Moving – as a Liberating Experience

Lynn Dorman, Ph.D. // 


September 2  

I just spoke with a friend of mine who recently left a house and city she had been in for over 45 years!

Last year when we spoke of her moving she was not sure she could leave the house where she had lived with her husband [who had since died] and her son [who left for college and moved on.] And, of course, all the “stuff” she had accumulated in that time ☺

She had asked me how I did it – I told her I sold, tossed, shredded and burned and it was liberating to literally dump the past. For me that was 5 years ago and yes I sometimes miss some of the “stuff” I sold but those are momentary musings. But I had moved fairly frequently so I did not have decades of pack rat boxes around….she did.

When she finally made the decision to move – she moved quickly! Sold her house, decided what to take, what to toss, etc. Now she is 1000’s of miles away from her old house – but near her son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren.

She’s been there about a month and said she knows this was the right move and that it was liberating! We laughed about her going from a life in big cities [like me she is a native Nyer] to the Midwest…..She’s excited and that’s good.

After that call I reflected on my own move. I went to a city where I knew no one – but it is a city. Unlike my friend, I had decided I needed to live in a city….but then I had my non-city years during which I learned I am a genetic city person.

My friend, having learned something from me, has her vacation already scheduled –[NY and Boston for a month.]

I did not feel liberated after my other moves so it may be the aging factor. Is it the shedding of accumulated “stuff” – and the experience of starting over? Is it the distance moved? Is the actual tossing and burning of papers once considered important? Does the shredding and burning represent a real liberation? A psychological breakthrough?

No matter – now almost 5 years after my departure from New England, I am still feeling liberated. Have I accumulated more “stuff?” Yeah – but as I have a very small house the amount is almost determined for me ☺

So – moving can be a liberating experience. It need not be traumatic or sad or anything else. Maybe it’s when we can make the decision ourselves instead of it being made for us. If you are happy, healthy and able to look ahead and not dwell on the past – Liberation – here we come!

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About the Author

Native of NYC who moved a lot, got several degrees, and has been a lifelong writer and reader... I am interested in many things - and I write [and teach] about them - especially the human lifespan and healthy aging

Lynn Dorman, Ph.D.