Tag Archives: expat moving

Blame it on the onions


We’re moving again.  We all saw it coming, and for reasons beyond our control, it’s just what has to be done.  Granted, this is a much smaller scale deal than our last one.  Even so, it means saying some tough goodbyes.  And, if you know my feelings on packing, you know that this is never a happy time for me.  We’ve known about this move for the last several weeks, and I knew that we were on the brink of change.  But, up until last night, everything around me looked and felt the same.  I told my friend Jenny a few weeks back that I felt like I had a flood of tears dammed up by the fact that nothing had yet changed.

Yesterday, the change started.  We began packing, and we broke the news to some of our employees and friends.  I held it all together until I was cooking supper.  My sweet neighbor had just left, and I had a teary conversation with her about how much I was dreading this move, primarily because the distance would keep us from having our frequent tea dates and watching our kids play together.  I cut up the onions, and the tears began to trickle.  That’s not so weird, right?  But when I started cooking, the sobs poured out.  I couldn’t deny the inevitable anymore, and the boxes in the corner were tangible proof of yet another unwanted move.  The onions kicked a hole in my dam of denial.

Maybe I’ve just been too busy to deal with reality.  Yeah, that sounds better.  Either way, I’ve taken a few minutes to feel sorry for myself, and now I need to get on with life.  There’s a country full of people around me who need help, and I came here to do something about it.  And, if I made Levi do all of the packing again, he might pack me into a box, too.

So yes, we are moving again.  But hey, we’re prepared.  It helps when you haven’t actually finished unpacking from your last move.  I used to think that Levi had a freaky box hoarding problem.  Turns out, he was just planning ahead.  Love that guy…


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Posted by on May 20, 2013 in Uncategorized


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I hate packing.  Hate. It.  My husband is a total champ when it comes to this frequent routine of our lives, and it’s a good thing.  Here’s how it usually goes:  Levi persuades me to start packing with him.  We get going on it, and things are going just swimmingly.  After about 2 hours, I get upset at him or something ridiculous and nearly have a nervous breakdown.  At this point, Levi sees that I am useless and tells me to take a break.  He keeps packing, and by the time I’m recovered, he’s got the job almost done.  Great system, right?

You know what I hate more than packing?  Having someone ELSE pack for me.  Yeah, like someone… say, an afghan man, sweet and trustworthy as he may be, opening my bra & panty drawer and packing it all FOR me.  Someone taking my bed apart and seeing all the stupid crap that I couldn’t really find a place for in my house and realizing that I’m maybe in the habit of haphazardly tossing old magazines, language books, and unwanted gifts under the bed.  Part of the reason I have such breakdowns when packing is because I’m always convicted of what a materialist I am as I sort through my belongings.  I mean, how many shoes does one human being NEED?  Surely not more than 5 or 6 or 30 pair, right?  I would definitely rather do this dirty job of packing myself, but our current security restraints just won’t allow it.

I live in this land where people die of starvation and freeze to death in the winter, and I still manage to allow myself to accrue so much stuff.  It’s embarrassing enough for me to deal with it in front of God and my husband, but to have someone with so much less than I packing up that stuff for me… it’s beyond humiliating.  I know I have far fewer material possessions than the average westerner, but my life is different.  I don’t live by those standards anymore, and I feel that I’ve been called to a simpler way.  I guess the one good thing about moving all the time is that it does force me to look head on at my possessions and say “I don’t need you.”  Even if one of those trucks tips over and falls off a cliff (which is actually a very real possibility), I will be ok.  We’ve actually been living just fine with the stuff we packed for ourselves 4 months ago, which totals 2 large and and 2 small suitcases.

While I never want to be ungrateful for the things I have, I do always want to hold them with unclenched fists.  I want to have less so that I can give more.  I want simplicity so that my life isn’t complicated by a constant idea that I need more.  I came into this world with nothing, and I’m confident that I’ll leave it the same way.

Stuff, I’m coming for you.  And a lot of you won’t even make the cut past my front door.

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Posted by on September 3, 2012 in Uncategorized


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