The hustle of moving is over.
God, say it again.
The hustle of moving is over.
I got rid of objects for which I no longer feel love. I said goodbye to my Nashville peeps. My love and my cats and all of my belongings are in the new place. We are 93% unpacked. I’ve driven to work a few times now taking the exact same route. I have a grocery store and a backup grocery store that I like.
While I was busy going through the motions, my energy became completely focused on building the new.
It’s magical, right? That my energy could shift so completely and I would not even recognize it until later?
It’s hard to pinpoint the exact moment my energy shifted. The last day we woke up in Nashville, I was focused on the task ahead of packing the car. It was more about not forgetting something or accidentally locking the keys in the house. When we got in the car to pull away, I was focused on settling in to the car with three vocal cats and running through my mental checklist. As we drove through downtown and crossed Broadway, I remember being struck by how this neon-studded stretch of Nashville would always feel absurdly normal and oh, yeah, what’s the easiest route to get to I-65 from here?
The drive was mostly uneventful. We stopped to grab some food in Seymour, Indiana. I remember watching two people in uniforms near the soda fountain flirt with one another and I remember thinking: God, enjoy this time where the flirting makes you feel so alive and full of light and hope and daring. (It’s like a dreamspace, that time just before something happens.)
We arrived in Chicago ahead of schedule. Signing paperwork to get the keys for our apartment was surreal, and I remember just staring at the woman behind the desk with whom I had been happy and energetic a few weeks before and thinking: I hope this doesn’t take too much longer.
Keys in hand, my focus was on putting the cats in rooms and unloading necessities from the car. My back had been sore for many days in a row, and I was truly physically and emotionally depleted.
After we left, we went to the closest Whole Foods and ate $30 worth of food from the hot bar. I bought a quiche for the next morning in case we missed the continental breakfast.
I had the next day off– a Tuesday. I know we ran errands around town, because it was strange to do so: everything we bought had to be shoved into the car, and then carried upstairs, and then assembled or hung or both. We created a tremendous amount of work for two people who had been so, so tired. But we knew – and a good question is, would I choose differently next time? – that we had a small window of time before we would be preoccupied with unpacking and finding places for things. We could have done anything (no rules!), and I pitched everything from the movies to a museum to staying in bed all day… and yet we agreed that what we wanted to do was run errands.
The next day, I was at work by 8:30am.
(That’s a whole different story.)
So when did that shift happen? Like most things, is it fair to say it was gradual and then all at once?
Our household arrived that following Saturday. I took the next Monday off from work so that I had time to wake up and be in my new house.
We had a houseguest that Thursday night, and the following weekend, we hosted friends who live on the North Shore.
Just yesterday, I think it was, I emptied my suitcase.
Maybe that’s the moment I was waiting for: the symbolic “I am no longer transient.” I am not trying to be sane while I’m moving because I’m not actually moving anymore.
That process is over, and now I’m fully invested in the next: which is building a new nest, exploring my new surroundings, and deepening my inner work.
I made it!