The hardest part about moving isn’t the heavy lifting involved in moving furniture from your hold home into a new one, at least it is not for me.
Some of that is because I have a body built for demolition and heavy lifting so moving the heavy crap was never a problem for me.
Easy or not it never stopped me from hiring professional movers when I could. In my younger days it was because I figured my time was better spent taking care of other critical items the day of the move.
And now, well now I do it because even though I am still capable of moving the heavy crap I don’t always recover as quickly as I used to so I figure my time is better spent taking care of other critical items the day of the move.
But moving heavy crap isn’t where you learn the important lessons from moving, that is just where you find out if you are smart enough to recognize there is no prize for carrying the couch up or down stairs by yourself.
No, the lessons you learn from moving come during packing. They come when you realize just how much stuff you own and how you need to determine what you need and what you want.
They come when you realize how much effort is put into packing, shlepping and unpacking them and the realization that your time is so very limited.
I am not someone who has spent a ton of time wishing I was someone else.
Might have dreamed about being able to play basketball like Michael Jordan or play baseball like Willie Mays, but in my dreams I was and always am…me.
But there was a time when I thought it would be pretty damn cool to be Rick Blaine, Bogart’s character in Casablanca.
I always saw him as the definition of cool and human. I was 20 the first time I saw it and this exchange stuck with me.
Yvonne: Where were you last night?
Rick Blaine: That’s so long ago, I don’t remember.
Yvonne: Will I see you tonight?
Rick Blaine quote: I never make plans that far ahead.
Ofra Haza is singing Yerushalayim Shel Zahav and I am lost in thought about the move I didn’t make and those that are yet to come.
It stirs up memories of some of the best and worst moments of my life and a reminder that sometimes the universe pushes you out of your comfort zone.
Sometimes it forces you out of the nest and makes you figure out whether you can swim or whether you’ll drown.
The first time I moved to Texas I had that conversation with my son and he told me he wasn’t sure he believed in G-d and didn’t know if he liked my saying the universe was pushing us.
I told him it really didn’t matter whether it was dumb luck, fate, Karma or something else because life is always going to hit you with something.
Part of the so called human condition is understanding we are going to face challenges and that we can meet them head on or lie down and cry.
Hiding under the covers and crying in bed isn’t an option, at least not in my house so we have to find other ways to make things work.
Not long ago I had another conversation with my son about dealing with challenges and figured he was old enough to hear about my pseudo hero, Rick Blaine of Casablanca fame.
Little mister and I were talking and I told him we both could learn something from Rick and how he handled things.
“Dad, who is Rick and why should I care?”
“He is Rick Blaine. The guy got blindsided by the woman he loved, chased by Nazis and still managed to find a way to open the coolest club in Casablanca. And then just when he thought he was safe she found his gin joint, walked in, tore out his heart and turned his life upside down.”
“Dad, you know I don’t plan on having a girlfriend or getting married, why would you tell me this?”
“It is a damn movie and it is almost 2 AM. Stop asking me to make sense and explain why we are having this conversation in the middle of the night.”
The kid and I are still talking and he is rolling his eyes at me.
“I got a goofy father.”
“You got the goofiest but the ladies love goofy. Learn how to make them laugh and you’ll go far.”
“I am still not getting a girlfriend. ”
“I never said you are going to, but your hormones are probably going to disagree, but we’ll save that talk for a different time.”
Serious talk resumes and I tell him to remember there is rarely a straight path to success. I tell him to remember I haven’t always found the easy way to do things, but I always find a way to get them done and I expect he will too.
Lessons Learned From Moving
I work in sporadic bursts of high activity punctuated by short intermissions of thought.
It doesn’t lend itself to packing as well as I would like it to. Packing requires steady and consistent activity and though I get it done it grinds on me.
Might take me a moment to get going but once I do I am steady and I push hard to get it out of the way.
Strange to think about how many times I have moved in the last five years. Strange to think about how detached it has made me.
There are very few possessions and places that mean much to me.
Part of me appreciates the freedom that came from selling the house five years ago. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I have come to love it.
I can go anywhere and do anything. There are some limitations, but like many things in life most of those are self imposed.
Breaking The Chains
Though I have always know I could go anywhere and do anything it took moving a bunch of times for that to sink in and for me to start to experience the lessons that came with that particular freedom.
Until then it had never sunk in that the door leading out swung inwards and that I could open it at any time.
(End post, 29 minutes of free writing, hopefully it makes sense.)