Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Five Stages of...Moving

I don't care what your specific situational details are--single or partnered, childless or family...ed, jumping one town over, across the country, or to another part of the world--moving is a life-altering experience. As I approach the end of the process, it occurred to me that I've gone through distinct phases along the way, namely:

Exhilaration--the idea is born, bringing with it an abundance of excitement and joy. One might think, "Look at me, I'm gonna uproot my crew, cart along all of our belongings, and start over in a new (city/state/country)! I'm bold....brazen...heck, I'm a....badass adventurer, that's what I am! Let's do this thing!" (Yeah, for me this portion of our journey was fueled by a number of things, among them: disgust with the cold and snowy conditions of the last several Winters, desire for a change of scenery and new region to explore...and let's not fail to give credit to, 'no small amount of coffee'...) In the throes of such an excess of energy and enthusiasm, you next consider:

Conceptualization--also known as the "nitty gritty"...researching potential locales, discussing the pros and cons, making the best selection for all of the players involved, figuring out how to transfer one's whole life from one spot to another. Like most decisions in my life, for me this step included a whole lotta lists...sections of town, schools, sports opportunities, cultural offerings, culinary options...etc. This is a relatively brief stop on the journey, because at this point, the entire scenario exists on paper (or, you know, "Word document"...) until you reach:

Implementation--now the actual legwork begins. Visiting, driving around, taking notes, narrowing down choices, at first. Then, more concrete action like: working with a real estate agent to pinpoint desirable neighborhoods, viewing houses on the market, sampling the local life in small doses. And then...things get really...real. Putting a house up for sale, writing an offer on a new one, closing out one mortgage, starting another. Initiating the packing process, hiring a truck (and, more importantly, the strong, well-trained professionals who will haul your stuff into it...), cleaning out anything that won't be making the trip. Arranging for painting and various handyman-jobs to be completed in your absence at the new abode. Cancelling and re-starting utility services, changing address information with what seems like about 75 different providers who need to know these things...and when your head stops spinning for a second from wrestling with and worrying about all of these many tasks:

Realization--or "Holy guacamole...we're actually MOVING!" It finally starts to sink in: we're leaving the house--and the town--where we've lived for almost 15 years. Where both our kids were born. Family, Mom's group, soccer team , dance class, co-workers, school, even most of our college we run around from one social event to another, get together with all of our friends "one last time", we find ourselves bidding them ...let's just say 'so long, for now'. (You'll notice I refuse to say 'goodbye'--after all, we're not going THAT far away...) Suddenly (or one might say "at long last") it's sinking in that--in about a week--we're really going to become residents of another state...where we'll have to meet new people, find our way around, and basically build a life. Wow. (I know, I know...this has been coming for months, how could it just be registering now? All I can say is that I've been a teensy weensy bit swamped with the previous this little nugget managed to escape my immediate notice. My brain obviously put it on the proverbial back burner...well, it's front-and-center now, let me tell ya...) But then, all that's left is:

Finalization--mopping up the last bits of organizing (or, in reality what will probably turn out to be "frantically chucking stuff in random boxes at the very last minute, one step ahead of the moving guys"). Although I feel a predictable combination of anticipation...and sadness...I love knowing that in the digital age it's soooooo much easier to keep in touch from a distance--email, texting, Facebook (oh, and of course that most ancient and primitive of methods: "placing a phone call"). It's true that I won't see my special friends and loved ones face-to-face as often, but I won't be completely "out of the loop". And as we've often pointed out since this whole epic saga began, we're only a half-day's drive away, and everyone should think about it in terms of "a cool new place to visit"! ( or text or email or FB message when you're on your way, please!)

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