They say that moving house is one of the most stressful things you do in life. I am currently in the process of doing so, and I can attest that it is.
We haven’t got a date set for the move yet, so we’ve been slowly sorting the house out a room at a time and packing up bits we don’t need in the mean time and having a bit of a clear out to make things easier once we are ready to go.
I’m on the ball with the paper work, as soon as the solicitor needs anything from me I am right on it and get it back to them quickly. Same with the mortgage company and all that jazz.
Sounds like I’ve got it all under control, doesn’t it? So why the stress?
The stress is because there is so much that is outside of my control. I can’t control any of the other parties involved. I can’t control when they send things back to their solicitors, how long it takes their solicitor to deal with it, or when my solicitor passes it on to me.
As a casual follower of the Stoic philosophers, I know that to live a tranquil life I need to let anything that is outside of my control go. Whatever happens outside of my control is fine. I should focus on only what I can control. Honestly, I’m struggling with that.
The reason I am struggling with that is because I have broken another golden rule of stoicism and have attached myself emotionally to a particular outcome. In this case, the outcome I am attached to is that we move into this particular house, preferably sometime by mid-August.
I’ve also started attaching other goals and outcomes to this one. I’ll do THIS once we’ve moved house. I’ll start THAT once we’ve moved. So it’s like I’ve pulled the brakes on life until it’s done.
I’ve been practicing going with the flow more, and letting things turn out however they do and accepting and welcoming whatever outcome happens, even if it’s not what I expect, but I don’t seem to be able to do that with this. This, for me, is too big, too important.
I’m pretty sure I’m not alone with having these feelings with moving house, or other big life events. I suspect even a Zen Master would struggle with such a biggie, so I’m not beating myself up about it. I’m just acknowledging (and reminding myself) that the stress is coming from my thoughts and expectations about the situation, rather than the situation itself.
Perhaps if I keep reminding myself of that truth, it will sink in and the headaches, dodgy tummy’s and interrupted sleep caused by the stress of it will ease and I’ll be able to start living a little rather than just waiting.