Just over a week ago now, I packed up and emptied our old house in Edinburgh. A container was filled with the random collection of boxes and furniture that was left behind when we first moved. A final goodbye was said to our home.
I spent the week before the movers arrived packing, sorting and finding. As our house had been rented to friends, our stuff was scattered throughout. It is a strange thing to pack up a kitchen in a house that is no longer yours!
It is stranger still to be reminded of the life you had there, to walk through rooms remembering them as they were, but to know that you have moved on. To find yourself comfortable and secure in that decision; even while you are sad to leave behind a house that holds such wonderful memories.
Arriving in the house at the beginning of the week, my friend and I chatted away the morning. I know that I was reluctant to begin the process. The beginning of the end. But, once started, it was surprisingly easy to do. To extract our stuff, our life, from the house.
It was however exhausting, both emotionally and physically. Spending another two days sorting out the attic and the sheds in preparation for the movers took more out of me than I expected.
Being confronted with a shed full of the things that fill a shed, and a list of (small) items to find from my husband, I did despair for a while. Before sending my husband a set of photos asking him to be more specific about where things were, along with lots of photos asking ‘is this yours?!’. I felt ridiculously proud of myself when I managed to find everything he has asked for!
Moving day arrived. I will be honest, I was dreading it. Our first moving day two years ago was… difficult. I found it incredibly stressful and I was worried that I would again. Alone, without my husband there to
support deal with the movers!
As they began to unload their materials and raise eyebrows at the amount of stuff to move, I was worried!
There were a lot of boxes.
As the day went on it became clear that the three guys that had been sent by the moving company were not happy. Somewhere along the line there had been a miscommunication (in their office!) and they thought they were doing a part container. In fact, they were there to do a full container… After several cross purpose conversations where they told me that we had too much stuff, that we needed a container; and I told them that I was aware of that, which was why we had a container… calls were made to the office and a container was despatched. And, a container was filled.
To give the guys their due, they did a two day job in a very long, very hard, ten hour day.
Despite moments of irritation with the whinging; a container should be done over two days, not one. Despite the awkward conversations about head office getting it wrong. Despite me having to point out, several times, that none of that was my fault or my problem to solve. Despite a moment of stress when they told me that they didn’t think it was all going to fit in the container (it did!).
Despite all of that; I remained calm.
Anyone who knows me well will know that this is surprising. My husband phoned/texted several times to ask if I was really okay. I really was!
I suspect that nothing could ever have been as bad as the first time we moved two years ago; with an air freight weight limit, too much stuff and the most disorganised packing order ever. I still struggle to talk about that day.
I believe that making such a huge move, and surviving, has left me more able to deal with potentially stressful situations; things work themselves out and this realisation is liberating.
I know that I am far less stressed, about everything, since we moved and found a calmer pace of life. (Not that the last couple of months have been exactly calm!).
I got back to my mums, after that very long day, too tired to even contemplate wine in a glass; a tumbler was safer! I sat down and I drank that glass of wine, and breathed a huge sigh of relief; it was done and I survived.
It was an exhausting week. It was an emotionally draining day. But, I did it. And, I did it without stressing, shouting or crying.
And, actually, I’m really proud of myself for that.