Moving On After Moving In
Moving On After Moving In
By Susan Miller
Our bags were packed and our van was loaded down with valuables that couldn’t be shipped ahead. The rest of my life was loaded in brown boxes on a moving truck headed for a destination 2,000 miles away. Once again I was pulling up stakes. Once again I was saying good-bye to all that I knew and loved. At that moment, I didn’t belong anywhere; not in this place, and not in the new place I was moving to so far away.
I smiled for the children’s sake, to give them a sense of security that everything was going to be all right. I engaged in some “meaningful” conversation with my husband, Bill, to assure him I was indeed standing by his side in this transfer and was united with him in this move. The emptiness overwhelmed me.
If you have recently moved, or will be moving in the near future, I want to encourage your heart. From one who has traveled that road by relocating 14 times, I know the emotional journey ahead of you. I also know that a move will touch every aspect of your life.
Moving is so much more than loading and unloading boxes! Moving means change, and change can affect you physically, emotionally and even spiritually. It will have an effect on your marriage, your children, and your relationships because along with any PCS or deployment, comes change. Moving is often compared to a puzzle of a thousand pieces that has been turned upside down and it’s up to you to put the puzzle back together again.
When you move, you leave behind all that is familiar to face the unknown. Many women feel like their whole life is in brown boxes and the effort to start all over again is overwhelming. You are disconnected from friends, perhaps even family, and you lose a sense of community. Until you begin to put down roots in a new place and reconnect through relationships, loneliness is all you know. A military spouse who recently moved said, “The hardest thing about moving is being alone and not even having a good friend nearby to be with or call.”
Perhaps you need hope and encouragement to get you through the major impact of a move. This is what helped me emotionally to survive and understand the process of adjustment. It all began with the choice to either be open or closed to change.
The first step I had to take was to choose to let go and leave behind any encumbrances that would prevent me from starting over and moving ahead with my life. Next, I had to actually choose to start over, even if I didn’t want to! Until I accepted the reality of having to start over, I couldn’t be ready to move ahead with my life. Finally, I had to choose to move ahead. It was time to come full circle with my move, put aside my pity party, and do whatever it took to move ahead. I quickly learned the journey after a move is one of action.
To encourage you on your journey, try these action steps to smooth the bumpy road ahead:
- Stop and smell the flowers along the way. Take time to be good to yourself! Schedule some self-care by taking a break to rest, restore and renew your mind and body.
- Ask for help. Don’t be the “lone ranger” and feel like you have to do it alone. Let others be a part of the relocation process with you.
- When the heat is up, stay cool. When stress is rising and the pressure is on, keep a sense of humor and be flexible.
- It’s okay to cry if you want to. With change, comes loss and grieving. Your release valve may be tears.
- Rise to the occasion. Stretch beyond your comfort zone. Embrace the changes this PCS brings as an opportunity to learn and grow personally.
- Take one day, one step at a time. Remember the saying, “Rome was not built in a day!” Some days you may feel like you’ve taken two steps back and only one step forward. You can do it! Don’t lose heart and never give up!
Never give up and never lose heart in the transitions of your life. You can become a “moving over-comer.” I’m standing on the sidelines cheering you on every step of the way!
Written by Susan Miller, America’s Moving Coach Ô and Founder/President of Just Moved! . She is the author of After the Boxes are Unpacked, But Mom, I Don’t Want To Move! and My Journal of 52 Weeks After a Move.
Just Moved! helps to connect women who move through “Moving On After Moving On” classes and support groups. Visit our website, www.justmoved.org for more information and resources on moving.