One of the hardest things about moving is that it is an abrupt change in the rhythm of our lives. We say goodbye to our cozy home, familiar routines, the people who make the seconds of our lives tick smoothly like the friendly postman, a trusted doctor, or the smiling girl at the grocery store.
We never seem to realize with a move how much these seconds mattered until we’re rebuilding the entire clockwork in a new town.
Some of these new connections take time. Finding the places and people that fit our new life can take weeks or even months as we fit a new pattern of living, new commute to work, new roads to a new market or school, new everything into our growing selves.
Everything really is new and a little overwhelming at first. And that’s ok. There is a manic glee that can sweep over some with new experiences and there’s the other side of the hill where the valley of “missing what was” can be so deep it’s hard to imagine finding level ground again.
But finding the right rhythm will happen if you go at an easy pace.
One of the best ways to handle all that is new is to really step back and give yourself time to set up new systems and support.
Several weeks and sometimes even months are needed to find your way through a new place and to start to develop a new life.
Here are some things to try as you cope with these changes:
1. Consider moving as a genuine opportunity-
Very often our busy lives make it difficult to optimize how our lives function. We’re so occupied with the day to day demands of life that we endjure a rude dentist, ugly landscaping, or an area without recreation opportunities as just part of the background of our lives. It’s not perfect, but we put up with it. The energy to change is never invested because we’re too busy to really invest it. When we move, it’s an opportunity to improve on some of the missing or fixable aspects of our lives. Think about this as you make choices in your new place. It’s an optimal time to optimize our lives.
2. Try to find the humor in change –
There are so many serious decisions with a move that it’s healthy to step back and look at some of the silly stuff. The movers that packed the bathroom garbage can with the kids’ toothbrushes wrapped inside, the pet iguana that survived a cross country move only to choke on a carrot. A friend who moved from the northwest to the southwest got a kick out of comparing reactions to weather: In Tucson residents huddle up indoors during a rain but the sun-deprived Seatle-ites grab a latte and go! A move from Vermont to Virginia made me giggle at the grocery shoppers: birkenstocks and subarus replaced by peep-pumps and SUVs. Really there’s a lot that’s funny about changing our venue and perspective on the world.
3. Take a moment each day to be grateful for the adventure –
Some people spend their whole lives doing the same things in the same places and rarely see anything new or exciting. A move means living and breathing exciting new moments. Appreciating the gift of new experiences is worth a moment or two to open our minds to the good things to come.
In this light, it is easier to move forward and begin to hear the melody of your new life. Gradually, with patience, the new music will become clear and you may even catch yourself walking at a pleasant new pace or perhaps even dancing!