Monday, May 23, 2011

Ten things I've learned about moving

1. Don't move.

2. Ok, I take that back. We all need to move sometimes, especially if it brings us closer to the people we love, but my feet still hurt, I'm exhausted, my brain is fuzzy, and I'm more than a little bit emotional. So while I can admit that this move was an excellent idea, I'm still a little mad at it.

3. You know that little story about the animal friends, where one works hard to make all the necessary preparations for winter, storing food and good books (probably) for the long, cold season ahead, while the other wastes away his time eating good food, lounging with the paper, and not making any preparations? So we all know that the eager preparer laughs his way through the hard season while the other suffers in his own pathetic procrastination. Are you still with me? Good. I certainly tend to fall in the procrastination camp, but I also like to organize and make lots of lists. Deep down I really want to be prepared. I tried very hard with this move, realizing early on that this move was going to drain all of us (the distance, the details, the immigration, the madness) and I was on a good path to an organized packing job. Then all hell broke loose and two days before the scheduled moving day we had to start all over from the beginning.

4. On a related note, it turns out that I very much dislike customs.

5. Without going into too many details, because I'm trying to heal and move on, I can tell you that it is not easy to reorganize a move in two days. Canceling moving trucks, opening all of the packed boxes in a frantic attempt to decide what to keep (and what will fit in the cars) and what to get rid of, is a little draining. And crazy. In the end we gave away or sold ninety percent of our belongings. Yes, you read that right. All furniture, almost every book, all dishes, Alyce's bed and tricycle, Shira's crib, cosleeper and highchair. When I say almost everything, I mean it. In two days I was desperately sorting our lives into piles of keep and give away, and it wasn't easy. Of course we saved all of our photos and prints (but no frames), clothes, all of Alyce's non-board books, the special toys, and those beautiful things we received at our wedding. And yes, of course I kept my mixer (and all important baking accessories). And my sewing machine. It's all about priorities.

6. Moving is an emotional business, and I knew that already. But this move kicked my emotional ass. It's one thing to purge your house of unused things that do little more than collect dust. It's another thing entirely for your husband to ask you, "Can you wake up Shira and take apart the crib she is currently using so that I can give it away in about twenty minutes?" Yes, we'll get a new crib--Shira won't be forced to sleep in the shed. But it's not easy. We all like our stuff.

7. But in the end it turns out that all you really do need are the people (and cats) you love, a few clothes, a few books, and a mixer.

8. After the chaos of re-moving, Matt and I got in our separate cars and drove 12 hours. Shira, Hille, and Pomegranate drove with Matt, while I partnered up with Alyce and Lucy. Part of me was dreading my first solo-parenting car trip, but things worked out, as they often do in these situations (except at customs), and we had a wonderful drive. Alyce and I had plenty to talk about and here is a sampling of topics:
  • I'm not driving fast enough
  • I'm driving too fast
  • I'm driving the wrong way
  • Are we there yet?
  • Look at the sunset!
  • What's a sunset?
  • Is Lucy still in the car?
9. It was a hard few days, probably some of the most difficult we've faced. But we're a good team and we made it in one piece. Hille struggled the most, wanting desperately to be sprawled on a bed instead of stuffed in a box, but even he is recovering, sprawled out on a bed somewhere. Matt and I didn't yell too much, and I only cried twice.

10. Finally, I learned that I have an incredible friend, with incredible sorting-packing-brainstorming-and bringing us lunch-skills. I am so, so grateful for her help and might have plunged into complete despair without her. Sorry for the madness, Dani. We send our biggest hugs.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, my dear! I hope you feel settled in to your new digs soon... it sounds like you could use some serious coziness!

    Best wishes & house blessings!