Preparing to move homesteads

So, it seems strange to me. We’ve been planning to uproot the family from Phoenix and move to the Seattle area for two years now. All the research has been done, the locations scouted, jobs lined up, and every other step we could possibly think of in preparation. Right now, with a mortgage pre-approval, we’re finally bidding on houses where we want to move. And despite all of this planning I keep having momentary freak outs.

These are temporary transitional issues, and I never expected them to happen, but they do. “Is this the right idea?” “Will the kids hate the new schools?” “Will we find a house in time?” “Am I making the biggest mistake of my life?!” These moments of indecision are normally the type of thing I don’t mention to my wife. While she’s learned over the years to mostly just go with it when I get my crazy ideas, she also has enough faith in me that I’ll make sure whatever outcome we expect will happen. This situation is a natural one, everyone at one level or another, goes through this with every major decision, and the level of irrational or rational fear is generally in line with the amount of risk being taken.

This time, however, I believe that the wife was happy to know that I have these moments, as she’s been having them far more frequently than I of late. I’ve lived all over the country over the years, while she’s only ever lived in Phoenix. So I have to keep in mind that whatever fears I may have, hers are ten-fold greater.

I’m a huge fan of lists on yellow note pads. It’s something I learned from my father. He used to derive so much joy from the simple process of writing a list and then crossing items off said list. So each time I have one of these sudden, “oh my god,” moments I check my list. If the item is accounted for it’s on there. If not, I add it. Then I feel a lot better.

Looking at the list this morning, there’s more crossed off than not, and that’s reassuring. Those items still not crossed off are worrisome though. We still haven’t found a house yet, and we’re running out of time. We also have not entirely figured out what’s moving and what’s not. The “Stuff Problem” as I call it is probably what bothers me most. In my college years and into my 20’s I could fit everything I really needed into a large duffle bag. Everything else was disposable. Fast forward nearly (*cough*) 20 years (*cough*) and three kids later and we have this massive pile of stuff! Now, short of tools and cars, I’m not a fan of “stuff” but my family is.

Were we staying locally, it wouldn’t be so much of an issue. But we’re moving 1500 miles away. The cost to bring all this stuff with us is outrageous! The current fuel costs are high enough that they make me seriously question what it is that we really need. So we go through each room of the house every couple days and decide, “No, I don’t really need this thing” and it gets set aside into an ever growing pile of things to dispose of. But at the same time the existing collection of “Stuff” doesn’t seem to diminish!

I think, today, that our inability to get rid of the consumer junk we’ve acquired is probably the most stressful part of this move. I’m willing to bet that in two hours it’ll be something else entirely that’s making me crazy.

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