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No joy in moving

I hate using the word hate, but … I hate moving. There, I said it. Just to make myself clear: There’s nothing I despise more than moving my worldly possessions to a new dwelling.

I’m the kind of bloke who likes to find a cozy place, and stay put for 10 to 15 years or more. Of course: “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans,” wrote journalist Allen Saunders. And boy was he right.

I had found a perfectly inviting 38-foot cabin two and half years ago located right in downtown Westwood, and at an affordable price. It held everything I owned, required modest snow shoveling in the winter due to its close proximity to the street, included just a few stairs to the outside world, and with a great landlord who I gladly call a friend.

Unfortunately for me, the parcel I lived on all those years was sold to Dollar General, with the purpose of establishing a low-priced retail outlet downtown.

Even as I meticulously planned my move, however, it remained unclear whether or not the company was genuinely interested in the large plot of land that included a total of 10 cabins, three of which were livable.

Apparently, my landlord said there remained a chance the giant corporation might drop out before escrow was scheduled to close.

Just my luck, I thought to myself, if after all the work and stress of moving, it later turned out that the move was unnecessary.

Nevertheless, for three days at the beginning of the month, I labored strenuously with the help of a few friends and my brother to transfer 60 years of accumulated stuff — some might say junk — from my cabin to an upstairs apartment across the street with what must have had 1,000 stairs or more.

At least it felt that way when one’s arms are stacked with boxes of old books or struggling to lift an unwieldy Tempur-Pedic double wide mattress upstairs that seemed to have a mind of its own.

Seeing dozens of boxes strewn about haphazardly in different rooms waiting for their final resting place is daunting. A number of times I considered just sitting in a chair staring into space waiting for death.

At such times, coping is a process of keeping madness under control by telling oneself repeatedly that it will soon be over.

Everyone agrees that moving is chaotic and emotionally draining. No one really likes packing and lugging around furniture.Yet the relocation process is a lot easier to accept when friends help you through the burden. For that I am grateful.

It was a good opportunity to get rid of some old things I didn’t really need anymore, which is always a conundrum; the rapid dismantling of a carefully ordered space and then deciding where everything fits inside the new habitat is exhausting in itself.

The question naturally arises as to what should be thrown out and what is worth keeping? Is this item or those old papers actually valuable or merely sentimental, hopelessly outdated, obsolete or redundant?

“I don’t need this kind of ordeal!” I said out loud to no one in particular. Pitching a two-man tent in the forest by a babbling brook would have been a lot easier, I concluded.

I’m convinced there’s nothing that can actually make moving enjoyable, short of an electrode that zaps the pleasure center of your brain every time you fill another 2-cubic feet of space.

Still, as I stand back and meditate about my situation, I remind myself that I’ve turned a new chapter in my life. Transition may be a pain in the rear end, but the only thing constant in life is change, as they say,and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Already I’ve met some new neighbors who have made me feel welcome. Knowing the local natives are friendly takes some of the sting out of the hassle of a move, and definitely has helped me feel more settled in my new home environment.

Now that I’ve completed my move about, I’ll be spending a number of days after work and on the weekends finding where everything goes again, a task that fills me with some trepidation.

Although my new apartment is more expensive than my previous beloved cabin, there is a bright side to consider as well: Once all is said and done, a roof over one’s head is its own reward and a blessing.

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