Dr. Val Farmer
Rural Mental Health & Family Relationships

After An Adventure In Moving

November 10, 1997

Nine reasons for not moving:

1. Leaving dear friends, relatives, business colleagues and sentimental places is painful. Saying goodbye is hard. Giving up the convenience and efficiency of your life pattern is hard.

2. Your children are secure in their own worlds and won't like the idea. A high school student will object in ways that only a teenager can and still lay claim to being almost civilized. Adult children will experience loss as you eliminate their reasons to go back "home." A dog will take it personally and seek out a twelve-step program for abandonment.

3. When you're getting your home ready for sale you do all the nice things for the new owner you never did for yourself. Repairs. New paint everywhere. New carpets. Little things. Big things. Expensive things. Lots of work!

4. Not all potential buyers will love your home. If fact, just a few will even be intrigued. Most will reject the place you've lived and loved for seemingly no reason at all. This is "thick skin" time. Be away when buyers come, no matter when they come. Every realtor's card offers hope. The more cards the better, even if these hopes are quickly and routinely dashed.

5. The psychology of making offers and counteroffers has its own roller-coaster anxieties, no matter which side of the deal you are on.

6. If you are buying a house from a relocation company - from my experience - you have a better chance of negotiating a deal with the North Korean government.

7. Want major stress? How about looking, finding or trying to buy a new house in a new community while your old home is still unsold? You lay your financial soul bare to the lending institution and many others who want to know if you are a "qualified" buyer.

8. Finding, packing, handling and moving boxes is a lot of work. Double that for items that don't fit into boxes. The same can be said for camping out among boxes, unpacking the boxes, finding a place for each item unpacked and then changing your mind a few times. Triple the hassle for big pieces of furniture. Taking apart and reassembling old waterbeds will challenge the viability of most relationships.

9. Why cut yourself loose to flounder and struggle with making a new life somewhere else? It's like starting from scratch when the mature, stable side of us doesn't want to deal with that much stress again -ever.

Nine reasons for moving:

1. Our ruts have grown deep. Moving will bring us growth and needed experiences. There are new places to go, new things to see, new people to meet, new things to try, new things to learn. The part of us that likes a challenge and new adventures will like this "adventure in moving."


2. Children are resilient and adapt much easier than adults. They need a few new friends and they are off and running. Even high school seniors. Don't leave them behind.   Research has shown that a "few" moves during childhood are good for the social development of children and makes them more flexible and resilient for coping with challenges in the future. The parents' well-being and happiness come first. If they are being smart about their lives, then the happiness of children will fall into place.

3. Moving is good exercise.

4. A realtor that is selling your house is as much a psychologist and a friend as you will ever need at a vulnerable time in your life. A realtor helping you buy a house has to be a tactful psychologist who figures you out, agrees with you, leads you without saying too much and lets you make up your own mind.

5. Moving is a time when you need a friendly banker in your life. Their work behind the scenes can speed up things and make things happen when you are desperate for speed and action.

6. You get rid of a ton of junk that has built up over the years. It is a chance to simplify and to live more simply. It is a delight to see the garbage mount and be carried away. The garage sale relieves you of "junk" and the new owners of your "treasures" thrill with their newly found bargains.

7. You will make new friends. Some will be real lifesavers in helping you get a new start. Before long you will be surrounded by people who care about you and will be your friends.

8. We shed ourselves down to the most essential family and the lifelong friends who will continue to support our journey in life, no matter where we are. It is OK. We lean on each other, help each other and go through hard times together.

9. As much as you hate to admit it, moving may make sense. Circumstances in life make it possible to weigh the benefits of moving against the emotional and physical costs of moving. Just like any major life change, people don't move until they have to.

Moving is painful medicine. It is good for you. But don't do it too often if you can help it.