Monday, August 12, 2013

In which I offer 10 not very practical tips for surviving a move (Just Write)

From a twilight run in Jasper, where I found my happy place / pace.
I know I said I'd be back with the rest of the story from Jasper onward, but that was before All The Things came, before my tail spin into a bottomless dish pack.

And just to be clear, dear Pedro--weakest link on the packing team--the box labeled "boys bedding" was actually a bunch of pictures and frames and old towels. That made me super mad, and I wanted to hit you on the head with the frying pan I couldn't find for two days. But don't take it personally. I've wanted to hit a lot of things with a frying pan lately.

On the bright side, I do have a chair now. Time to sit, however, not so much...


Yesterday, C had a melt down about not wanting to play the piano and about how no one loves him anymore, apparently because we were making him play the piano. This is quite atypical for my normally even-keeled boy. (The dramatics are his sister's bailey wick.)

So I told him to put on his shoes and follow me. As we ran around the block in the rain, I relayed the story about how earlier this week, I got so angry and frustrated and discouraged that I hid in the closet and cried and thought bad words and wanted to stomp holes through the floor.

"You did?" He looked up at me with surprise, like it was a relief not to be the only crazy one in the family.

"Yeah, I was a mess, Buddy. Daddy heard me and told me to forget about the boxes all over the floor and just go for a run. He was right about the run. It helped a lot. I cleared my head and prayed and thought about the good and beautiful things, like the cool weather and the fireweed and the mountains in our new backyard."

I squeezed his shoulder as we walked up the driveway. "So, did the run help a little bit?"

'Yeah, a little bit, I guess," he shrugged.

I rumbled his hair and moved his face toward me by the top of his rain-soaked little head. "Everything is harder right now, even the things that used to feel simple--like playing your easiest book on the piano. But it'll get easier, I promise."

"And Buddy?
You know I love you, right?"

He kicked off his shoes and cast me a sideways glance. "Yeah. I know."


You'll never see a post here touting 10 easy tips for surviving a military move. I seriously have no helpful advice on how to keep Pedro from mislabeling the bedding boxes. But if I had to give some tips, like if for instance someone held a packing tape dispenser to my head and said "MOVING TIPS! NOW! GO! That is, if you don't want this tape pulling every last red hair on your head...."

Then these would be my tips:
1) Blow off piano practice or unpacking or whatever it is that's making you crazy.
2) Then go for a run.
3) Find someone you love and
4) Give them a big sweaty hug.
5) Do the ugly cry together.
6) Say out loud just how discouraged you feel.
7) Then give voice to how blessed you are. (Reminder. Not being able to find your frying pan because you have too many boxes = first world problem.)
8) Write until you feel human again.
9) Go for another run. Give another big sweaty hug. Maybe take a shower too, if you can find the towels.
10) And when you finally find the frying pan, just put it away. Just put it away, and nobody gets hurt.

If these tips seem lame, keep in mind, I was under hypothetical duress when I came up with them. Also? I was just writing. I feel a million times better when I do that.


  1. those tips are SO not lame... they are probably the best moving tips ever!

    1. :-) Good for staying sane, perhaps. Not so good for staying organized, haha!

  2. I've moved more times than I'd like and that right there is some good advice. Hope you get settled in soon.

  3. MOVING IS SO HARD. (says the lady who still has boxes in her living room two months later.)

    You're sense of humor will help you prevail.

  4. It's true. Moving is a big ball of knotted yarn, and there's no way to get through it except get through it. Doing the things you need to recharge you and keep you from throwing frying pans is the most practical advice ever.

    I love how you didn't just tell C to take a run or tell him the story about how you ran earlier in the week. You ran WITH him and told him the story. Way to go, Mom. Seriously teachable moment right there.

  5. I love reading your adventure and I am so in love with these pictures! It must be absolutely amazing. And I can't imagine any move- and one to Alaska to say the least- not requiring at least one or ten big ugly cries. Missing you dear friend!