Well, it’s been a while, hasn’t it? I have been caught up in the craziness of taking my family on a cross-country move from Laramie to Maryland and it has been nuts. I was supposed to finish up work in the ticket office on Wednesday, October 31st…but found out that Monday that the movers were coming at the early end of our move date “window” and so Monday the 29th was my last day, and since then I have hardly had time to breathe! I just thought I’d take a bit to share some thoughts on moving.
We decided to make this move the first week of August…and what a roller-coaster ride it has been since then! We have wanted to get back to the east coast, specifically to Maryland, for a long time. It is still hard to believe we’re actually here. Bill started his new job in mid-September, so I had the pleasure of being a single parent for a few weeks. I say pleasure but it actually was very, very hard. Just trying to balance out work, taking care of all the move details plus keeping it together for the kids was very trying. Plus I just missed Bill. In a way, I was lucky, because I was so busy there wasn’t often time to think too much about how stressed I was. Bill was here hanging out with Mom and Dad like he was 16 again. The kids really missed him too.
Have you ever thought about how many little things in your life you totally take for granted? Well, decide to make a big move and suddenly you will realize just how many little pieces go into making a life. Utilities, doctors, school stuff…there are so many things to cancel, switch, figure out, especially with 3 kids. Getting the kids’ school situation together was particularly challenging because the district we moved to is very strict about boundaries. They wouldn’t allow us to register until we had the deed to our new home in hand. Honestly it felt like if we were illegal immigrants it would’ve been easier. I was sure there were things I was going to forget…I had so many lists to remind myself! Plus I didn’t sleep real well either. I’d sleep for about 5 hours straight through, then wake up between 3 and 5 tossing and turning and going over and over all my “to do’s”. It was mentally exhausting.
Of course, no move would be complete without a serious examination of your stuff. After living in Laramie for 7 years, and having 3 kids, I was fairly disgusted with all the stuff we were going to haul 1700 miles across the country. We left a lot of things for the family that will (hopefully) move into our house, and I Freecycled like crazy. I absolutely adore Freecycle…getting rid of stuff and knowing that someone else will be able to use it. In spite of everything we packed and brought, I was VERY pleased to find out that we were nearly 2000 pounds LESS than the estimate the movers gave us, which saved us about $1500 bucks. That’s no small change. The wife of the truck driver who moved us said that she was surprised at how little we had for a family of 5. It doesn’t seem little to me (and wouldn’t to the majority of the world’s population) but both of those things helped me feel a little better.
And then there’s the cost…moving is NOT a cheap endeavor. Between the buying and selling of houses, moving companies, starting and setting up utilities, and then all the stuff you need to get once you arrived and are trying to make a new space livable, it’s major stuff. I have been to the store so many times this past week I’m going to start knowing the cashiers by name. It’s rather nauseating.
It’s a very weird thing to be able to just pick up your life and plop it down in an entirely new place and have it all just kind of carry on as usual, with minimal interruption. 200 years ago, when settlers wanted to move out west, it would take the better part of a year to haul themselves and their families across the country. People died. Now it took me just about a week. It’s a real mind bender. We are here, all our stuff is the same, but the house looks entirely different, the neighborhood and schools and stores are entirely different, and yet you just go on as usual because that’s just what you do. Life goes on. I’ve been really amazed at how resilient the kids are and how well they’ve adjusted, especially with school. I think its been much harder on me than it was on them. Honestly they helped me keep it together so much over the past month, I’m very thankful for them. (Of course, if we didn’t have any kids, moving would also be so much easier…)
So all this to say that I hope I never, ever have to make a major move again. When I’m an old lady I want to live in a cottage by the sea but I will give everything away and just bring a dog and a small suitcase and an afghan. We’re here, we made it, let’s never do it again.