Last week I hired a moving organizer. Who knew such a thing existed? She tells me what to do and I do it. I”ve deputized her as my guide, handed over my authority. And I’m more than okay with that. Happy even. With everything in flux, I need structure, lists, handwriting I can understand, someone else in charge, and a sense that everything will be alright.
Moving jitters is new to me. When I moved from the colonial in New Rochelle, I had two children who hated the idea of leaving their home. They obstructed progress at every turn. Even while they slept. There was a basement full of junk and an attic full of treasures. There were more closets than I could count to divest. There was a tag sale to run. An interim dwelling to find. A school to choose for my 15 year old daughter. And a home inspection that didn’t go as well as I hoped. Yet I remained undaunted.
I spoke to the house. Yes, I actually did that. I said it needed to let me go. That I could feel it holding me back. That I knew it loved us, and that we loved it, along with its friendly ghost, stained glass windows, three fireplaces and wrap around porch, but our time there was done. I was house poor and craved a place where I didn’t have to bundle myself in blankets to keep warm in the winter, and beg my daughter to help me clean three floors of stuff I didn’t need. It was time. No. It was time and a half.
I did it myself. No moving organizer. Just took the leap and got us out. Afterwards, I dreamed of that house for years. Perhaps I still do.
Five years later I moved to Vermont. Picked up one day, packed my suitcase, my checkbook, and my favorite pillow, and headed up Route 100 to Killington where after a two month test drive I decided to stay, build a new life, and live with nature instead of concrete. I didn’t over-think it, or worry, or get nervous. I wasn’t scared that I didn’t know a soul, and had no job. Somehow it felt right. And it was all good. For nine years it stayed that way, until I knew it was time to go. There was an office and a house to pack. I got help from my daughter, and my friends, and once again, did it mostly on my own.
But it’s different now. Possibly because I’m older. 18 years adds up. And it feels like this road has been traveled a few times more than I’d like.
Today I spoke with the Dinosaur, my internist who claims he doesn’t belong in this world (that’s why we call him the Dinosaur). We spoke about moving. He said he moved so many times while he was in the army that he he knew he could live anywhere. I’m not there yet. I can’t do the “live anywhere” thing. It’s not even that easy for me to live in a place that I like, but I consider the source and accept the wisdom.
When I moved into the apartment where I now live, the one I’m leaving behind with both relief and regret, I brought my cat home from my daughters place where we’d been staying the past nine months, and sat down on the floor of my living room. She circled me several times (the cat not the daughter), jumped on my lap, put her paws around my neck and hugged me fast and tight. She was home and she knew it. I would like to be able to do that too. To jump into my lap and know that I’m safe home. Finally. Without packing even a single dish. If I could, I would do it now. Tonight. Or tomorrow at 6am. Even 5:30. Beam me up Scotty. I’m ready. Take me before I change my mind, before I decide it’s too much trouble, and wind up staying.
The mythos of moving is complex. It means many things to many people. It opens doors and closes them. We gain and we lose. But 40,000,000 people in this country do it every year. Most survive. I hope I’m one of them.
The following image is meant to assist you in letting go, taking the leap and moving on to a new place in your life.
Taking the Leap
Close your eyes, exhale one time, and see yourself taking the leap. See sense and feel how it is to leave behind the past, And move joyfully into your new life. See, and sense how in this life you are growing new, golden roots that reach deep into the earth. Know and live how these roots are supporting and sustaining you. Imagine that you’re embracing this new life. And know that you are home. Then breathe out and open your eyes.