Zen and the Art of Moving


The thing about moving is, no matter how much you accomplish, it looks like you haven't done a damned thing until your place is completely empty. I'm not a particularly tidy person, but for the most part everything has its place. It may not always be *in* that place, but it has somewhere to go when I get sick of it.

Nothing has a place when you move. Everything is everywhere and in the wrong place or in a half-packed box. You have to make hard decisions about what still means something to you and is it worth hauling to the next location. Then you come upon those items that still give you a little tug at the heart-strings but are no longer a part of your life. You may put them in the donate box, recycle them or just throw them out. But those little pangs of good-bye add up.

I think part of the reason moving stirs up so many emotions is that, well, moving Things about generally stirs Things up. We become comfortable in the status quo of our surroundings. The outside world is chaos: ever moving, ever changing, ever pushing us to keep up. When we come home though, nothing has changed. Everything is exactly how we left it. All of the things that keep us grounded surround us and comfort us. When we move, we stir the energy. It literally forces us out of our comfort zone. In fact, we really don't have one. What was once comforting is now every bit as chaotic as what we are trying to escape.

I could sit here and talk about the idealistic theories of non-attachment, but let's face it we're all attached. Moving forces us to come face to face with our attachments. Especially the attachments that no longer serve us. It's easy to ignore those things when you can hide them away. But moving brings every little thing to the front and center. Why do I still have this? Where did this come from again? Oh I loved this back when but I haven't used it in four years. Who the hell gave me this?! What the hell is this anyway?

In the end, all you can do is breathe through it, acknowledge the sentiment and sadness when it comes up, and try to keep one small place where you can go to find peace in the chaos.

Hiding under the covers of your bed counts.


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