Saturday, November 12, 2016

                                                                                  
















                                                   MOVING REDUX  



     Last night, we were out with our new neighbors who are moving from the southwest to Florida in a couple of months. They will soon begin the daunting task of setting up house in a new state and community and also, for them changing jobs. Having only been married for two years, their move will have more layers than they can imagine, but they are smart, savvy and resourceful, so their path will be easier than for many. As we have recently experienced the cross-country move, we have just endured many of the often overwhelming challenges of leaving everything you know and facing the unknown. We can certainly empathize with some of their angst. 

     Change is energizing and exhausting. Change is exciting and frightening. Change is adjusting and adapting, no matter how smart or savvy you are. Change brings to the surface feelings you didn’t know you had and decisions you never thought of making. Change is a little like death or divorce; there are stages, and grieving the “known,” is one of them.

     I have moved at least 15 times in my life. Each time, I moved to a better place—either physically or emotionally. Once I left a big fancy three-story home and moved into a 900 square foot apartment and then into a 1200 square foot 1940s bungalow. Some might think that moving to an old small house was a terrible shock. In fact, it was so much fun because it was all mine, including the mortgage. 

     The list-making can become laughable after the first few weeks following the move. As I look back at my little blue notebook with list after list of things to buy, doctors to find, groups to join, colors to match, I chuckle. In less than five months, we are almost completely settled. The house is presentable, and we have all our doctors, grocery stores, fashion boutiques, restaurant favorites, beach parking spots, breakfast venues, bike paths, short cuts and speed traps identified. It all takes time. 

     Our neighbor said, “I fear that because we are the newbies in the neighborhood that all the friendships will have been made, the groups intact, and we’ll find it hard to be included.” That is everyone’s fear, no matter how old the neighborhood. Ours is only three years old, but we worried about that too. It just depends on the people you happen to meet. In our case (and in theirs), the neighbors embraced us, as we will them. It’s a process, and one must be patient and remember that being interested in others is just as important as whether they’re curious about you. Everyone here has moved from other states, so we all bring our gifts and our baggage. Some gifts can be easily shared; others, not so much. 

     It has been almost five months since our moving van pulled up in the driveway. At times, the process was grueling, but most of the time, it was energizing and exciting. As I look around our small modest house at all we’ve done in a short time with a long list of expenses, I am buoyed by the “home” we have created. Is it better or worse than the last? Who knows or cares? It is ours, and we love it. Our new neighbors will do the same. Like us, one might raise a voice to say, “Why would we put that there?” but when all is said and done, they will sit back as we do, and say, “Look at this. Isn’t it wonderful?”