Journal Writing Through Life’s Passages: Moving 6

I had been packing for weeks. The boxes were clearly labeled with their contents and which room they belonged in. Yet when the moving van arrived, every surface overflowed with items that still needed to be boxed, the pictures hung on the walls, and the still-full garage mocked us. Luckily, we were only moving a short distance — had we planned to move to another city or state, everything would have had to be ready to go.

Four days later, boxes line the walls of our new home, we’re still trying to find essentials, and figuring out where everything fits.

Life has many stressful moments: changing jobs, family changes, loss of loved ones, and moving top the list. But we don’t have to let stress take us over; writing in your journal can help alleviate stress and tension. As someone who has journaled since I was very young, I can personally testify to its effectiveness. And, while it may not be possible to write in your journal during the actual hustle and bustle of moving, journaling is a way to reflect on past moves and to think about what the current move means for your future.

Just before and after a move, and perhaps while you’re in the middle of it, write about the emotional aspects of the move — the stress, the excitement, the fear, the just-plain-tiredness of it all. Write about why you are moving, and how you feel about this particular move. How is it different or similar to previous moves? Do you move so frequently that memories of where you’ve lived seem to blur together, or is moving a landmark event in your life?

Your journal is the space where you can complain and whine and be grateful all at once. It is your private place to wonder what the future holds and to explore its possibilities, without judgment or censorship of any kind. It is a private room where you don’t have to be strong or good or kind, though you may be all those things. A place you can let down your guard and allow yourself to be the imperfect human that you are.

And when you’re done writing all those things. Take a deep breath, let it out, and get back to work with renewed purpose.

In what ways have you successfully handled the stress of moving? Has journaling been one of them? Share your experience by leaving a comment.


Image Credit: Avi

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6 thoughts on “Journal Writing Through Life’s Passages: Moving

  • Dawn Herring

    Journaling is such a major way to work through life transitions, and moving would certainly qualify. I’ve through a few of those myself, and my journal has truly come in handy through the process! You provide some great prompts in relation to our feeling and perspectives about moving that are worth discerning and learning from.

    I have chosen your post, Journal Writing Through Life’s Passages: Moving , for the #JournalChat Pick of the Day for all things journaling on Twitter on 4.13.11. I will post a link on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and my blog, Refresh with Dawn Herring.

    My @JournalChat account on Twitter is for all things journaling.

    Thanks again for showcasing how writing in our journals through life transitions, such as moving, can help walk us through!

    Be refreshed,
    Dawn Herring
    JournalWriter Freelance
    @JournalChat on Twitter for all things journaling

  • Marcus

    When we moved about 1.5 years ago I remember having been so busy that the close we came to the big day, the less time I seemed to have to take out my journal ….
    However, every time I did, it felt so good to be able to write down my thoughts, my worries and concerns, and being very excited also about what is waiting for us.
    Having a journal at hand was more important to me after the actual move. I wanted to capture all the new experienced, good and bad and had room to let it all out. It was a big support for me I have to say.

    • Amber Lea Starfire

      Hi Marcus. Like you, I didn’t have much time to write during the week of the actual move (packing, moving, and beginning to unpack), but now that we’re here and relatively functional, my journaling time is precious to me.

  • Eduardo Mariano

    There is a curious thing that happens when we are moving from a house to another: during the packing ritual, some objects that we assumed they were missed are rediscovered (eureka!) and, in the other hand, we inevitably miss some others. Take care about your journals, Amber!

    Have a nice day.