To psyche myself up, I've been listening to music to get me in the right mindset: "Changes" by Yes and "Life is a Highway" by Tom Cochrane. My kids seem to listen to remakes of "Life is a Highway," and I can't say I'm real thrilled about them. Of course, this only reminds me of when I was child and my parents complained about remakes of their favorite songs. It makes me feel old.
But the most important thing, of course, is the phone list. I need people to help me move! It seems to be the time of year when people are moving, so I imagine I'll be enlisted to return some favors as well.
Being slightly obsessive, I broke my list into smaller parts. First, I had the people who are soon to be moving, like myself. I suspected I'd have the most luck with them.
As I began calling, I mused how interesting it is that transitions in our life so often are combined with a physical relocation.
I started with Laurie of monkey girl. I asked how she was feeling about her big transition:
I love new things and it will be fun to explore our new neighborhood, find new favorite grocery stores, restaurants, bars and coffee shops, and hopefully make new friends.
I mentioned that Jenny F. Scientist at A Natural Scientist is also moving. She found some good digs, but is a bit worried.
I am filled with dread, which is strange, because I really really REALLY want to leave. Some part of my bear brain is convinced I will NEVER EVER LEAVE.
Wayward Elf doesn't seem to have that problem. In fact, she's probably the only person I know who's moved more than me:
I'd honestly like to settle down and be a part of a community. In fact, I came to this realization some years ago, and my response was ... to move! Because of course, the community I was in wasn't the one I wanted to build roots in.
Liberal Arts Lady has been through a lot of changes and is moving both to a new house and a new job. She's feeling a bit anxious:
I'm surprised I feel this way, since I've been waiting for something more permanent for a while now. I expected to be thrilled about buying a house, staying in one place, and being somewhere Partner can pursue his own career without worrying about moving every few years.
When I called Candid Engineer in Academia, she said that she wasn't moving (I must've gotten her confused with someone else). She would probably avoid it if she could:
There seems to be some kind of correlation between age, amount of furniture, and ease of transitioning.
Academic at Journeys of an Academic gave the most practical advice about moving (well, if you have a background in physics, anyway). She first discusses the physics of cleaning and packing. Then she gets to the good stuff:
However, the overall energy expenditure of the aforementioned activities pales when one considers the stair coefficient.
I'm feeling less optimistic about this moving thing already.
Next came the list of people who aren't moving (or didn't mention it during the conversation) but are in the midst of other transitions. I figure I'd start with those contemplating school or career transitions of one sort or another.
First on this list was Argus Panoptes of Astronomical Seeing. She's preparing to start grad school this fall:
I've decided to stop being so damn nervous about starting grad school because, hey, I don't even know what it'll be like yet.
Rock Doctor of Life v. 3.0 told me she's getting ready for a PhD program, but feels like life as a military wife has prepared her:
The past 4+ years have forced me to start differentiating between things I could affect and those over which I had no control. I am far from perfect at this and often use this blog as my sorting mechanism, but I am very much improved.
Karina at Ruminations of an Aspiring Ecologist was very zen about her transition to grad school:
Like all of the earlier transitions, by the time I got there I was ready.
She sounded busy with her dissertation, but EcoGeoFemme of The Happy Scientist was happy to spend a few moments talking about her anticipation of finishing her Ph.D.
I’m still far from my next big transition (graduation), but I feel like I am on the cusp of a change in mindset; I feel like it is an adjustment for me to transition from a student with a long way to go to one who is wrapping up.
When I called Dr. A of R.E.S.E.A.R.C.H.E.R.S., she told me about how her anticipated change to post-doc didn't work out as expected:
I welcomed this change into my life with open arms, tried very hard to prepare accordingly but it has just swooped right in and is barreling it's way around, leaving a trail of destruction.
I called Ms. PhD of Young Female Scientist next. Even if she didn't have time to help, she is always a good conversationalist. Even though she's not moving, she's definitely been dealing with a lot of transition, especially pertaining to her thoughts about her career in science:
I would like to transition to doing something more about changing it, hence the try-for-faculty-position approach.
Alternatively, I would like to be able to transition to letting it go.
Microbiologist xx was also contemplating career changes. We talked about her past change in career and how that is affecting her outlook about future changes:
Despite how well everything turned out, I still view this as a difficult transitional time in my life and lately I find myself thinking about it.
ScienceMama of Mother of All Scientists told me about her husband's search for a faculty position:
The tenure track job market is a lot like the lottery.
When I called ScienceWoman, she was busy with Minnow and had to call me back. When we did talk, she mentioned that the transition to her second year as a professor has been occupying her thoughts:
I felt like I'd learned a lot but still had a ways to go before I really felt up to speed. Maybe it's optimism generated by a few months away from the classroom, but now I'm feeling much more comfortable in my role as a not-quite-so-new member of the department.
I realized that there are some people on the list whose transitions involve friends and family.
Rivikah at Life and Then Some mentioned a recent transition.
I’m starting to realize just how removed my life is from some of the people I once knew.
Next was S. of More than a Permanent Student. She talked about how moving away from a culture was difficult for her:
I couldn't bring any of it back with me. I left it all behind. I send letters. I don't know if anyone reads them.
Brigindo of Dirt and Rocks is dealing with a transition involving family. Her son is leaving for college soon. She says:
Transitions affect the people around you and can cause a ripple effect. Although the three of us will have very different perspectives on this transition--which we will experience as individuals--we will end up transformed as a family.
When I talked to Zuska, she updated me on how she expected her mother's transition to assisted living to reduce some of her stress. Unfortunately, things haven't gone quite as planned:
I think what I was least prepared for, or least expected, in this new phase, was how much my mother would occupy my thoughts, how much time I would be devoting to her needs.
NJS at Scientist Rising talked a lot about her many transitions this past year:
Most of them have been life sneaking up on me with little relationship to academia. Some were primarily good, others primarily bad, but none of the major events were wholly one or the other because I learned something from all of them.
Finally, I had a couple people who I thought I'd just call up and see what they were up to.
I had an interesting discussion with Pamela Ronald of Tomorrow's Table about how to achieve a smooth transition to more eco-friendly food production.
Pat of FairerScience had a few things to say about media coverage of the disappearance of the gender gap in math scores for grades 2-11.
After all of this, I realized that I had spent so much time talking about other things that I'd failed to get anyone to commit to helping me. Oh well. I really enjoyed hearing about other's transitions. It was helpful to hear the good and the bad because it helped me to understand how others deal with big changes in their lives.
I'm trying to relax about the moving thing. I'll probably call my parents and get a U-Haul anyway.