The crazy cycle of relocating
When you move often, I think you start to notice some patterns. Just like life definitely goes in seasons or stages, so goes moving. Except instead of the newlywed phase, or the soccer mom season of life, you start to categorize your stay in a certain location. It doesn’t matter how many times you move or how long you will be there, you probably go through all these stages, whether you realize it or not. Take a look at the stages below, and see if you can relate:
The “Everything is new and I’m freaking out” stage – This is that feeling you get when you arrive in a town for the first time. You might have Googled the city and checked out what they have to offer, but as you drive around, EVERYTHING is foreign. Unfamiliar streets, unfamiliar faces, unfamiliar stores, maybe even unfamiliar accents. It all just feels so weird and uncomfortable. And you can feel a little (or a lot) lost and maybe a bit of sadness for losing your familiar life of just a few days ago. But, you push through (let’s be honest, it can only get better from here, right?)
The “I still get lost driving to the grocery store, but at least I know the name
of it now” stage – So, you’ve been in your new home for a few months now. There are probably still boxes and pieces of packing paper littered around your house, and there is no judgement here about that! You know where the grocery store is, and have found the Hobby Lobby (because even when you don’t have any friends, crafting can make you feel sane or at least get you to obsess about something not that important!) Your phone still might not be filled with texts from new friends, but you know where you can go to meet them! Anyone up for library storytime?
The “sweet spot” stage – Yay! You’ve made friends, you’ve found your favorite restaurants, heck, maybe you even go to your favorite restaurants with your new friends! Your house does not resemble a whacked out version of “Hoarders.” Life is good and steady and, at least sort of, normal. I liken it to the second trimester of pregnancy where the nausea has worn off, but the crazy big-life change hasn’t quite arrived and you are comfortable and happy and in denial! Soak in that sweet spot! It’s amazing, but fleeting!
The “I know what’s going to happen eventually, but I love it here” phase – You can see the move coming on the horizon, but there’s nothing official yet. Sadness can start to creep in when you think about leaving your home, your friends, your familiar situation, but you make yourself focus on the present and enjoy however much you have left. Ignorance is bliss, at least for a while longer!
“Well…We’re Moving, again” stage – It’s happening… again. Your move day is scheduled and the boxes have reappeared. As much as you promised yourself you wouldn’t get attached, you have, and you’re glad you did. The goodbyes, hugs and farewell parties have begun and you’ve started to have to hide in the closet so your kids don’t see you tear up. You’re tired, weary, but probably just a little excited for the new city.
Once your move is complete, be sure to refer back to #1 and start it all over again!
Can you relate? What’s the hardest stage for you and your kids? Anything you’d add to our stages list?
-by Emily Robertson