My older son and his family are moving. The good news is that they’re moving closer to us – although they lived within an hour’s drive (even during rush hour) in the past. They’re moving from a rental to their own home, which is also good. However, even when moving to a dream home, moves are never fun. I’ve moved too many times. It is my stated intent to only move from this house when they take me out feet first. Anything else and they’ll have to drag me out kicking and screaming.
As creatures of habit, home tends to be a place of stability where we go to recharge. During a move, everything familiar is disrupted; to a normal person this is traumatic. During the move itself, if whatever you need is not in your pocket or purse it might as well not exist. As a matter of fact it’s worse than if it didn’t exist because you KNOW you have a nail file or a box of band aids or whatever, but you just have no idea where they are at the moment. When you get to the new place generally key items are placed in a comparable place to where they were before in order to restore that essential sense of order. It may not be the most optimal location, but if it feels like home, that is the determining factor.
In Up the Organization, Bob Townsend said that for a business three moves equals a fire. Things get lost or damaged or won’t work in the new location so just like in a fire they’re for all intents and purposes gone for good. Likewise the couch the previous tenants had in the living room in the new place that fit so perfectly was just a bit longer/shorter/taller/deeper than your own couch. Not only does your furniture not fit but now the whole room looks a bit odd.
Then there are those boxes that contain items with which you won’t part, but will never be unpacked. They are carefully sealed, clearly marked, transported to the new place and then relegated to the attic, the basement, the garage or some other out-of-the-way location. These boxes and their contents – great grandma’s pictures, your high school diploma and a collection of faded newspaper clippings may find themselves passed down through the generations without anyone ever peaking inside. (Hmmm. Could explain Jimmy Hoffa….)
But there are good parts to a move. You can find out who your real friends are by virtue of who will help. Family should be a no-brainer, but that’s not always the case. The younger your social circle the more likely you are to have people assist. As we get older time gets more precious, muscles get tired more easily and we can assume that NewJob Inc. is paying to have the family moved professionally. However, those who do help contribute moral support more than the brute muscle capability.
And of course the best part of moving is being able to settle into a new place that matches your new life and celebrates a new beginning. The move may have a destination, but life is more complex – life is a journey. It’s always a journey, not a destination, so the best thing to do is learn how to enjoy the ride.