The Stress of Relocation

My husband and I moved across country a week before Thanksgiving and two weeks before Finals. Which is fine because we’re moving back home to the Pacific Northwest and nearer to our families. Knowing that our stuff was shipping separately and that it would take about a week to get to us, we carefully packed the car so that we’d have everything we’d need to campout in our new home for a while. I even (very cleverly, I thought) mailed a box full of toilet paper, sponges, soap, a wooden spoon, etc ahead of us. Basically, this Emergency Manager packed a deluxe evacuation bag.

But now our truck has been delayed by snow, so our stuff is two weeks late and even though I’m excited to be “home” it’s still a new city and I don’t have any favorite spots yet–which is to say: Relocation is STRESSFUL. I always knew people found evacuating from their homes and staying in shelters or temporary housing to be emotionally taxing, but I always thought that I–being of average intelligence and courage with better-than-average training–would be able to tough it out. (I mean, I’ve taken a Psychological First Aid class, for crying out loud. I know about grief and stress!) But living outside of your home (as opposed to camping) without your stuff is more difficult than just the everyday inconveniences of not having a trashcan, a microwave, or a book to read. It’s even more than the discomfort of sleeping on a cot, having no chairs, and only three pairs of underwear. Basically, it’s the tension of needing to get back to routine but not having your routine-making things. Wanting to sort your life by cleaning the house and not having a broom. It’s the waiting. The waiting is killing me.

I read an article about how you should practice with your evacuation bag at least once–just go out into the woods or a hotel with nothing but your go-bag– and see what stuff you forgot. In a way, that’s what this situation has forced me to do. To go out and test my stress management skills. To test my evacuation preparation skills. And let me to tell you–I forgot to pack comfort. The thing I miss most? (besides my clothes, that is, lol, jk) A small frame which has a handwritten “I love you” note from my Honey. When you make your go-bag, don’t leave love notes behind. You’ll want a bit of comfort on the road.