Acade(me)

The dissertation was only the beginning.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Moving On Before Moving Out
{I wrote this post last night when I couldn't sleep.}

Aside from getting to spend the entire day goofing off with ST, another thing I like about my Wednesdays is that I feel free to fill my head with things unrelated to the dissertation. Today, I've been thinking about my house. I love this house -- we built it in 2001 and have spent a lot of time personalizing it. Sure, there are a lot of things I'd change (e.g., our bathrooms are tiny and we have no formal entryway), but overall this has been a fantastic place to spend our lives, a great place to raise our child. I am sad that we will be leaving it, but I always knew this day would come.

We'll probably move in late July or early August, depending on when we are able to sell this house, how long T will stay at his job, and when we can move into our new house in New Town. Nevertheless, T and I have been doing a lot of thinking about what we can do to make our house appealing to buyers, and also what we, as buyers, will be looking for in our next house. We both love to watch the show "Designed to Sell" on HGTV when we actually remember to turn the TV on, and so we've made a list of things we need to do to this house to make buyers swoon over it. It's a difficult task, since our house is in a neighborhood filled with houses that look a lot like it, in an area where a new house goes up weekly. How to make our house, which is (if I do say so myself) tastefully decorated and nicely landscaped, stand out in an area where, for just $10-15K more, people could buy a new house with a blank slate?

On our list are things like "upgrade towel bars in bathrooms" and "paint family room and fireplace surround." We're also getting rid of some hand-me-down furniture, now in the downstairs family room, that no longer serves our purposes or fits our style. It's been fun to look at our house and realize that we DO have a certain style -- there are several rooms in our house (notably the living room, dining room, and kitchen) that are perfect as they are. And then there are rooms like our bedroom, where we have the furniture and bedding we want but the rest of the room is still boring (white walls, no curtains). Looking around, we realize that there's just a lot of stuff we should pack up before we even think about putting the house on the market, stuff that would be distracting to a would-be buyer. Loads of books, lots of framed photographs, lots of kitchen stuff, lots of clothes in the closet we never wear but make the closets look small, etc. Today, I took down my old Aiwa stereo that I had in the kitchen. It's over 10 years old and we never really used it, so we're going to donate it. It felt good to get rid of some of the "clutter." The kitchen already feels more open. A few glances at houses for sale in New Town on Realtor.com confirmed that the houses that present themselves the best in photographs are those that are relatively sparsely furnished/accessorized. De-personalized, I suppose.

While the whole prospect of clearing out and moving to a new space is thrilling for me (I enjoy moving, quite honestly), it's also a bit upsetting how it's making me feel NOW. I just got the job, just accepted it, and I feel like I'm already pulling away from this life, losing my attachment to this community and this house. I am not good at dealing with incremental changes in my life -- this is something I've always known about myself; when I've made a decision to do something, I want to do it NOW. For the past few days, and notably today, I've felt like this house, this space I've put a lot of energy into over the past five years, is already part of my past. As I've been working in my office or cooking in the kitchen, I've started to makes piles of things to pack up "for the move." "The move" is still six or seven months and a long dissertation away, and yet my brain is acting like it's next week. My brain is yearning to move on, to get out of this place I've loved for so long, to start fresh somewhere else. But my life and my work is still very much here and waiting for me and my attention.

This week, I am praying for focus. Focus on the things I need to do here and now. NOW.
Posted with care by Prof. Me @ 1/11/2006 07:39:00 PM  
4 Words of Wisdom:
  • At 1:55 PM, Blogger chemgoddess said…

    Wow! I thought I was the only one who did that "checking out early" thing. I get excited about moving and seem to start packing, quite literally, four or five months in advance. Basically, as soon as I know I am going to move.

    Thanks for a great post. I always like to find out that I am not alone in my wacky ways (as my bf would put it as he packs within 48 hours of moving - but I think he is nuts too).

     
  • At 6:12 PM, Blogger Dr. Mon said…

    Boy do I know the feeling. I bought a new "teaching" bag yesterday--like I couldn't wait to go to NewSchoolCity to shop for that. I've been pricing desks and washer/dryer sets all week! So I definitely understanding being ready to go now.

    I'll pray we both maintain focus!!

     
  • At 6:22 PM, Blogger phd me said…

    I am JUST like this. My checking out started this past fall, when I realized I would finish the dissertation and graduate this year. I told people explicitly at Christmas, "Don't give me stuff; I'll be moving in a few months." And I don't even know where I'm going yet!

     
  • At 12:06 PM, Blogger ScienceWoman said…

    I can totally relate to this post. Even though I am probably about 9 months from moving, I've been in this house longer than anyplace else since age 18 (and we own this one), and I look around our house and I wonder at the amount of stuff we've accumulated. I feel like I should begin the pre-moving purge process, but I don't know what I'll need/want at the next place and our clutter is much of what makes this feel like home.

     
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