As much as this headline might scream that it’s about Donald Trump 😉 , it’s not! It’s about moving – from homes and cities, from jobs and institutions, and from situations we might be stuck in. And learning lessons from moving.
Lessons From Moving
Recently, a blogger I know, Ramya Abhinand shared that she and her family were moving from one naval base to another city. She mentioned that it was time to say goodbye to their home of a few years and shared these lovely words.
“Packing up. The nagging worry of departure. When shutting drawers and flinging wide a wardrobe, or the impersonal shelves of a furnished villa, I am aware of sadness, of a sense of loss. Here, I say, we have lived, we have been happy. This has been ours, however brief the time. We leave something of ourselves behind. Nothing material, not a hair-pin on a dressing-table, not an empty bottle of Aspirin tablets, not a handkerchief beneath a pillow, but something indefinable, a moment of our lives, a thought, a mood. This house sheltered us, we spoke, we loved within those walls. That was yesterday. Today we pass on, we see it no more, and we are different, changed in some infinitesimal way”from Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
With Dad being in the army, moving out was an integral part of my childhood. We moved houses, cities and schools every second year. After Dad retired too we moved quite a few times until he bought a house. My Mum was an ace packer – she had boxes and crates ready to move at short notice, so moving out never seemed like a big deal. It was always exciting to go to a new town and a new school, but hard too to let go of friends and familiar places.
What I Learned From Moving
As Du Maurier’s words go, these houses, towns, experiences and people did change me in ways that are hard to explain. And I of course, took that for granted when I was younger. Now I look back and see what I learned from moving.
#1 Don’t be too attached to material things (the one exception for me is books!) – nothing lasts forever.
#2 Resilience – realizing that we can land on our feet after set backs and unexpected changes in life situations.
#3 Adjustment – I can adjust to new places, new situations, and new people quite easily.
#4 Inconveniences are a part of life. There’s no point grumbling too much about things not going exactly the way we want it to.
#5 Every new situation is a chance to learn something new.
#6 No matter what changes around us, we must stick to our core values – that’s all that lasts in the long run.
#7 There’s good and bad in every culture. We can’t put a culture or practice down without trying to figure out why it’s there in the first place.
#8 It’s never too hard to cultivate new relationships and while old friends are important, we don’t have to get down and depressed without them.
#9 Be grateful for what you have while you have it. Sometimes, you take for granted all that you have, until you don’t have it anymore!
#10 Self-reliance is important – we must learn to be strong. While we do need other people, we can’t demand and expect them to drop everything and be there for us.
Giving Thanks and What We Leave Behind
These days when I move house and even when I move out of a hotel room, I give thanks for the place for sheltering me and pray that the next person who occupies it will also be safe and well. And that’s what I leave behind – good wishes.
Have you moved around a lot? What are the lessons you’ve learned from moving?
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Well, I can relate to most of the points mentioned in the post. We have moved to many cities as I changed jobs. The big plus is getting to know a new culture. That makes up for a lot of the downsides.
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I’ve lived in Pune in the 70s as a kid in a Cantonment, but I’m sure your experience of Pune culture would be so different from mine.
This is great advice. I’ve lived in my home for almost 20 years and since day one I’ve acquired a lot of stuff. We’re planning to sell our home and move soon and I’m finding it hard to let go of a lot of things. I’m saving this post as reference to look back on!
Oh wow! 20 years is indeed a long time. Good luck with your move, Michelle.
Wonderful advice! When I was growing up, I lived in the same house until I got married. My husband and I (and our kids) moved a few times until we built the house we are living in now, but we’ve been here for over 30 years. Now we are empty nesters and ready to look for a smaller house. Purging posessions feels good! Your 10 lessons come in very handy for me right now!
Ah! I often wonder how it must feel to live in a house for that long. Makes so much sense to downsize. Good luck with the transition, Laurie.
Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au
Hi Corinne – we never moved as a family when I was a child/teenager and I wonder how different I’d be if we did? I think I’d have hated being unsettled and making new friends etc, but I also think it would have done me good and made me more resilient and accepting of change (like you mention). Life is interesting in how it teaches us different lessons – even in the upsetting and unsettling times – and that’s where the growth happens.
Yes, we never know our inner strength and ability to adapt until we’re put in situations that require change. I know you’re experience of ‘moving’ of another kind, has led you to great discoveries of yourself, Leanne.
Not getting attached and carrying all the positive memories is the key. Thankfully, even though i’ve kept moving, i am still happy and excited with every move.
Right you are, Ruchi. Glad that you are still excited about moving!
In the past 4 years, my husband and I have moved three times. I’ve learned that it’s possible to let go of “material” things. Sure, there are some things that I cannot let go of like family possessions passed down from grandparents to parents to me. But I can let go of most. In fact…it’s very liberating to downsize and declutter.
Oh that’s a lot of moves in a short time, Jen. I understand about keeping family heirlooms, but isn’t it amazing how much unnecessary stuff we collect.
So much wisdom in this post.
We have lived in our home nearly 27 years, and it’s easy to become settled in ways that are lazy. I don’t want to become like a dragon in a cave, sleeping on all my treasure.
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Ah like the metaphor of the dragon, Michele! 🙂
These points about moving seem to be straight from my diary, except for the people aspect. After making moves 4-5 times in the last 10 years, I have now decided I have had enough of the packing and moving aspect of life. I now wish to stay in one place, which is Bangalore, for the rest of my life.
Glad that you’re back in India, Anamika and settling in one place! I appreciate how hard it can be to make new friends for some of us.
In my opinion, the most difficult thing about a place to move is adjustment. that’s the experience that I’ve ever faced.
Greetings from me in Indonesia.
Yes – that’s something we must learn to do.
Anne from AnnesHappyClues
Hi Corinne, as always, I enjoyed your post. I also grew changing countries and moving several times. As you say, you become quite resilient and then home is really wherever you decide it is in that moment in time. I’ve learnt so much and I wouldn’t change it for the world but there is also a certain loneliness that comes with moving all the time. For me anyway. Having said that, I know my friends ‘back home’ will always be there and we still have each others’ backs even when so far apart 🙂
Oh wow! Changing countries must be even more difficult. I understand what you mean about the loneliness as I experienced it as a child, because added to the moves I had two older brothers – so being an only girl added to the having to play with ‘imaginary’ friends! 😉
I have been moving all my life. After getting married it became international moves. It’s time to set my tent somewhere and stay put I feel.
Loved the lessons shared here, Corinne. Each move leaves me with a sort of emptiness at the same time I also dream about what’s in store. And the transient relations they stay with me long after the shift. One of my favorite activities is remembering the routines that happened in a previous house. It fills me with warm feelings for some reason. 🙂
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I guess we all do have a longing for a ‘forever’ home, right? I like your ritual about routines. Thanks for sharing, Vini.
Those are some great lessons to have learnt from moving! I haven’t moved too often – though most of my moves have been big ones: moving out of home to a new city for work, moving to a different state for love, and finally moving into our own home. Each move, though, has taught me a lot along the way…
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Thank you for sharing, Shinjini. These are big moves alright.
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After moving here to the US, we lived in the same apartment for 7 yrs! When we first decided to move, the first thing I did was to downsize and it was so freeing! After that, we’ve moved twice now and both times, it’s been easy and hard. Easy because we don’t have much stuff except for books and clothes/shoes and hard because of the big stuff like beds, dressers etc. But, both times, I cleaned stuff out! I plan on doing some cleaning the coming weeks because we’ve been in our current place for a year now 🙂