Friday, October 20, 2006

Scarier than Halloween...

These last few days before the move find us understandably stressed to the max. With the many impending logistical decisions - not to mention a yard sale tomorrow with a whole group of strangers walking around our lawn evaluating our possessions - we are only functioning thanks to extensive (very specific) lists. I'm surprised I don't have a list entry that says, "Brush your teeth."

Of course, I expected all that. Who wouldn't? Any sane human being with life experience realizes the anxiety involved in moving, and the closer the move date, the greater the anxiety. That's not the problem.

So what scares me? The move itself? No. The possible problems with the construction of the new house? No. The possibility that I might not have enough time to handle the necessary details? No. The temporary displacement to Rachel's house? No.

I realized this week that what scares me is the downsizing itself. Oh, it's easy to talk the talk. I've blogged for two years about how downsizing is the only logical way to go - good for our bank account, good for the environment, good for our lives. And that's truly the way I feel. But the time for talking has passed. We are at the starting gate for downsizing, and it's getting time to walk the walk.

As they say, what sounds easy on paper is not always easy to implement. We've been laughing with family and acquaintances that "we are going from a 4000-plus-square-foot house to a 1500-square-foot house" but I just realized - deep down - the scary part of downsizing. And it's almost upon us.

Oh, we're not going to be in a shack. Far from it. We're not moving to the bush in Africa; we're not going to live in a log cabin where we have to fetch water from the well. We will have quite pleasant accommodations in our new home. But all the little conveniences we have gotten so used to in the last ten years are simply going to vanish along with this big Victorian house.

A walk-in closet the size of a small room - with 8 long shelves, 2 of them wrapping around the perimeter. An oversized garage with automatic door openers. 2-minute commute to work. A place to actually sit down to put on my makeup. Unlimited drawers. Unlimited book storage. Cable internet. A sewing room so big that my cutting table can be extended all the time. A mailbox at the front door.

We will have no garage. The famous Maine winters will wreak havoc on our cars, and I will have to spend a good amount of time in the morning scraping ice and shoveling my car out of the snow. We will have to bring in groceries through all kinds of nasty weather. I am inheriting a 7-mile commute over roads that are not always adequately plowed. I will have no shelves in the closet, no unlimited hanging space. No chair in the bathroom. Very few places for our beloved books. Probably no high-speed internet. I will have a sewing room, but it will also serve as my office, so it will be tight. The mailbox is 1/4 mile away from the house, living in a communal setting with the mailboxes of our neighbors.

It has finally hit home. We are actually downsizing. We are scaling back on our way of life. We will be a little more cramped, a lot more inconvenienced, and our way of living as we have known it for 10 years will be dramatically altered. That's a scary adjustment. I am pretty confident that we will meet the challenge successfully, but it's no coincidence that closing is on Halloween. BOO!

1 comment:

Tif said...

I think you seriously need to reconsider the garage thing. The money you save by downsizing will be negated by the expense of having to replace your car more frequently due to deterioration, not to mention the time you will spend scraping off snow and ice! My garage is the very best thing about my house, and WE live in the South! Having lived without one for so many years, I am especially grateful for it every time I pull into the garage when it's pouring down rain or freezing cold outside. It also makes me feel much more secure when it comes to storing things like the lawnmower and my tools!