July 2, 2020

Moving and Shaking

So there are about 10,000 really good checklists for moving house. Your moving company is likely to have one and sites like Pinterest are full of aesthetically pleasing printables that will help move you from house A to house B. 

 

Yet if it were as easy as following a checklist, it wouldn’t be one of the most stressful life events, with a psychological equivalent of the death of a family member. My experience and observations are that moving ‘stress’ has very little to do with those checklists, or with packing boxes and mail redirections. 

 

No, the stress of moving has to do with the arbitrage of saying goodbye to one chapter and simultaneously creating another one. To process the emotions of goodbye and grief along with the emotions of hope and hello at the same time, it’s a lot to get through.

 

It is important to acknowledge that even when moves are happening for all of the right reasons. When change brings new opportunities and new adventures, there is the pause of anticipation that can be difficult to digest. If there wasn’t a level of anxiety and uncertainty about the next move, there could hardly be excitement, could there?

 

Yet, even with the most rational and logical reasons to be excited, there is also every reason to feel fear about the road ahead and of course sadness about the story that you leave unwritten. Sadness can be mixed into even the happiest of times and I think its presence does not show true sadness in the traditional sense, but rather it can demonstrate the depth of feeling that existed. How wonderful it is to have something to be sad about leaving.

 

It is OK to feel like your emotions are all over the place during a move, and mostly because those emotions are coming from all over the spectrum.

 

Notwithstanding how daunting that checklist of important moving jobs is, making some time to process your emotions and practice some self-care during the process could just be the most important thing that you won’t find on those lists.

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