and the length of time it takes to bike to the waterfront.

On our moving day, I will have been in this house one week shy of six years.  It’s the longest I have lived in any one house.  I’d stay longer if I could.

But it’s time.  I won’t go into all the details now, but my sister says it best when she says the last two months and the next month will be a great chapter in my book someday.  She’s right.  My husband is also right when he says I am being a bit over-emotional about our move (we’re only moving five minutes away.) 

Here are the stages of moving grief/excitement I have been experiencing lately.

 

Stage One: Melancholy 

Yes, we’re only moving five minutes away.  But this won’t be my kitchen anymore.

Six years ago, I pulled these appliances and pots and pans out of carefully wrapped packages, feeling a little less homesick in a new place every time I used the mixing bowl from Sue and the measuring cups from Lisa, the Pyrex containers from Emilie and the dish set from Heidi.

Four years ago I celebrated my Master’s graduation in this kitchen with my family visiting.

Three years ago, we hosted a baptism party in this kitchen for a boy who writes me Mother’s Day cards.

Nineteen months ago I opened baby shower gifts in this kitchen, filing toddler utensils in the back of a cabinet for what I thought would be an eternity away.  She uses them on a daily basis now.

This is all so sad.  I think I will cry into this box.

 

Stage Two: Misplaced Rage

How the HECK did I get so much Tupperware?!! Why does none of it have lids?! What have I been doing with my life for the last few years that this is so unorganized?

And why won’t this @#*! packing tape dispenser work better? Does it think I have all day? If you haven’t noticed, Tape Dispenser, I have a whole house to pack.  If you could, you know, DO YOUR JOB, it would be at least a little more efficient.

OH MY GOSH ASSEMBLING BOXES IS SO MUCH WORK.  Can’t they just come pre-assembled?!!

 

Stage Three: Excitement

At least in my new house, I’ll be able to take a shower with actual water pressure.  And maybe I’ll even be able to find a corner for an “office nook” all to myself.  I should totally start pinning “office nook” ideas! And we’ll have a playroom.

 

Stage Four: Resigned

We’ve been packing for 1.5 hour and the kitchen just looks more messy.

 

Stage Five: Needing a Reward

We’ve been packing for 1.5 hour.  I totally need a reward.  Yes, my husband is laughing at me for needing a reward after a mere 1.5 hour of work.  But he has also added a frappuccino to the coffee order.  I’d rather need a lot of affirmation than be a hypocrite.

 

Stage Six: Wanting to Give All of Your Possessions Away (But Only If the People Will Pick Them Up Themselves)

Why do we have 10 coffee mugs that we don’t even use? Why do I have so many T-shirts? WE HAVE SO MUCH STUFF. I’d love to give all my excess away so I don’t have to pack it to make someone’s life better! I wonder if I can just leave it here and put a sign out front that says, “Free Stuff, Let Yourself In?”

 

Stage Seven: Needing a Massage

This stage is self-explanatory.