Reposted from The Week, this article discussed the trailing wife who chooses not to work. I appreciated her upbeat attitude. -K
I just watched the Parks and Recreation episode where Ann & Chris move to Michigan (click on link for episode). I was unprepared that these two characters were leaving the show for good! For some reason, I thought that they were going to change their minds and their proposed departures were just a temporary plot twist.
Anyway, I found myself sad that they were leaving, and I realized that I hadn’t really conducted proper goodbyes when I moved to Kansas from Oregon. I started thinking about closure and ending friendships, and I think now there were several factors adversely affecting my transition:
1) Most friends defriended me first.
I had recently gotten married and some of my “close” friends were upset that I had gotten married at all. They wanted me to remain their wingman. So they ended the friendship on those grounds. There might have been time for reconciliation if I’d stayed in Oregon but moving away killed those options.
2) Our move was sudden.
On a cognitive level I had plenty of time to understand that we were planning to move, but the logistics of moving 1500 miles took only three weeks. Looking back, this was not enough time to adequately say goodbye to my parents and friends, sort through belongings, and mentally prepare for a major life change. I don’t think three weeks is adequate time for closure.
3) I didn’t want my employer to know I was leaving.
In retrospect, I am sure there could have been a better way to handle this, but at the time, I was angry with my boss for laying off my husband (we worked for the same office) and I was retaliating by not giving ample leeway of my imminent departure. Since I didn’t want my boss to know I was moving away, I didn’t tell any coworkers either, so I wasn’t able to say goodbye to my friends at work. This proved to be a devastating mistake since I ruined chances to stay in touch with them as well as creating a sudden hole in my social network. I went from having lots of buddies to having no one overnight. Very lonely, for sure.
I encourage you to read this post by the Modern Nomad. It was helpful for me to sort through feelings since I’ve moved a lot too, so this probably contributes to my bad behavior of not properly saying goodbye to lots of people over the years, for many reasons. Saying Goodbye | The Modern Nomad.
One thing I have learned and have already improved upon is conducting a proper goodbye at work. I need to make sure to say goodbye adequately to non-work friends also.
Here is a great primer on the discount food chain, Aldi. I have written about Aldi in the past, but Ali does a good job steering you around the store for great deals. I agree with her recommendations, and thought you might appreciate her tips towards savings! Click on the link for the article on her website.-Kris
I had a dream my purse was stolen. It was an awful dream where I realized I had no money, no phone, no driver’s license, no keys. No one knew who I was and I couldn’t call for help. I was no one.
This dream happened after three days of being unable to leave the house after a snowstorm blanketed Wichita with 8.5 inches of snow, and the city was slow to clear the roads making road travel impossible. So I wasn’t able to go to my volunteer job at the Red Cross. My husband went to work leaving me alone with the cats for hours on end.
I was really bothered by this dream….until I forgot about it. Then this article in the WSJ showed up inexplicably and I remembered the dream: After Divorce or Job Loss Comes the Good Identity Crisis – WSJ.com.
I am relieved to know that my ongoing mood swings, negativity or irritability, and inexplicable emotions could be that I’m still reeling from losing my dream job when we moved. And mostly my resentment towards housework.
I have tried to be crafty on Etsy. And I’m trying to be a “blogger.” I’ve expanded my cooking repertoire and my kitchen confidence has indeed grown. I have researched countless trivia to keep my mind active.
But for me this doesn’t really cut it compared the daily routine of having meaningful work to fulfill your life’s purpose.
I’m currently trying to embrace that I’m a Highly Sensitive Person as well as an Introvert (Just read Quiet by Susan Cain). I’ve been more selective of people I bring into my life to shield myself as recommended by HSP experts and Cain. So my friendships are limited currently.
It doesn’t take much analysis to see that loss of my social network has probably contributed to feelings of isolation and loneliness, especially during a blizzard. What confounds me at least is my continued anxiety about not having a job and the stress of not liking Wichita. I’m not sure why I still haven’t acclimated, but this WSJ article does shed some light on why I’m still out of sorts.
If you have tips or experiences to share about moving or relocating difficulties, I’d love to hear about them. Leave a comment below!
For all trailing spouses, don’t delay your dreams. Get up and try again! (easier said than done, I know).
Your unique perspective may unlock an opportunity.
There is always an opportunity to become a better version of yourself.