We are a week into the new year and the critical and most meaningful stage of the “big family project” for 2022 has begun with construction starting on our house renovation finally after a year and a half of planning. In other words, shit just got real.
Over the past week, my wife and I have sold most of our furniture and appliances and put everything else we own into a storage unit, garden shed, or into our tiny converted garage office room. We’ve officially started squatting at our in-law’s place nearby, bringing all manner of probably expired jars from the fridge, miscellaneous bags of food from the cupboard, a shockingly wide-ranging assortment of shoes, and “aromatic” dog food and blankets with us.
We aren’t in our element, but in some ways we are. We moved to Scotland in 2019. We moved from our initial rental house to our current house we bought in 2021. Now in 2022, we’re moving out (and eventually back in) again. A few of observations from this past week:
- Even moving as much as we’ve done, it’s really disorienting to be out of your routine and in-between places. I forgot to bring my wallet when taking the kids out to a birthday party yesterday. I have spent the past week constantly walking in circles looking for my gloves, socks, belt, watch, or any other manner of things. I have three different sets of keys and don’t know where at least one is at any one point in time. It is chaos and that is ok. I have to be more present moment-to-moment just to function.
- Despite the chaos, the hardest parts of moving (I should say that in quotes, as nothing in our privileged life is hard compared to many) is mostly imagined. The belongings you are worried about losing or getting damaged don’t really matter as much to you as you think they do. The routines and habits you think are going to be disrupted aren’t actually disrupted that much. What was I afraid of exactly? Why did I stress over those lists?
- Tasks (like moving) take as long as you give them. It still amazes me how much time I think I have to get things organized for a move (we’ve been planning this for months) and then how little time I really needed once the move finally happens (we sold, packed, and moved most everything in a just three weeks). Deadlines and constraints make things much more simple and essential. What other projects do I have that I think are going to take me months? What if I gave myself a month to complete them? What about two weeks?
How long is it going to take? That is the million-dollar question. The estimate is 84 days (12 weeks) but I’ll be generous and give ‘em a couple of weeks extra and say we’re hoping to be back in just before Easter (like April 14th), so 98 days instead.
We are very lucky to have such generous parents who allow us to take up residence with them. I’m also very thankful that I’m still young and fit enough to lift and move an entire house worth of legos, clothes, appliances, and books.
We’re 4 days down, just 94 left, and looking over the edge.