Starting a New Life

Moving means moving forward. On our endless quest for the meaning of life and chewing gum, we can move horizontally as well as vertically. Horizontal moving is physically moving from here to there. From Pacoima to Napa, from Burney to Ft. Morgan, from Vancouver to Marshalltown. Vertical moving is one to a better or worse life. Relationships are enhanced, put on hold, found, and revised. Wisdom is built, tested, shared, and modified. And the physical move is a good opportunity to make a concurrent philosophical or spiritual move. Hey, I can change my hair color and no one will know!

Does making other changes make sense for you? Some folks use a move as an excuse to review and rebuild dreams that often get tucked away in the process of living. "I think I'll take horseback riding lessons like I've always wanted." "Well, my last employer clearly showed me who I don't want to work for. Now I think I can find one who will treat me like an adult with skills." "There's a small airport nearby. I think I'll renew a dream and take some flying lessons." "Dear John: I know exactly what I want from my lifeā€”and it isn't you! Bye!"

Sometimes, all a person needs to start a new and better life is simply an opportunity for a new beginning. "My new employer has a no-smoking policy at work, so I'm going to take this opportunity to quit the habit right now." "Hon, our smaller home gives us a better chance to know each other." "We'll never forget Byron's life. But we need to leave his death behind us and move on." "Daughter, here's your chance to start over with new friends, new goals, and a new image."

A move can also offer a good opportunity to file away old excuses. If you've ever said, "Someday I'll ____________" (fill in the blank), consider that "someday" can be "today." "I never did like to go out to eat because we couldn't find good Thai food." "I didn't finish my degree because I didn't like the local college." "If I could just find a new gym I'd try to lose a few pounds."

Kids can have an especially difficult time with moves. Most young people, whether they recognize it or not, are really pretty insecure. And now you've taken them from the familiar to the unfamiliar. Remind them that they, too, can build a new and better life. They can retain old friends while making new.

Help youngsters in your entourage handle the unspoken fear of the unknown. Remind them of what hasn't changed: your love for them. Take time out from your hectic schedule to do things together as a family. This will give the kids a real sense of belonging and help them feel secure in their new environment. To make the transition easier, many parents try to keep the family routines intact, and they consider adding new ones. Routines are anchors in a changing world.

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