I have to stop making a habit of this. Please. Someone remind me, or slap me hard, if I even consider moving again in the near future. This is move number four in as many years. All voluntary, yes, and some places better than others. And yes, parts of it become less stressful with repetition. I know that I will not see my countertops for two weeks unless I work round the clock and exhaust myself. And since I barely cook anyway, there’s no reason to do that.
But there are stressors to which I am not inured even with repeated exposure:
- Disorientation – We all have internal compasses that tell us where we are in space. A move, even only a mile away, temporarily throws that center of gravity off. I keep driving toward the old place (and it was a good thing I did so on the day of the move. The movers had left the front door ajar, several items in the place, and most of the lights and the ceiling flan whirring full blast). I keep looking for things in spots where they’d have been before but they’re not now because those spots are a mile away. Everybody in town (or any town, I imagine) knows that your relative position to the Post Road determines where you shop for groceries, get gas, and of course, which coffee shop you frequent. My anchor points are now all a bit wonky, and need recalibration.
- Violation – I want to make it extremely clear that I am neither making light of, nor comparing this in any way, more personal and/or violent violations. But having five strange men come into my home, touch literally everything twice (once in loading and once in unloading) felt very invasive. I of course had invited them in, and was grateful that it was they and not I doing it, but nevertheless, it made me feel very exposed. “Wow, you have a lot of Band-Aids,” said one of the movers. One of the movers who had sweat clear through his sleeveless T-shirt, and was dripping now on said bandages. I felt I needed to explain that I seldom go to Costco, but when I do I tend to forget what I have stockpiled and sometimes replenish unnecessarily. Why did I have to feel guilty about this seeming overabundance of first aid supplies? What else did they think I had too much of? They were trampling over the newly refinished floor in their work boots, and I could see the dust bunnies multiplying, well, like rabbits. This crew was lovely, really, but I don’t even like having the cable guy over. Having a crew of five with me for two straight days put me on edge.
- Compulsion – I’m a little Type A. A little control freak-ish. OK, OK, a lot. I’m facing a mountain of stuff (that has been, over the course of the previous three moves, been winnowed significantly, to the Marie Kondo-joy-inducing kind) and even though I should know better, I’d like for Samantha Stephens (Elizabeth Montgomery) from Bewitched to come wiggle her nose over the mess and magically make it go away. Into the most ergonomic, efficient organization. Barring that, I’d like to stay up for the next 96 hours straight (or as long as it takes) to make it look as if she did. But I know that I reach a point where my back aches and my hip starts to click in a way that makes me turn to WebMD (which I should never do), where the returns (ergonomic efficiency) to the fixed input (my labor) definitely diminish precipitously. So I go out, take my laptop to the library since the cable guy who I don’t want in the house anyway hasn’t come yet, and write an essay, hoping I’ll return with renewed energy and the kind of joy that would make Marie Kondo drop to her knees to kiss and thank the newly refinished floor.
So that’s about enough time lollygagging around on the beautiful new deck of the renovated library by the river in the sunshine. I have a mountain of stuff to turn into a molehill. And when I do, I will firmly plant my flag in it for the foreseeable future.