Big news! The Menagerie is moving.
That’s right. In about 6 weeks the whole maniacal household is up and changing location. The new humble abode is only about five miles from where we are currently living, but the amount of work involved in this whole process might as well be sending us to another planet.
A dear friend of mine has made a series of moves over the last few years that make this one look like changing seats at the dinner table. She gave me the best advice, “Purge, pack, and pray!”
There is something cathartic about purging. It’s not something I do often enough (unless my often bad case of vocal diarrhea counts) as I am probably on the borderline of some hoarding spectrum. I don’t have a pantry full of rats, but I did dig out 5 formal gowns from the back of my closet that ranged from 12-25 years old. Had I thought there was a reasonable chance any one of them would have zipped up the back, I would have thrown one on for the remainder of that day’s work. Purging is not only a physical, but also a mental act of letting go. It’s a great feeling to admit that those acid-wash size 7 jeans will never fit or be in style again and let them go. It’s freeing to admit that I will never finish the half-sewn project in the basement. Yes the material is beautiful. Yes it would have been brag-worthy to show off my pillowcases-turned-into-aprons collection, but everyone knows I don’t cook anyway! Our kids are at the perfect age to roto-root their closets and drawers too. The Boy Child is too old for plastic figures, or toys of any kind really, and the Girl Child has been uncharacteristically comfortable with letting go of many of her craptastic treasures of the past 8 years. It feels like losing weight. Freedom. Gutting closets and hauling out load after load to the trash and Goodwill has given me a fresh perspective. I told my husband that we should just pretend to move at least every 3-5 years and purge like this. He said, “That sounds like a lot of work we won’t actually do.” Always the voice of reason!
Packing isn’t anywhere near the level of release as purging. Anything packed will then have to be unpacked. We rented a storage unit to store away several tons of clutter so that our house will be cleanly ‘staged’ for prospective home buyers. We will get to live for the duration of showing the house like we should always live; clean, uncluttered, and organized. What a riot! I’m as nervous as a first-time cross dresser trying to ‘pass’ in public! Most guests are given a shovel and a flare gun upon entering our house. Even then about only half ever find their way out. **I did find a few in the back of a closet while purging.** I started slowly but then found my rythm in packing. We’ve just about packed our storage unit, Tetris style, and somewhere in there may be a kid or a dog… but the house is looking great!
Praying has been the most effective tool of this adventure! I’m not usually one who likes change. I like the predictability and comfort of routine. Moving is the opposite of all that! This has been a move we’ve been discussing for years. We have gone through spurts for about the last four years of looking into houses and properties. We’ve always wanted some acreage. We’ve needed more garage and work space for years. Even my amazing husband can’t make four vehicles and a trailer fit into a two-car garage. I won’t get all mumbo-jumbo on you, but the stars definitely lined up for us with this property. It is everything we’ve always listed to the universe that we have wanted. We couldn’t walk away. That doesn’t mean the decision left us void of anxieties, questions, and fears. We’ve loved our house and neighborhood for 9 years… is it really time to move? Pray! Pray! Pray! The peace that comes from praying about something and feeling the calm reassurance of prayers answered is truly a blessing.
Purging, packing, and praying! This has been my summer so far. I’m lucky that I had lined the kids up for big camps in these first few weeks of summer. I’m even luckier to have great friends who are willing to come help me with the “Triple Ps” while their kids and mine entertain themselves.
This is a new chapter of life in the Rhea Family. We’re ready. It’s the second move for Boy Child and the first for Girl Child. The Husband and I have moved so many times collectively that I think we are professionals. I was trying to count how many different houses I’ve lived in for my children and excluding my college years of moving almost every semester, the count came to 14. This will make 15…
Let the good times roll!