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OPINION | GARY SMITH: No matter how hard you try to avoid it, moving to a new house eventually means working up a sweat

Moving means eventually having to lift stuff by Gary Smith | July 14, 2023 at 1:00 a.m.

I have heard the theory that most mythology is just ordinary human experience inflated in an attempt to entertain or teach lessons. Take for instance, the tale of Sisyphus, the Greek figure doomed to forever roll a bolder up a hill, only to have it roll down again, forcing him to start over.

My theory is that Sisyphus wasn't being punished by the gods. He was just moving.

Yep, I'm moving. Again. We are, in fact, moving, which I've discussed before. It's just that now I've gone through all the resultant emotional pain and nostalgia and I'm down to the nitty gritty. I've got to physically, actually, move.

And that's where all the gooey stuff ends and life begins.

Most of us live somewhat dual lives, longing for simplicity while feverishly collecting stuff. That dichotomy fuels a great deal of our dissatisfaction and some great garage sales, and makes reading wills a lot more entertaining. But you never really know how much stuff you don't need until you have to box it up and carry it to a new location. Say, the top of a hill. Or a new house.

The thing with moving is that there's no good way to do it. OK, yes, there is the "lock the door, throw someone else the key and drive off" option, but I'm not really sure how realistic that is. Or how often you really get to do that, prior to, say, when they carry you out.

I mean, we all dream of just standing in the middle of the room, gesturing and saying, "yep, all of that goes." But the reality is that regardless of how much of your stuff will get carried off into the bowels of a big truck and then, hopefully, your new home, it's a pretty safe bet you'll be left with the responsibility to physically transport at least some of it.

Now in days gone by, I didn't mind this so much. Which is a baldfaced lie, since no one likes carrying lots of boxes in various sizes and weights to a car, trying to fit them in and finally succeeding in getting the trunk to close, all while knowing you'll have to do the same thing in reverse at the new location.

It's just I was younger and stronger and likely had better stamina and less stuff and ... nah, I just blocked that out. I hated it then; I hate it now. I will always hate it. And yet, for the last, oh, seems like forever but is likely just a few days, I've been moving.

One of the bugs masquerading as a feature with this move is that it's not a "big" one in the sense that we're not going that far. Which would seem ideal, except that it lulls you into thinking, "Well, I'll just swing by and pick that up later." Which turns a weekend of unpleasantness into even more days of dragged-out torture. Sort of like pulling a Band-Aid off slowly instead of just ripping the thing and being done with it.

And I would have ripped the Band-Aid off, if only I'd known which box we packed them in.

However, I will say moving does teach you valuable lessons about yourself and others. But mostly yourself because voicing what you've learned about "others" will likely cause enough problems that this won't be the last time you get to put your stuff (albeit decidedly less than previously) in boxes and carry them out.

For one thing, you learn how much you can carry and for how long (not much and not long). You learn how to accurately access just how valuable a thing is to you (depends on how heavy it is and how long you need to carry it). And you learn how many nights in a row you can eat pizza, since you can't figure out which boxes have the cookware in them (surprisingly more nights than you'd think. Sort of reminds me of college).

And you realize that the act of moving is sort of like the last few months of having a teenager in the house before they leave for school. Having to deal with the mess, attitude and general unpleasantness involved helps you forget feelings of sadness over the passage of time and the nostalgia attached. You just want it to be over. And then, somewhat sadly, it is.

Which is a fine thing to remember while you're carrying those boxes up that hill.

Print Headline: Boxed in


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