For those who haven't heard, we are in the process of packing up all of our worldly possessions and moving 695 miles and two states away...in 12 days. Yes, I said 12 days. We don't have a forwarding address yet which is really raising my stress level with each passing day. I'll sleep a lot easier once we nail that down. At least then when the movers ask, "When will you like your things delivered?", I can actually tell them when and where. I'll also be able to fill out a change of address form from the post office and give our forwarding address to companies when I call to cancel services...more of the many things on our to-do list.
I should be used to this by now (and for the most part I am. I think I handle moving much better than the average person.) considering how many times I've moved in my lifetime. I was born in Virginia, lived in Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and all over Georgia before even getting married. Since that time (nearly 8 years ago), I've moved back to Virginia, then to Texas, Arkansas, back to Georgia, and now back to Arkansas. This list does not even include in-town or within-the-state moves, which were more frequent than I care to remember.
I think this move is the most stressful for a number of reasons:
- The time-frame. It's so much more sudden than any previous move I've experienced as an adult.
- We have kids now. The trek from Virginia to Texas was a long one, but at least it only involved packing up myself and the love of my life. :)
- This move will also involve finding a church home which is something we've really never had to do before. For the most part, that decision was made for us. Even after our move to Abilene (which was not related to a church job), Justin found a local preaching position before we ever placed membership anywhere. Our church home in Valdosta was also a given. My family has lived in this area and attended the same congregation for 30 years. It's like my second home.
- We're having a birthday party for our soon-to-be 5 year old only 6 days before our move. It just doesn't seem fair to deprive him of his own party with friends, particularly when his brother and sister had one of their own. After all, it's not his fault he was born when he was. (Seeing how I was induced, if it's anyone's fault, it's ours. ;) )Poor baby, though. His party involves far less preparation than I put into the other two...far less than any other party I've ever thrown, for that matter. I console myself with the knowledge that this is still his own party unlike when Sadie turned one and we had a combination party for her and her older brother. It just made more sense to do it that way since their birthdays are only 2 weeks apart and they had the same friends at the time. Not to mention I was a mom with 3 preschoolers at home then. Planning one party was challenging enough for me at that point. At least they had their own cake, right? ;)
- We're considering using professional movers this time. You would think this would be less stressful, right? And I feel confident that when the actual moving date arrives, it will be. Currently, however, it is a bit frazzling to have the phone ringing every 5 minutes and then proceed to relay every possible thing inside your home that doesn't fit in a box. In fact, I've already fielded calls from 3 different movers while trying to post this...and am expecting another phone call in the next 10 minutes. Once we find a service, I expect all this inconvenience will be well worth it, though, and that the silence of the phone will bring relief in itself.
- We've now become accustomed to living close to family and it will be difficult to leave them behind. Not only that, but I lost my dear brother shortly after we moved here and he's buried only 5 miles up the road. Moving away, while I knew it was going to happen, is unexpectedly causing me to recall that tragic day all too often...partly due to the family connection and knowing I won't be able to visit his grave on a whim, and also (due to the timing of his death) because of the correlation I have subconsciously (or not) drawn between moving and the event.
Even with all these stress factors, though, this is still a great move for us. I'm excited about the opportunities and possibilities Searcy and Harding have to offer and am looking forward to our future there. It's hard to leave and I sometimes feel a twinge of guilt (like I'm leaving or forgetting my brother/family. Irrational, yes, but nonetheless a very real and raw emotion.) and that's when I have to remind myself that Matt wouldn't want me to put my life on hold and remain stuck in grief. That he will always live on in my heart and always be with me no matter where I go. I have to remind myself that moving away does not mean the end of family relationships. We'll make every effort and attempt to nurture those ties and we will remain close and connected. Besides, it's not like we're moving half-way across the world.
Moving is stressful on so many levels. Physically, logistically, and emotionally. In the hustle and bustle of it all and in the middle of the here and now, I'm reminded of something my grandmother loves to say (and I've mentioned it before), "This too shall pass." If ever that was true (and it is), it's true now. As I already find myself doing now in relation to raising 3 "babies" so close together, I'll look back on this someday and think, "How did I ever do that?" and the answer will come quickly, "Only by the grace of God."