Today we had our pre-move survey.
A guy turned up at the door, walked around our house noting down the things we want shipped overseas, and then left.
I couldn’t see what he was writing, but I knew what he was thinking. It was written all over his face. And I knew it because I was thinking the same thing:
“These people have a lot of crap.”
We have a small container that we can ship to California, so we’ve had to be selective about what goes in. Everything that doesn’t make the cut will travel in our suitcase, apart from the kilo of Custard Creams we’ll be trafficking inside our bodies. The container is loaded on a ship and sailed over. I’m told it will take 11 weeks to arrive. Nearly 3 months! God knows what they’re sailing it on – a rubber duck, maybe.
It’s been a ruthless and sometimes emotional process, cutting down, weeding out and selecting our most prized possessions to take with us. And it turns out we differ on what those things are.
As I sort through our stuff, I’ve been asking myself: is this thing worth waiting 3 months for?
Alex on the other hand applies a more relaxed filter. She asks herself: do I like this?
This has set us on a collision course. The highlight was a row over how many decorative bowls we need, which must have been a great evening’s entertainment for our neighbours.
But thankfully, this process has revealed some home truths:
1. We’re both making sacrifices, and we both have concerns we need to work through. But Alex is giving up the most. She’s putting her career on ice and leaving her support network behind. While I’m at work, she’ll be on her own with the kids, no network to lean on, no job to apply herself to. I know that she’ll build a great life for us all, but it will take time for her to find her feet, and in that period, things will be tough.
2. There are items that matter to her, and very simply, that’s all that matters. I may not like them and will secretly plot their mysterious disappearance before blaming the cleaning lady, but they’re important to her. And so, they’re important to me. She’s already giving up a lot for me – I shouldn’t ask her to give up more.
3. Having only a small allowance is a blessing in disguise. It forces us to take the most important memories of home, but leave plenty of space to create some new ones.
So Alex, good news. You do get to take that hideous clay vase, those loathsome cowbell heart things, and the freaky-looking Babushka pepper mill, after all.
Unless I don’t accidentally break them first, of course.