July—A Great Month for Embracing Change
According to the people who provide services in my neighborhood, the last weekend in July is the most popular for moving. Whether it‘s cross-country or a move around the corner, that’s the weekend more people choose for making a change of residence.
One factor contributing to the popularity of July moves is the need to get children situated before school starts. For those going off to college, the last week in July provides ample time to get settled before classes start. Most of us have done enough moving at other times of the year to know that if you have to move, and you can choose when to do it, the month of July offers many advantages. Best of all, once you get where you’re going, it’s still summer.
There is a wealth of information available on everything from buying, selling and renting living spaces to the minute details of packing and unpacking your belongings. For example, check out Five Mistakes you Don’t Want to Make When You Move, by Divya Raghavan.
With the assistance of friends, relatives, lists, transition technicians (movers) and helpful tips from places like the post office, we think it will all go like clock-work. But even if Mother Nature smiles on us and July offers up her warmth and hospitality, there is still the matter of taking every single thing you own from one place to another.
Moving children and pets can be particularly challenging. For many reasons, moving is listed among life’s top stressors. Even a local move can be daunting and exhausting, but a long-distance move really taxes the human spirit. For one thing, you can’t make multiple trips. If you get to your destination and realize you forgot to pack your favorite kitchen tools, you’re out of luck.
Add to that the sweet goodbyes to friends, your home, co-workers, wildlife, favorite places—your familiar routine. You might as well be blasting off in a rocket, heading for another galaxy, and you could feel disconnected from your new digs for months after the move. If you find that you wake in your new home with a twinge of sadness, a little stomach flip and tears in your eyes, it’s not unusual. You’re homesick.
Homesick is like love-sick. Both are bittersweet. Experiencing them means you have opened your heart, bonded with someone or someplace, and that’s not a bad thing. The sadness will go, and you will form new bonds, find new friends and favorite places and always have fond memories of the old ones. I know because I really did leave my heart in San Francisco, and long before that, I left it in Pittsburgh, where I grew up.
Moving is often a result of other lifestyle changes, such as a new job or loss of an existing one, marriage, new relationship or break-up, retirement or empty-nesting. These issues further complicate the situation. Our callers find that Emmett Miller’s Accepting Change and Moving On provides imagery encompassing the various forms of change, and it is particularly helpful for people who are experiencing residential changes.
Health Journeys newest title, Creating Positive Change, by Traci Stein, is an excellent choice for releasing old patterns and attachments and creating new ones.
Whether you are hoping for the good graces of July, the warmest month of the year in the northern hemisphere, or you are planning to throw yourself on the mercy of Old Man Winter for a January move, the important thing is getting lots of self-care and support from wherever you can find it. Try guided imagery, meditation, prayer, a walk in the park—whatever calms you and raises your spirits.
Guided imagery is popular among people undergoing change, because it helps us feel grounded and settled. It reminds us that home is not a geographical location. It is in the head and heart. It’s where you are at this moment, and it can be anyplace in the world.
My new favorite places: