There’s a reason why moving is so stressful.

And it’s not just about packing boxes. I was reading MM’s site manager Lana’s blog yesterday, about the move she’s just made and how miserable it’s made HER. She wrote:

I really wanted to write a post about the upside of moving, about the cleansing and liberating feeling of decluttering your home.  About the catharsis involved in wrapping everything you own in butcher’s paper so that you can put it in a box and then take it out of the box and unwrap it 2 kilometres later.  I really wanted to write it.  But I didn’t because I couldn’t.  I like to keep things honest here.

We packed every single thing that we owned and we moved.  Literally 2 kilometres from our “real” house.  Mr Pencil convinced me that employing packers to do the job would make me more stressed. Strange that he only said that after we got the quote from the packers, but still, he had a point.  I am a huge control freak.  I need to know what’s happening, when it is happening and why it’s happening.  Also, most times I like to be the one making it happen.

It was with this control gene running at full tilt that I started to move the contents of my “real” home over to my “not real” home.  (Note I do not use the word “unreal” lest it be confused with something that is amazing or ideal).  Because I was eager to start (and finish) I began to empty the contents of my cupboard into green enviro bags, dump them in my car and unpack them on the other end.  After about 76 trips there was not much left for the removalists to do.  If only I drove a truck…….

And so now we are in the “not real” house.  And I spend every minute reminding myself how lucky I am to be in the position that I am in, renovating the house I love and having the luxury of living away from that renovation as it unfolds. But my minutes spent reflecting my luck aren’t the happiest minutes. I am homesick.

I miss my house. I miss my aircraft noise, I miss my nosy neighbour who I had to dodge every morning as I passed her window to brush my teeth.

I miss my huge kitchen and I miss knowing how the oven works.  Last night I attempted to get rid of the smell of this house that is not mine by cooking a hearty, aromatic stew.  I had visions of the house becoming a home when filled with the smells of home cooking and us around the table eating dinner as a family. But instead the house was filled with the smell of smoldering vegetables and blackened meat and as we sat around the table I showed my family how I had burnt a huge crater into my hand creating this burned offering.  Not quite according to plan.

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I miss my carpets.  There are no carpets in this “not real” house. I have never lived in a bedroom with no carpets and I don’t like it.  Little Pencil, on the other hand, love its.  His bed is on casters, you just have to sit on it and it slides to the other side of the room.  So while he is having a ball “racing” his bed across the floor the dog is howling that he can no longer jump on the bed because he can’t get a footing on the floor to make his run up.

I miss the man around the corner who was scared of my dog and I miss the man who used to give my dog bread every day as a treat!  And my dog – he is a mess. He just wants to sit in the car all day because that is the only thing in his life that hasn’t changed.

I miss Little Pencil’s trampoline, I miss my bath and I miss my bedroom.

So from the comfort of my “not real” home  (comfort used in the sense of very, very uncomfortable) I would like to say I am home.  Virtually.  If you know what I mean.

I haven’t moved for quite a while now AND THANKYOU GOD FOR THAT because like most people, I loathe it. An exception to this might be my 4yo daughter who adores the idea of moving probably because she’s never done it.

The other day she said to me “Mum, I think we should move to another house. Are there any left?”

There are so many stressful things about moving and Lana summed up so many of them in her poignant longing for the comfort and familiarity of her old home, even the things about it that used to shit her. But there’s one thing she didn’t mention which I’ve always found incredibly exhausting after a move.

You don’t realise this right now but so much of our lives at home are spent on auto-pilot. In a good way.  You automatically reach for the light switch as you walk into the bathroom without even thinking about it. You automatically go to the cutlery drawer and pull out a knife without having to consicously ask yourself “where is the cutlery drawer and which side are the knives?” As you sit on the toilet, you just KNOW where to reach for the toilet paper. It’s not a conscious thought. You automatically grab your keys and phone from wherever you always put them down as you walk in the front door. When you think about something – say, pillowcases, you’ll already be walking towards the linen cupboard without even realising it.

And you do things like that about a hundred times a day. Every day. That’s hundreds and hudreds of times you go to reach for things that aren’t there.

When you move, suddenly, you have no auto-pilot. The most menial, mundane task becomes an effort. Your brain cells are required to get involved in every bloody thing you do which is a total bitch because they would rather be thinking about what a shame it is that Underbelly was bumped for the Logies.

It takes a long time for all those reaches to become automatic again. It takes weeks and months to re-learn where the loo paper and the forks and the pillow slips and the light switches are.

Do you think? Any good moving stories? Any ways you’ve made it easier?

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