This could be a picture of our belongings heading west to Texas on a South Hills Movers truck, presumably before the end of the year. Moving is complicated and stressful. When I added things up on the classic Holmes and Rahe stress scale, I found that I’m not far from the boiling point of 300.
- I have a seemingly impossible To-Do list to get the house ready to list with a realtor by our target date.
- I’m having to pull away from my cherished writing groups and classes and other friends.
- I’m already missing the home I’ve loved for thirty years.
- My mate of 52 years baffles and enrages me at times (and keeps me laughing at others).
- And ye gods, the thought of finding the right house in Austin and getting the deal done in a timely manner and all the work of settling in … YIKES!
Of course there’s so much to look forward to:
- More time with granddaughters and extended family there.
- Connections with new friends (Austin is a friendly place).
- A chance to reboot writing groups down there – or not.
- A lovely new home to settle into.
- Fresh chile and tortillas easily available.
- Amazing food stores.
- The impeccable service of South Hills Movers.
- Finding things I’d forgotten I have.
Making a list is daunting. At this point, pressure and unknowns far outweigh the obvious rewards. It seeems like I keep falling off my raft as I go through this white water stretch on the river of life.
So what’s a person to do when it’s time to start packing, hold a garage sale, fill out a couple of reams of forms to list and buy a house, schedule inspections, fix a few more things … ?
I say I don’t have time to write. But I make time to journal. Journaling is like taking vitamins. It’s good for your health. Even ten minutes is good. I need to rest my back anyway. I journal to keep track of what’s going on. I include lessons learned: tips for cleaning, mistakes to avoid, messes I found and more. I journal about frustrations when I’m convinced that yesterday we agreed to do X, and today he informs me that’s not even close… it all goes in the journal, along with dreams of how things will be when we get there and gratitude for the kindnesses of people here.
I would not be surprised to find that journal turning into a memoir of this move. But not soon. I need time to process. And right now I must climb back on that raft and load a few boxes. I’ll keep you posted now and then, but not often.
Write now: Write about a stressful time in your life and how you survived. Share a few tips in comments.