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Change is hard

I am 22 days and 7 hours from moving across the country (from Arizona to Illinois) with my hubby, three kids and our dog.  Our house is currently covered in boxes.  Our kids have so many questions.  I'm happy one minute...  stressed the next...  and sad 2 hours later!  It's really such a roller coaster of emotions.

Change is nothing new to me, my husband or our kids for that matter.  We've moved and changed jobs or situations more than most.  In fact I'd say I actually thrive on change and get bored rather quickly.  At work, I focus on website optimization which means I'm constantly trying to improve the areas of the site I've been assigned.  We try new things.  We learn from them.  Repeat.  I think I've been happy in this type of role for so long because it really is a journey, not a destination.  There's no end point.  There are wins and losses along the way.  But no matter how much optimization we do this year, there will be more to do next year.  And the site will keep on changing.  I love this.  I think "optimization" is in my blood.  At work.  At home.  Everyday.  I'm the type of person that is not willing to settle.  I believe strongly that there are always more things we can improve in ourselves and our lives.  And we all have the choice to do so.

But I must admit that this time, this change of moving back to Illinois, is much harder than any other I can remember.

The choice really wasn't hard.  We've been talking about moving back to our home state for years.  And we spent countless hours weighing the pros and cons which believe it or not, has nothing to do with snow vs no snow.  We both feel strongly that we want to raise our kids where we were raised for many reasons.  And we really have a lot of family and friends there.

It's the change itself that is so hard this time.  There's a couple of reasons I'm having an especially hard time.  We had all three of our kids here in Arizona so some of my most cherished memories have been here.  And even more so, it's the people we are moving away from.  We have to say goodbye to wonderful teachers at a preschool I am sad to leave.  We've made such wonderful close friends that are like family to us.  We have an irreplaceable nanny that we all adore.  One of my sisters is here and I treasure our, much-needed, girl time.  And most importantly, my parents are here.

I've moved away from my parents before but this time it's just so much harder.  I can't tell you how many tears I've shed over this.  I've been trying to come to terms with this and thinking a lot about why this is so much harder than ever before.  I came to the conclusion that it's just the point I'm at in my life.  I think when I first moved away from my parents for college and then with my husband,  I was seeking independence and figuring out who I was going to be as an adult.

Now here I am at 38 years old with a family of my own and I probably appreciate my parents more than any other time in my life.  I appreciate what they did for me as a child because I have my own little munchkins now and kids are so much work!  I see that my parents worked so hard to support me and my sisters.  It's eye-opening now knowing how much kids cost!  I took this for granted as child.  In recent years, they've become my friends more than parents.  I genuinely enjoy spending time with them.  I confide in them.  They are there to help whenever I need.   And of course, they are amazing grandparents to my children and have made so many wonderful memories with them playing games, going swimming, attending their sporting events, etc.

Over the past few years I've had many many conversations with my parents about making this change.  They understand and support this choice.  My mom has even said she would make the same choice if she were in my shoes.  I think the world of her for selflessly putting aside the distance this will create and supporting me and this choice for my children.  She has never once made me feel guilty about leaving or let me doubt my decision.  As a parent I appreciate this more than I ever could before.  Let's hope I can remember this when my kids grow up and want to follow their own paths.  I know we will have lots of visits and calls together and continue to make memories together.  But moving away from my parents at this point in my life is probably one of the hardest things I'll ever do.

So for the next 22 days and 6 hours, there's no doubt I'll continue to stress over my "to do" list.  I'll get excited with my husband and kids about the new adventures that await us with our family and friends in Illinois.  And I'll feel sad when I think of all of the wonderful people we are moving away from.  I know it's the right choice for our family and I have to keep looking forward.  But part of moving forward is acknowledging that this change is hard.

"It's time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings." -unknown

"Family, like branches on a tree, we all grow in different directions, yet our roots remain as one."  -unknown

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