Monday, September 20, 2010

On the Move

Since about 2004, the only constant for our family has been change. It seems that each year has presented a different challenge that makes life seem a little harder than it should be. The past six years of our lives have featured such themes as "Have a Million Babies in a Row" or "Heading Back to Business School Without Spousal Buy-In" and my most recent favorite "Consulting: The Fastest, Most Sure-Fire Way to Wreck Your Family Life". The theme for 2010 is definitely "Moving Sucks".

It was January of this year when we first starting kicking around the idea of moving back to Austin to be closer to family and awesome, free public schools. If you had told me back then that it was going to take nine months of strategic plotting and planning to somehow get all members of our family and a houseful of furniture to Austin with at least one person securing a steady paying job, I might've said, "Thank you very much, but Atlanta works just great for us!"

And Atlanta did work great for us. But Austin is already working better. The PROCESS of getting settled in Austin, however, is well...a process. A process involving a lot of change. And it's starting to wear on me a little.

First came the process of getting the (still unsold) house on the market. Then came the job search process. Thankfully, the job acceptance process came with a whole lotta benefits to make moving easier (thank you, God, for relocation packages), but we still had to make the actual move. Aaron came first, followed by the kids and I a week later. Since relocation benefits included 2 months of furnished corporate housing, our furniture stayed in Atlanta to keep our house "staged" and (presumably) sellable. We settled into the temporary housing, while looking for more long-term housing. We secured long/mid-term rental housing, designed to buy us some time to figure out where to buy long-term. We returned to Atlanta to pack up furnishings, moved them into the Austin house, and are now in the process of getting unpacked.

Somewhere in all that change, we got three kids settled in new schools as well as t-ball, chess club and cub scouts, and got Aaron settled in a new job. Thankfully, my job remains the same, but the mechanics of continuing to do it while moving a household, as well as accounting for the hour's time difference between me and my partner and clients throws a few wrenches in the works, just for good measure.

The good news is, nothing has really gone any differently than what I expected. It's just that what I expected is a lot harder than I expected. I'm tired of living in transition. I'm tired of meeting new people (not a good thing, when you're in a new city). I'm tired of turning utilities on and off and registering for tags, titles, and licenses. I'm tired of missing my Atlanta friends while trying to make new ones and unpacking a house while owning one in another city that sits empty. Most of all, I'm tired that my Blackberry broke and I haven't had time to get a new one so I'm using an old-school flip phone with no email access - in a part of town with crappy cell coverage.

On the bright side, we love Austin. We love being closer to family. We love the schools. We love our new (slightly downsized) house with a fenced-in backyard in a great neighborhood in a great central location. And did I mention the awesome, free public schools? So I know that all the change will be worth it. But I'm just ready to be past it - so we can move on to next year's change.

Which, God help me, better be something as simple as getting a cat.