We are six weeks away from The Big Move. Six weeks. Both interminable and breakneck. There have been times over the past two weeks that I have been so overwhelmed with the task of once again relocating our family that I can’t even manage to literally take a deep breath. It’s like my lungs are just as panicked as my brain. I’m in need of some serious relaxation techniques and am regretting quitting that yoga class after one lesson back in 2005.
Everything seemed to kick into overdrive last week; mortgage lenders, insurance companies, assorted inspections, contract negotiations, school registration. It all was happening and all at the same time. The phone didn’t stop ringing and my email inbox was filled with Things People Needed. I finally took some time this past weekend to make one huge to-do list in an effort to not let anything fall through the cracks over the next few weeks. If it’s on the list, I won’t forget to get it done. I may or may not have written down “shower regularly.”
The only thing keeping me from complete full-body panic is perspective. After all, it’s JUST a move. I’m not facing some horrible, unpredictable and unexpected life event. I mean, we kind of brought all of this on ourselves so the stressful finger-pointing only comes full circle. How do people do this with frequency? My best friend moves every two to three years TO A DIFFERENT COUNTRY for her husband’s career and she has four school-age children and I basically need to get a grip, is what I’m saying.
Much like animals, children can sense when you’re weak. When your defenses are compromised. When your mood is precariously balanced between “lots to do” and “imminent doom.” And, our children have been a mess lately. There is whining, complaining, in-fighting and general non-compliance. Everyone has been thrown off routine through a combination of multiple snow days and big-changes-are-coming angst. I know their behavior is a direct result of our own anxiety but it still seems egregious, amongst everything else on our plate, to have to so fiercely police the boys as they come to blows over one (1) individual Lego. Thanks for piling it on, little people in our care.
It was a good thing then, that my parents drove out for a last-minute visit last week. Their presence elevated the mood in the house immediately. There is something about the way my mother and father are always so incredibly positive about big life events that makes you feel you can accomplish anything. You need to talk, call them anytime. You have a problem, they will offer you a solution. You need something organized/installed/cleaned, they will be right over.
Not only did the number of crafts completed in the house increase by 100 percent during their visit, but the amount of packing increased by the same. In six hours last Thursday, my dining room went from completely bare to this:
Apparently, if you want something done? Stick two retired people on the task. My father was running around to stores buying boxes as quickly as my mother could pack them. At one point, she took an actual thing out of my hand that I was actually using to wrap it in paper and tuck it away in a box. There are no pictures on the walls and no knick-knacks anywhere. All packed. The boys were bored this weekend and I told them to grab a game to play from the cabinet but, surprise!, they couldn’t. Because my dad had packed them all. I couldn’t believe all the progress they made in ONE DAY. They really are the greatest generation.
Of course, now that they’ve departed, I’m back to just staring at the (empty) walls feeling overwhelmed again. However, I do have a new-found confidence that it will all get done. And, if it doesn’t get done, I’m pretty sure it will get done eventually. Right? Maybe don’t answer that.