If your spouse is a doctor, you more than likely a few moves (or will) under your belt. We moved for medical school, internship, and again for residency. We will also likely move for fellowship and again when Mike settles down for practice. I always knew that moving was on the table, but would have never expected to move quite so much. That said, it really hasn't been too bad. Not that I love to move, but I do love some aspects. I love looking at houses, exploring new neighborhoods/ communities, the feeling of finally being unpacked in a newly organized home, and the closeness that only having each other to rely on can bring. Now I'm not a total Susie Sunshine, there are some definite negatives, the packing, the actual process of the move, the unpacking, moving someplace where you don't know anyone, missing family and friends, the expense, just to name a few. The physical aspects while not my favorite, are something that has an actual time table and end. Your stuff has to get packed, and moved by a certain time. Even unpacking has a time frame in the sense that you have to unpack to be fully operational, and even the most laid back individual will get things put away.
What is so much harder about moving are the non-tangibles. Changing jobs, being away from family and friends, making new friends (why is it so much harder to make friends as an adult?) And if you have children your mama bear instincts will surely kick in and you worry about these things for your children too. So how do you cope with a move(s)?
• Approach it with a positive attitude- if you only look for the negatives, that is what you will find. Focus on the positives and be pro-active with solutions to the negatives.
• Have something to look forward to in your new city- perhaps a pedicure at a local spa, or maybe a reservation at a restaurant that is unique to the city, or tickets to the local theater, just something that you would enjoy that is unique to where you are moving.
• Keep in touch with old friends. With the huge variety of ways to keep in touch (email, text, phone, blogs, regular mail) you have no excuses not to keep in touch.
• Put yourself out there to make new friends. Go out to lunch with co-workers, join a play-group, plug into a church, meet the neighbors, get together with the other wives in your husbands residency, practice, etc.
• Pray. Pray before your move that things will go smoothly, for friendship, for peace about your new hometown, for any of your concerns that you have about the move.
• Explore your new hometown. Enjoy what your town has to offer, maybe buy an entertainment book so even on a budget you can try out new restaurants, shops, and attractions. Ask around for places to try- in my experience people love to talk about their town and will happily give you suggestions.
It isn't easy to pack up your life and move some place new. But it doesn't have to be a bad thing. It is fun to live in a new place and discover new things. It can be a blessing to have the opportunity to get to know your spouse better and learn to rely on each other, it's fun to meet new people and make new friends (a little socially awkward maybe, but worth it in the long run!). If you are moving for medical school, residency, fellowship etc. keep in mind that it is for a set amount of time. Make the best of it, but rest easy in the knowledge that you can always move for the next chapter if you desire. If you are making a more permanent move, seize the opportunity to start fresh and make a life for your family.
So those are my thoughts- how about you? What tips do you have for making a move a little easier?