I haven’t moved in 32 years.
I’m glad I work out.
Oh, we've taken a year Sabbatical to a foreign country. But that isn't moving. That's not downsizing. Downsizing, divesting of your belongings to get out of your house, is mental and physical torture. And I'm a sixties kid.
It's the work, the constant rearranging, reorganizing, revising, rethinking, more than anything, that kills you, and the thought of the shlepping.
Not that we didn’t hire movers; a wonder, these professionals. You sign on the dotted line, agree to pay for their time and effort, and for the bubble wrap, the wardrobes, boxes and tape, if you're not careful. Then you watch, spellbound, as they pack your cherished possessions at lightening speed. You feel you’re on a reality TV show, keep looking at your watch.
People tell you to make three piles, but you knew that, learned that lesson moving your mother to her retirement home: one to donate, one to pitch, another to sell. Your piles seem very high, your trash overflowing. You can’t believe that you can really live with a third, perhaps a quarter of the things you thought you needed to live a quality life.
You forget things like extension cords, your jacket, coffee filters, the 1/8 measuring cup for the beans, travel mugs. Your partner keeps asking you where questions, and you shrug, have no idea. The loss of control is fun. Your attitude about these things is positive. In other circumstances, having no idea where your travel mug might be would unravel you, send you into a finding frenzy.
When the van gets to your new destination, and the men begin to haul things inside, you have to make the big decisions-- what goes where. You change your mind a few too many times, in your empathetic opinion. At some point feel sorry for the guys, stop asking them if they wouldn’t mind, just one more time, moving the bedroom dresser, the armoire, even the dining room table to yet another spot then back to the original.
You remember measuring several times to be sure everything fit. When it does, you feel brilliant. But your calculations aren't 100%, and when you can't cram a nightstand into the corner you are up late at night with your partner, working a new solution.
It is something you didn’t think you really needed, but then you decided you did need. He disassembled then reassembled it hours after the movers have come and gone. Together you attempt to move the bed so the piece will fit, but you are moving it on thick carpet, not the wood floors you had at home. The screws holding the headboard together (a three piece monstrosity) disengage. Things get crazy. The headboard is too heavy, reattaching what has now perhaps permanently detached is going to be impossible tonight, if ever.
No marital conflict here. You look at one another, the panic in all four of your collective eyes. You are both very tired. You do your best, use the box from the new microwave with the annoying flashing clock to support the part of the unit that might otherwise crash, wake the entire building in the middle of the night, perhaps kill you. Tomorrow you will get a better box.
The apartment lets in more sun than your old house ever did, and for this you are grateful. Because the heat is paid for in the assessment, it pours into the bedroom and you can sleep with the window open, even though it is in the forties outside, so you sleep like a rock.
You would anyway, of course.