I have definitely aged since the last time I moved. It’s been two days opening boxes, unwrapping paper from my things, climbing ladders to reach top shelves, crouching on my knees and reaching into back corner cabinets, and answering the call of seven moving men who want to know “where do you want this?”. I have never run a marathon, don’t ever plan to, but I feel like moving amounts to the ironman event, or I’m just showing my age. The joints in my fingers and hands are aching from handling so many things. And my poor legs and feet have been sore since yesterday afternoon. But it was nice to wake up to a perfectly clean, organized and clutter free kitchen.
We made good progress, from six in the morning until ten last night Craig and I opened and arranged the kitchen. In eleven moves, this is the first time Craig has ever helped me unpack, and it surprised him how hard it is to persevere and still see all the other boxes everywhere. He teased, next time he will make sure to plan a business trip. It was fun to do it together and though I miss Kira so much, I am so relieved his mom has her at the apartment. This place is no place for a baby…yet, and she is what is driving me so hard, the reason I’m aching and sore, because I’m in a RACE to make it safe so she can be here with us.
Downsizing is a difficult thing to do. Setting up the kitchen had three groups: what we use all the time, what we use occasionally, and what needs to go to the Good Will. The decisions had to be made with rapid fire and no feelings attached. Donny hovered over the good will box and made a fourth pile: what goes with Donny to college. We have shelving in the storage room for the kitchen things we use occasionally, and if I don’t go fetch them in the next year they too will be on their way to the Good Will. I won’t live in a crowded house. I put my crystal stemware from our wedding in the goodwill box. I never ever use it, and after twenty years the sentimentality has worn off. It’s a good feeling to be lighter. This reminds me of the writing process. The edit is so important, and as my good friend and writing coach Madeleine used to tell me, “you have to be willing to cut out your darlings in order to make the overall piece flow and communicate just right.” Being a good editor is a skill that requires practice. (I spend more time editing my blogs than writing them. True.)
Downsizing is the best thing we have ever done, but it’s not easy to do. It’s similar to wearing jeans three sizes too big for a long time. Eventually I would grow into those jeans and not really notice. But if I were handed a new pair three sizes smaller, I’d have to grunt and squeeze, and “go without” until they fit. I prefer to be lean. This shedding weight in a house hold manner is overall good for my health. And I know what it’s going to give me back: TIME, precious, precious time to use in better ways than on a house. Since I have five kids, and an orphanage in Uganda, I could use that time for them.
The movers are a little more concerned about our downsizing than I am. He said, “that’s a 30,000 pound house and you have 50,000 pounds of goods. It’s not going to fit.” I thought, the books are not negotiable, they stay. I’m sure no one likes to move a book collector. So, I said, don’t worry, I’ll get rid of things we don’t use, storage is being built, it will take time but we’ll manage. The president of the moving company lives in town and he came to visit, twice. This was so interesting. He offered us the use of a storage facility until we have our book cases and closet built and he’ll deliver them for us when we call. Nice! So all my books and my whole wardrobe went back on the truck and when it’s time to think about them, they will be delivered.
This must be a perk for being married to the head of HR for one of the bigger companies in the area. This guy knows who makes the decisions on which moving company to hire, and he knows his wife is going to be the one who makes the mark either green or black. He didn’t have to go so far (but I am glad he did) because this is the Ateam of all moving companies. I couldn’t be more impressed by their work. If anyone you know is moving, you have to contact me and find out who to call. They have been a dream for me. They have set everything up, put all things back together, they are clean, careful, and courteous. So, here I go, Hi Ho Hi Ho, off to work I go. But first a Tylenol for the aching muscles in my old “boss lady” body.
(I just got a new pile of photos from Phiona so tomorrow I’ll share what’s going on in the orphanage!)