Fresh Living

moving-boxes.jpgDear readers, I’m moving.  My husband and I bought a single family house, and we are leaving our condo behind after 9 happy years here.  And following a full weekend of staging the condo for showings and initiating the packing process, may I just say….? 

This is really hard.

There are specific ways in which it’s hard, and each of these at different points this weekend sent me into a spiral of toxic, negative thinking.  So I’m making it my project in this post to do what my sister (a social worker) calls a “positive re-frame,” finding a positive way to articulate things that seem overwhelming and upsetting. 

So here are 5 toxic statements that wormed their way into my self-talk this weekend, along with their rescuing “positive re-frame” counterparts.

1. We live in filth – how could we let so much dust settle behind furniture, on top of books, under rugs?  This is shameful.

*Positive Re-Frame*: This move is giving us the opportunity to wipe clean every surface of our lives, and that’s a gift. Clearing away life-clogging dust feels good, is spiritually healthy, and it’s part of the process of making room for a clean start in our new home.  Plus, we haven’t been eating dinner behind the desk or under the bed; our home has been clean enough for us to live in healthily.  And no one moves all the furniture to clean every speck of dust with any regularity (um…do you?!?).   

2. We have so much junk.  Why do we keep every birthday card, every little gift, every random purchase?  We are pathetic pack rats.

*Positive Re-Frame*: How lucky we are–these objects are artifacts of a life where friends and family send cards and gifts, we have the ability to buy things that we enjoy, and we care enough about these things to have kept them until now.  If we no longer need some objects that we once thought were important, we can give them away to someone who does. Even if we put old cards into the recycle bin, we are still keeping all of the love and thoughtfulness that went into them in the first place.  This move is a chance to remember, a chance to give, and a chance to hold onto only that which is truly important.   

3. Why didn’t we do this earlier?  In an 1,100 square-foot condo, how can there be so many corners that haven’t been examined for years, drawers that haven’t been gone through and organized, clothes that haven’t been given away?  We wasted time.

*Positive Re-Frame*:  We’ve done plenty of clean-outs and give-aways over the year, but instead of spending our time organizing drawers, we’ve been spending that time actually living our lives.  How can that possibly have been a waste? 

4. Looking at our old stuff makes me realize how much we have changed.  Our tastes, our aesthetics, our needs are all so different from where they were 9 years ago.  Who are we now, anyway?

*Positive Re-Frame*: Isn’t this, in the most fundamental way, what we mean when we say “we’re moving?”  We’ve changed – yes, we have.  We’ve grown, we’ve matured, we’ve come into our adult selves.  We’re lucky enough to have done that together.  Who we are now and how we want to live is for us to discover and experience in our new home.  What a precious opportunity!

5. We will never finish – every time it looks like we’ve made a dent, I find another bag of pennies, another pair of gloves, another stash of wrapping paper.  Our “stuff” has no end.

*Positive Re-Frame*: Oh, please.  Everyone feels this way when they move.  And yet I’ve never read a newspaper headline that reads, “Couple Never Finishes Packing: ‘We Just Had Too Many Pennies.'”  So just like everything else in life, just keep plugging.  One step at a time.

Do you find moving as exhausting as I do?  How do you stay positive?   

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