We’ve moved house recently, and I have to say that, without a doubt, it was one of the most stressful things I’ve ever done. The expectation of how it will be (like clockwork – smooth and stress free) was dramatically outplayed by the painful reality (hair pulling-out distress) not helped by the four of us coming down with possibly the worst ever case of the flu for two weeks before we moved and having to dose ourselves up with tablets to get through the actual moving day in one piece.
Most of us do it by choice of course, move house. We get pulled along by the fantasy that we will soon be living a better life in a better house in a better area with better neighbours, schools, local shops. We pack up all our precious belongings (as well as the not-so-precious ones which really should go to the charity shop but we convince ourselves that the spare toaster that we’ve had in the back of the cupboard since student days may just come in handy) only to find that actually a new house in a new area comes with a whole new set of snags to iron out before things settle down again.
Thankfully things are settling down now. After almost two months of chaos, un-unpacked boxes up to my ears, tears before and after school (because Sam didn’t like either his new teachers or his new friends) and marital conflict over the placement of the TV, things are returning to the way they were, thankfully. Although in the mundanity of day-to-day life it is easy to get sucked into the idea of a new and exciting life in a new place. When we are actually put into that situation, what we actually yearn for is the familiar; the morning routine, looking at the same old walls and hearing the same old whinges. Now that the mundane is beginning to creep in again I feel much happier.
I don’t like change, much; I think I just like the idea of change. I convinced myself that moving house was not going to happen, that selling our house and finding another was too good to be true, especially in this strained economy but when it did my first response was fear, I told myself that I could not up-sticks and move 50 miles east of the place that we’d grown to love. It would have been easier to stay where we were, stick with the familiar.
The certainty of it felt safe, secure. The problem is that nothing in life is definite (yes, apart from death and taxes) life is uncertain and acknowledging this fact is actually what helped me the most. Now the fear has subsided I’m beginning to see the reasons I wanted to move in the first place; the opportunity of meeting new people, making new friends and hearing their different stories. The boys miss their old friends but they are rapidly making new ones, as am I, but the chance to see some new faces makes a welcome change.
That’s not to say that I don’t miss the familiarity of my old friends, I don’t need to try so hard, they accept me exactly as I am. But that’s the biggest bonus of moving to a new area, you make new friends but if you choose you can still keep your old ones. You may have to work harder to retain that bond but the stronger friendships will weather the storm.