It’s That Time Again!
It’s that time again… moving time! July 1st just passed, and med school orientation is right around the corner. Not to mention the new jobs that come at the end of training (at least I’ve heard that’s what happens at the end of training… you get to PICK a job?? And then they pay you MORE than we make right now??)
We are currently three medical moves in with at least one, if not two, more to go. And I hate moving. So I decided to devote an article to this fine art. Here are my top ten things to consider when moving.
1. If possible, have money saved. Between the deposits, moving expenses, furnishings, vehicle registrations, start up costs, and the unexpected, you will likely need more than you thought.
2. Have a list of things to do. There are approximately one million things that need to get done when you move, and no one can remember them all. Avoid those moments when you say to yourself, “Oh man, I totally forgot to call the electric company!” and then have no air conditioning in the middle of July.
3. Do as much as possible ahead of time. Aside from finding a place to live… contact utility companies, change your mailing address, research the protocol for all things involving the Department of Motor Vehicles (though let’s be honest, that should be an entire article unto itself). Do what you can ahead of time to lessen the load when you get there.
4. Get rid of stuff. This is a great time to shed the extra. Those clothes you haven’t worn since high school? Donate them. Those books you haven’t read since college? Sell them. That box of stuff you keep thinking you’re going to need but in reality don’t even remember what’s in it? Toss it. Do you really need all that stuff? Or better yet, do you really want to pack it all up and move it across state lines?
5. Meet people. I cannot stress this enough. You cannot go through any part of moving, medical training, and life in general without other people. It can be invaluable to connect with people in similar circumstances as well as with people in other realms of your world. Reach out to them all and get connected sooner rather than later.
6. Explore. This is my favorite part of moving (and quite possibly the only thing I like about moving!). Every area, no matter where you are, has unique opportunities and resources to explore. Check them out. Many of you will find yourselves in places you will live for only a finite amount of time. Take in everything the area has to offer; you’ll enjoy yourself more, and you won’t leave with any regrets.
7. Try things until they fit. You will not immediately like everything you do, so give it time. If it still doesn’t fit, try other options. You’re going to live in this new place for a while, and you need to like your life there. Don’t settle for the options that just don’t click for you.
8. It takes two years. After many moves, I have found that it takes about two years until a place truly feels like home; until you feel like you know your place well enough that it feels automatic. It might seem daunting to think it could take two years to get to that point, but I think it’s pretty uplifting to think we can accomplish so much in just two years.
9. Hang the pictures. It can be easy to say “We are only here a year” or “Once we get past this stage”, but this is your life, and this is your home. If you don’t live your life now, you may find yourself waiting indefinitely. It’s easy to feel lost when you move, so make your home a place that helps you remember who you are. Hang your pictures.
10. You bring yourself. This is by far the most important message about moving. When we move, we can often feel uprooted. The pieces of our lives that we hold dear can change. It is normal to get to a new place and feel lost, but we need to remember that we bring ourselves with us. Our context may be new, but we are not. Get in touch with yourself, notice which parts of your new life ring true to that self, and nurture those parts above all else.
From one wandering medical spouse to another… happy moving!
Jordyn Paradis Hagar is a licensed clinical social worker doing therapy with children and families. She is also the proud mother to two daughters. She published her first book, “At Least You’ll Be Married To A Doctor”, in February 2012.
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net