I haven’t been keeping up on the blog, or any area of my life, lately. I guess that’s what happens when you’re “in the process” of moving for five months…and still have a few more months to go. When I have prolonged seasons of stress, I pull inward and close up, like a plastic bag in one of those vacuum-sealer infomercials.
The past few months have been filled with hiccups and heartbreaks, peaks and valleys, wins and losses. We’ve moved many times, under more stressful conditions, with tighter timelines and further distances. But, for some reason, a comparatively “small” move ten minutes down the street has become the hardest move we’ve ever done. Funny how life is like that, huh?
Our status will stay “still moving” for a few more months, since we’ll be going to temporary housing until our house is ready. Hang in there with me!
Now that we’re through some hurdles, I can take a minute to breathe and reflect. I have this deep-rooted need to make sense of what has happened and why. If I’ve learned something then it’s all worth it. I’m offering up my tidbits and crumbs from this journey.
I think the most important and hardest lesson I’ve learned through this process is the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. I began our house search with an idealized version of how things would work out. It would be perfect if we could just get a house in this particular neighborhood. Oh, the houses on this street are so cute, I’d think to myself, they must be perfect on the inside. As you can guess, it didn’t work out that way at all. I realized pretty quickly there is no perfect home. Or perfect neighborhood. This wasn’t HGTV, this was real life, and I realized what makes a perfect home is the family inside it. We were going to have to make our dream home with time, love and happy memories.
That other saying is also true: the grass is greener where it’s watered. On a more practical note, keep your house somewhat clean and make general maintenance a priority. When it came time to list our house, it made such a huge difference to have a clean and somewhat organized house. Prepping the house to sell was hard enough, I was really glad that I didn’t have a massive organization project on top of everything else. I was thankful for my annual summer “clean up and clear out” projects with the kids. I also realized the importance of keeping up on those easy-to-forget general maintenance issues, like cleaning vents, washing windows, and changing out filters. When the work was done, it made me feel a lot better about our house. I don’t know why I put off those little improvements because they went a long way to credit overall happiness. Plus, keeping up on those smaller items will set your house apart from the rest, when it is time to sell it.
It’s funny how realtors are invited into your private life when they come into your home and assess the presentation of it. There has to be a delicate balance of trust and honesty. One issue was made abundantly clear: I might need a sticky note intervention. You think you’re living a normal life, and then an outsider comes in and points out that your obsession with sticky notes might not be normal. It was an eye-opening, introspective moment. Don’t worry, I’m working through my issues and taking the steps necessary to get my sticky note usage under control.
Looking back, I can’t imagine going through this process without trusting in a bigger plan. It has been such a winding road, but I do feel like God was with me every step of the way. He encouraged me when I felt beyond discouraged. Some days were very confusing, but I could always fall back on the hope that there was a plan and it was working out the way it was supposed to. There was a goal and purpose to this move, above and beyond a new house, and I must soldier through this process to achieve the goal.
Please share your comments – stories, lessons learned, ideas – about moving below. It helps to know others are going through it now or have gone through similar situations and survived.