As I have mentioned previously, I’m currently in the throes of moving.
Now, there are are good ways to move, and there are bad ways.
A Good Moving Experience (a true story)
- You have enough boxes.
- The weather is clear and mild.
- You have had time to purge your possessions of nonessentials.
- You have several helpful friends with cars.
- You aren’t moving far.
- You have neither small children nor pets.
A Bad Moving Experience (also a true story)
- You have recently graduated from college and are currently jobless.
- You have never met your future roommate or seen your future lodgings.
- You are moving alone.
- It is 90°F in the shade.
- You have a tiny car and a box spring that patently refuses to fit in your back seat.
- You are plagued by the memories of last year’s move, when you had a boyfriend with a truck.
Fortunately, my current story is the first scenario, but all moving situations are still stressful by definition. There are tough decisions and hard physical labour and — ew — change involved. And that last night in your old place, when you’ve essentially been stripped of your familiar surroundings and are down to the impersonal, uncaring four walls … that’s always a character test, huh?
But something that always helps, I’ve found, is to keep a small pile of your favourite books next to your clothing and toiletry essentials, a stack of talismans against the horrors of change. For me, this means engaging narratives, preferably with an element of humor, that will draw me out of my present situation and relieve some of my anxiety, even if it’s just for a few minutes in the evenings before I collapse into bed.
So what’s in my current stack?
Bill Bryson’s Notes From a Small Island, because as previously discussed, it’s all about finding the comfort in whatever situations life throws at you — or, if that fails, complaining as wittily as possible.
Ree Drummond’s first cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks, because Ree has had some tricky transitions in life too, and knowing that she’s come through them with grace and humour has been a fantastic inspiration. Also, nothing says “comfort” like pictures of chicken-fried steak.
Terry Pratchett’s The Johnny Maxwell Trilogy (comprised of Only You Can Save Mankind, Johnny and the Dead, and Johnny and the Bomb). Three great stories about a boy facing huge changes in his life and taking them in stride.
By the time I post next, I should be completely moved into my new place, so stay tuned for a celebratory Seasonal Sunday!
What books do you turn to for solace?