Change might be good for the soul but it’s a bitch on the body and the mind.
New beginnings are awesome. Painful … but awesome. I’m still waiting for the awesome part to kick in.
Three weeks of being submerged in bubble wrap, 19 rolls of packing tape, 84 boxes and at least a ton of packing peanuts have resulted in 3 storage units filled to the brim with everything we own. Did I mention that the moving company we hired advised us two days before our move date (at 4:45 in the afternoon) they could not handle our move? Can we say “panic”?
I found some wonderful, professional moving guys that were willing to bring a U-Haul and pack it all in. We’ve since taken up residency in a Residence Inn (which we are sharing with our two cats and our bossy dog), and are in a waiting pattern for our new home to be ready to receive us.
So far, we’ve been dislodged for a week and I can’t lie … I’m going stark raving mad. It doesn’t help knowing that we are looking at another 2 weeks before we can move out of the hotel and into our new home. Being in a waiting mode isn’t nearly as relaxing as I anticipated it would be.
I thought after the ongoing trauma of packing for 3 weeks straight, filling two and half trash bins with items we couldn’t live without but never used or needed, donating 14 boxes to the needy and consigning a lovely dining room set, a chandelier and an antique baby buggy, that we would welcome a time to just veg, read and relax.
While I do feel a bit like a boxer who just lost 10 rounds with a world champ; exhausted, disoriented and a little depressed, it turns out waiting around is definitely not my thing.
I cannot receive mail, can’t find any of the clothes I thought I brought with me, the toiletries are lacking and the only thing we have in abundance is cat and dog food (thank God for small favors!). I only have 2 pairs of shoes (what was I thinking?) and enough underwear to last 10 days. Did you know it costs $2 to do laundry at a hotel? The things you learn!
I miss my Sleep Number bed, my friends in the city, TIVO, my familiar stomping grounds and my clients’ smiling faces. I miss knowing where the hell I’m driving and knowing where all the great happy hour places are.
Moving from one city to the next requires one to be resourceful, patient, inquisitive, considerate, and persevering. Three out of five isn’t bad.
I know this is all going to work out for the best in the long run. It’s the short run that is driving me crazy. I’m excited to be in our new home, to make new friends, connect with old ones and start painting a new life on a fresh canvas. So, why is this so hard?
I’ve come to the conclusion that leaving a life behind is never easy, no matter how anxious you are to start a new one.
Downsizing and relocating means distancing yourself from places, people and things that you are emotionally attached to. It means cutting ties to the old and embracing the new. It means conforming, adapting, exploring and sleeping in strange surroundings. It’s beyond exhausting and exasperating.
Fortunately we’ve landed in one of the friendliest places on earth, the Palm Desert area. We’ve owned and loved it here for over 14 years. Making it our main residence wasn’t a stretch. Until now.
Saying goodbye to an old life means being open to a new one. That’s a concept I can embrace.
Is it too much to ask to embrace it in a real home surrounded by all my personal belongings, a frig stocked with all our favorite things, a closet and drawers filled with all my stuff, and Wi-Fi that isn’t being powered by two hamsters on a wheel?
Some people are so demanding.
If you are thinking about a big move or a change in your lifestyle, I’m giving you a big, long hug. You will need it.
At the moment, I can’t help but click my heels together three times: there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home.
We may be homeless at the moment, but we are officially desert rats. Wish us luck!
Kaye Curren - Dear Tammy,
We don’t really start a new life because we always take ourselves with us to the new place – and it appears you have. (Just Kidding – I would too.) I’ve been trying to move to Myrtle Beach home of surf, great writer college, watercolor week twice a year, and wonderful retiree hideaway for several years. The thought of doing what you are doing is the reason I haven’t.
Although I live on the east side of town in the lower rent district, I panic if someone suggests I move. Everything has its perfect place and it took a long time to get them there.
Good luck with your move and hurry up because I am planning to find the bucks to have you critique my writer’s presence online.
T.O. Weller - Tammy, our planets must be in alignment! It’ll be my turn next week! Only, we’re moving to a forested acre of land on a lake rather than the desert.
We’re currently in packing mode, dividing items into “storage”, “sell” and “keep by my side” piles. When we leave our home next Thursday, we too will be homeless, after which we will be “camping” on our new land, in a new town, while the house gets finished before our eyes.
While I pack, I have also donned a “project manager” hat, scheduling and budgeting for the various trades, making design decisions and all the while hoping no one lets us down (haven’t we all heard the renovation nightmare stories?).
I’ve already learned that we will be Internet-challenged, so I’ve mapped my route to the local library until I can sort that one out. I also find myself stocking up on everything, like I’m moving to a disaster zone (I’m not sure why, but maybe it’s a survival instinct?).
I am sending you a big, long hug … and raising a glass to new beginnings. 🙂
Evelyn Marshall - There’s always a squelcher to top a story. Our home was flooded because I left the faucet running upstairs for an hour. We spent 77 nights at the Best Western.
Kathy @ SMART Living 365.com - Yay! Congratulations Tammy! I know that you are in the midst of the move and that can seem daunting to anyone–but you will survive! And you’ve picked an AWESOME place to live so the outcome will definitely be worth it all. And one thing I know for sure is that you will so-o-o appreciate your new home once you get moved in and settled. Sometimes it takes a big shakeup like you’re going through to really, really appreciate the outcome. I’m looking forward to meeting you in person here in the desert…and if you need some advice about happy hour I’ll be happy to share what I know! ~Kathy
Risa - Oh, Tammy–I hope the time will pass quickly so you can move on and begin the next chapter. I also hope you won’t look back (except to write about it!) and will just embrace the new home with a giant sigh of relief. Beep, beep!
Carol Cassara - It’ll all be worth it in the end and this pain will be only a memory!
Adela - Yee-Gads! The things we take for granted. I want a TiVo for my radio. How do you do it?! Soon it will just be a memory.
Tammy - Hi Kaye, I feel your concern… big time! I know this story will have a happy ending. Looking forward to it … any day now! Myrtle Beach is a beautiful local. You must muster up the nerve and DO IT! Would love to work with you on your writer’s presence! It’s my thing!! Keep your fingers crossed for me that the time will just fly by! So happy to hear from you!
Tammy - Oh, T.O., hand on to your hat. It all sounds like such a worthy adventure! And a forested acre near a lake, well, it doesn’t get better than that! Go to Verizon and buy a “hot spot” for your internet. We would be dead in the water without it. I’m clinking glasses with you, my friend … to new beginnings! Hugs!
Tammy - Hi Kathy, I didn’t know you lived in the desert. What town? We will be settling in LQ but presently reside in PD. It’s a small place, I don’t think it takes more that 25 minutes to get front one end of town to the other. A BIG adjustment (thankfully) from Thousand Oaks and L.A.! YES, we must absolutely meet up when I get my head out of the hole in the ground. I’m looking forward to it. Happy Hour … here we come!
Tammy - Rosa, no looking back for this gal! Not my style. I spent a few years looking in the rear view mirror… done with that nonsense. I’m so looking forward to getting settled. It just seems so far away. One day at a time! Thanks for chiming in…. love hearing from you!
Tammy - You are so right, Adela. I never thought I’d miss my TIVO. I mean talk about spoiled! I don’t watch much TV but I do have my program addictions which I TIVO. Not any more. Think I’ve missed all the season finales. Damn! I wish that was my only gripe. This too shall pass. Can’t wait for that! Thanks for popping in and sharing!
Anita Dzirne-Irlen - Having moved 30+ times in my life, I feel your pain. The only thing that moving has taught me is downsizing. Because I live in New York City and rent, I’ll probably be moving again soon. If I downsize anymore, I’ll have nothing. If you think I was “one-upping” you, I was. 🙂 It will soon be over.
Tam Warner Minton - okay, Tammy. Put the cats in a cat hotel, grab your dog and go on a road trip!
Malissa Kendall Myers - Your timing is great, were thinking of moving and looks like this summer sometime. I was just laying here crying thinking I don’t want to leave this house or get rid of things. But it means being closer to friends and my brother. I’m in a small town and moving to a bigger one with traffic, fast pace, and more crime does not thrill me. I just don’t know if this is a good idea. Emotionally I’m a mess from double knee surgery and the drugs maybe the reason for the tears today.
I hope you will be happy where you are moving , the sun shine sounds good. Take care!
Nancy Fletcher - You’re moving to New York??? Does that mean no more LA lectures, seminar chats?
Joan Cooper - NEVER NEVER DOWNSIZE. You did not ask me.
Downsizing was my own worst disaster. In a life full of mistakes that was the biggest one. If I had not done that, I would be a millionaire living in a one story large house instead of a 2 story with my crippled legs. What was originally bought for $185,000 is now worth a million. How I remember those sunsets over the Santa Monica mountains.
Lotsa luck and byeeeeeeewe
Laura Lee Carter - I hear you Tammy!
But try sitting in that same holding pattern for a YEAR while all the “builders” in dumb-fuckville try to find their asses with both hands!
Now you see what we’ve been facing in southern Colorado for almost a year! Excuse my French, but I have really had it!
Ruth Curran - It does get easier and actually the not knowing where you will land, once you embrace it, is a bit freeing — or so I told myself for a very long time :)! Breathe, be kind to yourself, and keep your animals close and all will be well!
Tammy - Hi Joan, no, did not ask you. But we had our hearts set on it. We are moving to a lovely one story home in a gated community with all the amenities. Very excited! Except, of course, for the heat. Not a fan of the extreme heat. UGH. Steven has told me how lovely your home was and how he wishes you had stayed there. So, you are both on the same page. You are not alone in making mistakes throughout your life…. we are all there with you. I’m hoping our move does NOT fall into that category for us!
Tammy - Oh, dear, Laura Lee! A year?! I’d be out of my mind. I understand French and speak it fluently (giggling) How close are you to completion at this point? My heart goes out to you big time. I’m so looking forward to 2 weeks from today!
Tammy - Hi Ruth, it’s all one big adventure – ready or not. Being kind to myself is awesome advice. Amazing how hard we are on ourselves. Bah! We will all stick together, furry and otherwise. One big happy family!!
mel glenn - Dear Tammy,
Having NOT moved in 37 years, I forgot what a hassle it is. Your displacement,while annoying,is only temporary, and I admire your courage in moving in the first place.
And why are you making this move?
Sharon Greenthal - I am surrounded by boxes and bubble wrap as I write this! We are moving into a construction zone – we won’t have a kitchen for quite a while – but we are very excited. Good luck with everything!
Doreen Mcgettigan - I moved 8-years ago when I married my husband and it was SO hard. I missed my home, my family, my stuff and my friends. Fast forward and I have never been happier in my life. This will all pass and you will be home in no time at all. Try to rest up for the unpacking.
Carolann - It’s such a chore to move. Me and the hubby said we both gonna die here lol it’s that exhausting. It’s fun too as you said new adventures and that part is exciting. I also love the idea of redecorating a new home too but for now…I’m good lol. Good luck and rememnber..this too shall pass 🙂
Meryl Schwartz Baer - When the unpacking is done and the exhaustion past, you will love your new home. Moving is always stressful, but the end result will be so worthwhile…
Tammy - Mel, we are making a new and fresh start for OURSELVES. We love the desert (not so much in the summer) and thought to ourselves “why wait until we want to retire, let’s live for the moment and make it work”. And so… we will. Moving to a one story home (HOORAY!), beautiful open floor plan, guarded gate and lots of amenities. Let us hope and pray that we have many years of happily ever after. By the way, Steven had lived in that home for 22 years. NO picnic sorting and moving!
Tammy - Sharon, here’s to new beginnings (holding up a glass of champagne)! It is beyond exhausting and is quite tedious but truly our future prospects are exciting. Good luck with all that lies ahead. I know it will be wonderful!
Tammy - Doreen, such sage words, thank you! YES, I will rest up for the boat load of unpacking that awaits me. Getting excited!
Tammy - Thanks, Carol Ann (my computer wouldn’t acknowledge your name as one – grrrr). You are right, of course, this will pass. It just seems like it’s been such a LONG haul. Excited for the future AND the decorating fun to come! Woohoo!
Sheryl - I know just how you feel – we did it two years ago and at the time, yes, it’s upsetting in many ways and tough, too. But you will be so, so happy once it’s all settled…I promise.
Tammy - Sheryl, moving is the pits. So is sitting in a hotel room with your pets and just waiting, waiting, waiting. BUT, you are right … it will all be worth it once we are settled in our new home and new life. Pretty excited about that!
Haralee Weintraub - I hope time goes quickly and it will all be worth it once you are all settled in!
Cheryl Nicholl - I feel your pain. Yes- it’s all good- it will work itself out, but GETTING there can be challenging. The few times we’ve moved- we’ve moved BIG- new states, knowing very few. These were the hardest things I’ve ever done but also, ultimately the most rewarding. And I know you know that, but I’m still going to give you a [[hug]]. XXXOOO
Barbara Hammond - You’re living our 2014! This time last year our city house was sold and all that ‘stuff’ put in storage. We moved into our beach house while it was being sold and when that happened we still hadn’t found our ‘forever’ home in Cape May, so that stuff went into storage and we moved to a rental short term. With 2 crazy dogs, I might add.
When the final move finally arrived it was head down into renovation and plaster dust for about 2 months. ALL of that was worth it!
You will be so happy when it’s all settled and done. I know the stress, but it’s worth it! Hang in there. I’m toasting you now!
Lisa at GrandmasBriefs - Oh, yeah. This would make ME crazy, too. I got all tight in the chest and feel a little bitchiness coming on just by reading this. HUGE hugs to you and best wishes for permanency to come your way soon!
Toni McCloe - I had to stay in a hotel room once for more than two weeks and it was just as awful as you described it. There was nothing homey about it. Good luck Tammy. The best is yet to come.
Tammy - Oh, THANK YOU, Barbara. I love being toasted to! Your move sounds uber complicated. My hats off to you! Happy to hear that it was all worth the anxiety. Thanks for sharing it with me!
Tammy - Haas! Thanks, Lisa. I battle the “bitchies” and the tight chest thing daily. This has been the longest move in my history and I’ve had a dozen to call my own. I’m so over this waiting business I could scream…. or…. grab a cocktail and chocolate brownie bites.
Tammy - Thanks, Toni. I love the reassurance and hope that you are right on. I brought with me our 5 live plants and have strewn then around the hotel room to help make it homey. No such luck (I couldn’t pack them in the storage or they would die). No matter what I do, it’s a hotel room. If I didn’t have the animals I’d be out (in this heat) running around checking places out. But noooooooo! Argh! Better days ahead! Thanks for sharing!
Nancy Hill (@Nerthus) - I’ve lived in the same place for 25 years. I can’t imagine moving, or living in a hotel with my husband, dog and two cats… for any length of time. You are a STRONG woman, Tammy!
Tammy - Thanks, Nancy. Becoming less strong by the minute! We celebrated our one week anniversary here last night doing laundry with two paper cups and a bottle of wine. Good times!
Estelle Sobel Erasmus - I know it’s rough now, but soon these bleak days will just be an old memory.
Lois Alter Mark - Moving, like all change, is hard. We moved across the country 16 years ago and, although we never would have imagined living on the West Coast, it was one of the best things we ever did. Wishing you lots of love and strength and patience!
Sue - I always think about how much I want to move and looking forward to a new area, but as I get older I know I will miss my home ground when we move. Thanks for sharing your experience and wisdom along the way to a new life.
Mary - Moving is never easy! But, I’m sure not far in the future this will be but a distant memory.
Tammy - Thanks, Estelle. Counting the days… hours…. minutes! Someday we will look back at laugh at all this. Just not today. Haaaaa!
Tammy - Sue, I miss a lot already BUT am looking forward to forging new memories and new haunting grounds. Mostly… just looking forward to getting out of this hotel! Pretty sure the pets are too! So happy to have you pop in! Thanks for that.
Tammy - From your mouth to Gods ears, Mary. Appreciate the read!
Kimba - “I’ve come to the conclusion that leaving a life behind is never easy, no matter how anxious you are to start a new one.” Agree, it can be difficult. First things first: Happy Hours in the Palm Desert area: http://www.yelp.com/search?find_desc=Best+Happy+Hour&find_loc=Palm+Desert%2C+CA Wish I was there to buy the first round.
Cynthia Greene Jordan - Oh I feel your pain. We are remodeling our kitchen and master bath and being without a kitchen for the past month is grueling to say the least. I learned quickly to eat on paper plates after washing dishes in the bathtub! We’re trying to adapt and not eat out every day as that can be pricey…but having only a grill and a microwave isn’t my idea of being a creative cook…trying to sell our old appliances to no avail…keeping our frig in the dining room for convenience. It’ll all be over in a few more weeks for me and for you…and it can’t be too soon.
Tammy - Hi Kimba, you are a wonder! THANK YOU! These recommendation are awesome. I knew about a couple of them but happy to have the list. Woohoo!
Harriet - This is really exciting! It is great when you move forward to a new place, a new life! Moving process is always pretty stressful but as long that it’s over you will forget the stressful moments and you will remember just the excitement! :)I wish you all the best! Greetings, London Removals Ltd.