I never used to believe those lists you see from the mental health experts. You know the ones. Those things that list a major move among the most stressful experiences in life. I mean, it’s an adventure right? Out with the old and in with the new. How could moving be ranked only slightly lower than a death?
Okay, now … I get it. Seriously. The FDA should put out a warning about this. There should be PSAs on television – “Moving drives (howevermany) people stark-raving-mad per year. Don’t be a statistic. Call 1-888-move-safe.” Or perhaps U-Haul could provide After Move Hospice Care.
Yeah, I joke about it, but I have seriously boarded the moving-stress boat. However, I think I have uncovered part of the reason it can be so rough.
Life does not stop and get out of your way just because you are moving.
There are still the pressures of work. The phone still rings. People still ask favors. And in between times, you spend days wishing the gentleman at Town Hall possessed the skill to pick up the damn phone and return a call. You maybe take a few minutes to try to remember where you put your screwdriver because you packed it without thinking you might need it. And in the quieter moments, you ruminate on new jobs (a task which rates #18 on the Stress Meter all by itself).
And the sad fact slowly sinks in – There is no way to “sit back and enjoy it.” Even with the best wishes of friends, your own best intentions, and the smartest planning, it’s simply not possible. It’s one of those times during which you feel like sending a memo – “I don’t want to hear from anyone.” And in fact, I might just do that. We’ll see.
Recently, I’ve discovered a related meta-conundrum.
I wish I could find a way to respond to people who ask for dumb, lazy favors. Someone who is fully aware of this move emailed me today to ask if I would look something up on the internet for them. Something really complicated that they knew would be hard to find … Because, I am “so much better at that sort of thing.” Another person who is aware of what is going on asked me if I could come over and look at a home repair thing for them.
Wish there were a standard response. I feel like saying, “Oh, I’m so sorry. I didn’t realize you were so thoughtless. I thought I mentioned that I am packing up my entire life, trashing half my possessions, finding a new job, tearing a house down, and still working each day … I’m a little busy. Maybe you could do it yourself?” There lies the conundrum … You can’t say anything like that. You can’t make a big ugly deal out of what you have on your plate right now. “Oh, poor me, I need help. I need to be left alone.” Because then, I feel, you’re one of them. You’re making an assumption that you’re worse off than someone else.
Anyhow. I might eventually go with that memo idea. For the time being, two gin-and-tonics should do the trick.