A friend of mine moved to a different country a few weeks ago and this morning her Facebook status said that even though they have packing, moving, and traveling for a while now, the emotions just hit big time.
I can very much identify with that.
Moving is sort of like grieving a death. There is SO much to do on either end of the event that there is hardly time to really process the goodbyes, the “I’ll never see that place again”, and in the flurry of plans, packing, and arrangements, the resounding thud of a chapter closing is almost blocked out.
I remember moving to Colorado Springs, having left so many loved ones behind and going into the kitchen to make coffee and realized I couldn’t find the coffee. I sat down on the floor and had a really good cry. If you know me well, not being able to find the coffee might be a valid excuse to cry really hard. The coffee wasn’t the only problem and suddenly waking up in a new place with no idea how to get around or even find the hospital for my suddenly very sick 10 month old was totally overwhelming.
We are heading square into the storm of moving and the emotions are starting to come in waves, only to be headed off by thoughts such as, “Oh! I need to make sure to get the dog’s medical files from the vet” and “Hmmm…we are going to need to eat a LOT of frozen potstickers in the next month”. While those thoughts aren’t invalid, they kind of put off the emotions.
I’m hoping that while we move, I will be able to take the time to deal with those emotions as they come rather than having another moving/coffee related melt-down. There are a mother-load of conflicting emotions and I am trying to reconcile those to each other. Maybe other people out there could use the encouragement from this, too.
Here are some things I’m thinking though:
1. I’m really excited about the move, but that doesn’t mean I won’t miss aspects of life in Colorado. I mean, seriously. We live in the freaking Rockies. That is pretty amazing and gorgeous even during the fires and floods we’ve been dealt over the last two years.
2. I’m sad about leaving certain people and things, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to go.
3. I’m a little overwhelmed at the thought of reviewing every single thing that we own and either giving it away or packing it in a box. That doesn’t mean I’m not up for the challenge.
4. Life here has been tough and I’m hoping for better, but I’m not planning on it. Maybe being a mom of young children just means people don’t want to hang out with us. Maybe my chronic pain won’t get any better. Maybe our financial situation won’t improve as much as I’m hoping. But, what’s the option? Stay here and KNOW that none of things are going to get better? Uh, no.
5. Will I weep like a newly-crowned beauty queen on our way out of town? Absolutely.
6. Will I wait quietly for that moment when I’m driving down a street or cooking in my kitchen or picking up Jake from school and I realize that I’m “home” again? Oh, yeah!
7. Will I be okay with not being “home” for a while? Probably.
8. Am I going to worry about every detail, every route planned, that we will not be safe while traveling, that we won’t find a good house, that we won’t find a good school for Jake, that we won’t find a good church? Done and done. However, when those emotions/thoughts come up, I need to stop, tell them to get the heck out of my head and start praying for peace and trust and rest.
9. Will my sense of humor abandon me when I need it the most? Boy, I hope not.
Emotions are weird and unreliable and strange. That doesn’t make them not valid. Most of the time. During an upheaval like we are in the midst of conflicting emotions ARE the norm. I want to handle them, keep them under control, channel them when I need to, or tell them that they have taken up enough time and I need to get back to packing.
To illustrate my point, I just got a sweet message from someone at church that is making my eyes swell up and my throat sore. I am going to shed a few tears, blow my nose, take a deep breath, be thankful that I have made an impact on someone in this town, turn on some music, and dance around the kitchen with my boys.
The sound of little boys laughing is therapy like no other!