Moving Blues

Millions of people move every year. In the U.S., it's become routine. Very few people stay in one place for the duration of their life. But the frequency and predictability of moving especially when YOU'RE the one doing the moving is still overwhelming. Though relocation involves countless checklists, endless packing and step-by-step planning, your emotions deserve as much attention as all the practical details. Knowing what thoughts may sabotage your emotions during and after a move can help prepare you.

The grass is greener on the other side. A strong sense of disconnectedness often accompanies a move. For some, this is triggered by moving away from loved ones into unknown territory. Others, even those who move only a few miles, might find themselves dwelling on memories of their former home. The transition between moving from your past and accepting your present can be as short as a few months or, for some, as long as a few years. During this time, it's natural to romanticize your former life and surroundings, remembering them as practically perfect. In that light, your new home seems less than par. In reality, your previous environment had its own downfalls; you just miss it. Though the grass may have been "greener on the other side," it still had to be mowed.

The world's going on without me. Another common reaction to a major move is feeling like no one really misses you and maybe they'll forget you. This panic generally begins following thoughts of how your "old" life the people you love, your church, your friends and your family are carrying on moment-by-moment without you. Yes, life goes on, but they haven't forgotten you.

I've only got roots as deep as ivy. With many moves, you are forced to "start over." Suddenly the grocery store is a labyrinth of scattered items and your quick trip for bread and milk takes three times as long. You get lost and not just once or twice. After meeting new people for months, you are annoyed with introducing yourself and you crave deep, meaningful conversation with someone who understands you. For many, it feels as if the real you missed being loaded on the U-haul and now you're forced to reinvent yourself for a whole new audience. This fear has some grounding in reality, for with change, you change. But the real you is still there, and as people get to know you better, you'll find yourself emerging again.

Why did you do this to me? This thought can be deadly, killing both your spirit and your relationships. When you blame someone else for making you move your spouse, your job, even God you begin a downward spiral of self-pity and bitterness. It's natural, but it's not healthy or fun to be around. Eventually, you've got to move on (no pun intended).

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