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Finding calm amidst complete and utter chaos

Categories: Balancing Act, Parenting & Family, Your life


On Tuesday we’re moving to our new house.

I despise moving. I am pretty sure everyone despises moving, but right now I feel like I hate it more than anyone. This is the second time we’re moving in a year. Before that we moved three times in six years. Yes, I know this seems insane and I want to assure you that it absolutely is.

The first of these moves took place when our daughter was three months old and sleeping exactly 29 minutes at a time. We were subletting a fabulous rent-controlled apartment in New York City and received an eviction notice because well, we weren’t subletting it quite all-the-way legally. Fair enough. For some reason that move seemed to be the easiest — I think I was so sleep deprived that I didn’t fully register it.

The next time we moved our daughter was a year and a half and slept wonderfully — but we didn’t. Our upstairs neighbors loved 4am parties and 6am on weekend bowling matches and no amount of complaining we did to the management made any difference.

Our next move was the BIG LIFE CHANGE move from New York to Boston to be closer to family and great schools. We figured we’d stay in our little townhouse for a while, wait for the real estate prices to come down, and then buy our real adult house. We quickly realized that real estate prices where we live are only moving higher so we held our breath, tried not to faint from the price tag, and found our house. (It’s a much more entertaining story, involving almost being sued and almost buying a house with severe foundation cracks, but I’ll spare you. OK, I’ll spare myself, mostly.)

So here we are, amidst boxes, AGAIN. When we started this moving process — and oh, you know it’s a process — I was literally on the verge of tears from the stress. But somehow, I am feeling kind of… calm right now. It’s a really strange feeling — I am not calm by any stretch of the imagination — but I think I know why I feel this way: Our life is in such chaos that to stress about it would be completely useless.

Moving sucks. In the midst of this insanity I have more work than imaginable, have had a really tough few weeks of endless stress, and our daughter is now a hyper-active pre-schooler who has been helping a lot by unpacking the few boxes which I’ve managed to pack. (For the first time ever we allowed ourselves the luxury of having the movers pack most of the breakable stuff, but this hasn’t prevented the control-freak me from packing away.) If I didn’t feel some sense of we-can-survive-this calm I think I’d break.

There is a lesson somewhere in there that I should learn to implement on a daily basis, something about realizing that freaking out with stress when my work-life juggle gets to be too much is not all that productive. Maybe I’ll think about this more after the move.

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4 comments so far...

  • Oh My.
    Ok first contratz on the house
    Second, hire help, get help,

    and your daughter is unpacking. Ok, I know it’s frustrating but it’s sooo cute. That’s got to make you laugh or smile. :)

    Vera Babayeva  |  July 28th, 2008 at 11:35 pm

  • Oh, my. Geez, Nataly, you don’t do anything halfway, huh? All you need right now is a major surgery on top of all the rest. (Kidding! I’m kidding. Ow! Stop hitting me!)

    I suspect some of the Zen comes from knowing that this is (hopefully!!) your last move for a while. And THAT is a wonderful feeling. :)

    Mir  |  July 29th, 2008 at 8:38 am

  • oh you’re making my head spin!!! Two months ago I was all geared up to just pack and move when we put our house on the market. Now we’re still sitting here because the market isn’t in our favor and now I’m DREADING having to pack it all up and get out. Waahhhh. Perhaps we can have a moving pity party? Lots of wine. And whine.

    Mandy at Dandysound  |  July 29th, 2008 at 11:30 am

  • woohoo! a new house! i think you are feeling calm because this is one big stressor that has a defined beginning, middle, and an end and your compulsive self can neatly plan and make sense of it all! Even if it is chaos - it’s a known outcome. yay!

    AND SUPER yay for getting movers! They are a requirment when/if we ever move again!!!

    can i have wine even if not moving? :)

    Kate  |  July 29th, 2008 at 12:39 pm