My husband and I entertained ourselves and profited from moving. We started in Portland in 1994, 6 months before we were even married. Like many people, we found a little fixer, painted, refinished hardwoods, put in built-ins, added tile, dolled up the yard, and two years later, sold for a profit and did it again. By the 6th house, we were tired of packing, and schlepping and we had found our ideal house. We added the built-ins just so to hold our family treasures and fit our life in Bend. Well things changed. Our careers ceased to pay the bills. We could no longer afford the ideal house. This past weekend we moved from the house we thought was the 30 year house. We became renters instead of owners. I can see the positive of all of this sometimes, but yesterday, as I was supposed to be packing, all I wanted to do was throw everything out. Renters are transient right? A landlord can ask you to leave. Walls can't be painted, lawns aren't supposed to be replaced with gardens. Where do the books go? Why do I still have scrap books from the second grade and boxes with my cheer leading patches and my headgear? I called my best friend. My friend who was my roommate in college, my partner in Cowgirl Cash, the friend who saw every house I ever owned, and heard every change I planned to make. I cried on the phone to her, and told her I wanted to throw it all away. If there is no place for it, why have it? What is so important about 4 years each of high school yearbooks. 1982-1985 of Lincoln High school right next to 1982-1985 of Bend High school? I cried and I cried. I pulled myself off the couch, and went back to packing. My parents showed up 20 minutes later in their big truck. As they tried to ease my sadness over my unpleasant life change my dad joked about his parents. He said grandma Mary and Grandpa Fred used to say the seventh move was the equivalent of a total loss fire. I got it. I found comfort that my grandma 50 years earlier felt like throwing everything away.
I got through the day and tried to keep the authentic, beautiful, practical things. The Lincoln yearbooks, (my husbands) made it. The Bend High ones, did not. The kids are excited about their new rooms and their new neighborhood. They don't care if there is no longer a perfect cupboard for the games and books.
I am trying to hold tight to my belief that life is the sum of your experiences, not your built-ins. It will all be fine.