Have you ever moved your entire life? Home, business, schools, doctors, grocery stores, restaurants, hair stylists, laws, roads, neighbors, traffic…I think you get the picture. It’s a whole new world. The word relocation just doesn’t seem to capture what has transpired in my life this past year. As some of you know, my family has moved to Georgia from Michigan. These two states are so vastly different that the adjustment from the north to the south alone provides enough work.
I am so busy that I don’t really have time to write this blog. But so many people have inquired about how I made such a big move in such a short period of time. First, I must acknowledge that I have not been alone on this journey. I would not have been able to accomplish any of this without the love, support, and hard work of my husband. Actually, it was his desire to move to Georgia that set all of this into motion. He worked to find a job and I committed to moving once he had his job in place. We make such a great team. There has not been one goal that we have set together that we have not been able to accomplish. Having said this, it has not been easy. We have worked tirelessly to make this happen. We have planned, reevaluated, planned more, and executed.
As a clinical psychologist who has been in private practice for nearly twenty years, my professional transition has been very difficult. When you work for yourself you work all the time. Add marriage and motherhood to this equation and it is a mystery that I ever eat or sleep-two essential ingredients for health and success.
The easy thing to do is stay put. Live the life that was built and in place for several years. Our life in Michigan was good. Just ask my daughter Madeline, she will most definitely tell you that there was no need to move. If she had her way, we would pack up and move back to Michigan, PRONTO! That’s not going to happen. Why? Forward movement.
I have a successful practice in Michigan. That’s right, have, I am currently working between two states- Georgia and Michigan. The commute is no joke. I started out flying every week, Tuesday to Thursday, then Wednesday morning to Thursday evening, and now I am flying out every couple weeks. My goal is to transition some of my client to a virtual practice and see them face-to-face periodically. Therefore, I am technically building two practices right now-a virtual practice and a Georgia practice.
We moved to Georgia on Saturday July 22, 2017 and I saw my first patient in Georgia on Monday July 31, 2017. Since that time, I have been steadily building my practice here. As I transition my current Michigan practice to a virtual practice, I am challenged to adjust to this very new way of doing things. I have to learn the laws that govern virtual work. I must teach my client’s about accessing the virtual platform and using this new technology. We must weather the storm of technical difficulties including poor wifi, fire walls, cameras, microphones, out dated devices, dropped calls, tech support, electronic feedback, and lost passwords. All of this pales in comparison to addressing the general anxiety of my move. We are all dealing with a feeling of loss. Things are definitely different.
Many people questioned the move for this very reason. Why on earth would you leave a thriving private practice that you built from the ground up? Forward movement. I’m a believer in hopes and dreams. My husband and I have talked about living in a warm climate for years. However, we have primarily considered it as a retirement option. We didn’t want to wait until our mid sixties or seventies to start living our dreams. Hopes and dreams should reside on the other side of loss. Therefore, as I grieve my old life, I look forward to my new one. As I think about tomorrow, I am filled with a lot of different emotions: fear, excitement, dread, sadness, and hope!
I don’t know where this new life will take my family. We are all still adjusting. My husband loves his new job. It is very demanding yet very rewarding. He can finally grow in his profession. This was not easily accomplished in the field of education in Michigan. My youngest daughter, Marin, has had to move to a new school in the middle of the first semester here in Georgia. Hopefully, it will provide her with the additional support that she needs. While my husband and I were worried about this change, she has adapted like a trooper. My special needs child rolls with the punches. She amazes me every day. My oldest daughter, Madeline Grace, has remained consistent. She is an eighth grade girl who didn’t want to move in the first place. Adolescents brings unique challenges. We are working through it! Struggling through it! Fighting through it! Loving through it! That is the best that we can do.
As for our life here in Georgia, it is good. We have been so busy that we have not had a lot of time to explore our new environment. We eat at a new restaurant every Friday; we have learned how to navigate our most immediate surroundings without GPS; and we appreciate the sunshine. We are looking forward to the vicissitudes of this adventure. We are living our dreams. Don’t wait to live yours.
“If you’re brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello.”