When a “GOOD” move goes bad

by Jamie Vukelich

I work on staff at Just Moved Ministry and we have worked with so many women throughout the years that there are few moving circumstances that we have not encountered.

Retirement, new job, moving to be near family, military transfer – they all can be a factor in MSM (Moving Stress Meltdown). You know what that is – when everything becomes so overwhelming that you just can’t seem to move forward. When you get angry or sad for no “apparent” reason at all. When you just want to crawl back into bed and stay there until the move is over. (I can just imagine the moving men moving you, bed and all, into the van.)

I have had the great pleasure of facilitating several After the Boxes Are Unpacked groups. The first get-together usually consists of lots of tears and tissue grabs. As the women open up and tell their stories, it is often the ones who have just made a “good” move that are having the hardest time.

A “good” move is when the anticipation and the outcomes are both positive. A pretty new home! A big promotion! Finally retiring in the place you have always dreamed about!

Hopefully realty meets expectation, but there are times when it may not:

  • The “great” new job isn’t so great.
  • Everyone seems to have friends already and doesn’t need another BFF.
  • The quality of life is not what you had been led to believe.
  • One of your family members is not adjusting well and it is negatively affecting everyone.

If that is how you are feeling, if your “good move” has gone “bad”, here are some thoughts . . .

  1. There is no time schedule for settling in to a new place. Some people seem to have it all together right away. For others it can take a couple years. (Yikes! All too common. So don’t measure yourself by the calendar.)
  2. If no one knocks on your door you will have to go and do some knocking yourself. It is not always that people are unfriendly, it may just be that they are too frantic in their daily life to make the first move.
  3. Life rarely goes exactly as planned. Be flexible! Fractal Foundation defines chaos theory as “the science of surprises, of the nonlinear and the unpredictable. It teaches us to expect the unexpected.” In one of our moves, my husband’s new job did not work out. As we scrambled to work out a “Plan B” we tried not to beat ourselves up too much over the choices that got us there. We made decisions based on the best information we had at the time. Life is chaotic. Welcome to the rest of your life.
  4. Turn to your spiritual/faith life. Perhaps read a modern translation of the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes. These ancient writings are even studied in secular areas because of the wisdom they offer. History points to it as having been written by wise King Solomon.
  5. You are not alone. There are some great online resources and Justmoved.org to help you get to the other side of your move.


Jamie Vukelich is the Director of the Just Moved Community at Just Moved Ministry. Get connected with other uprooted women and join the conversation at the Just Moved Community Facebook page! Just Moved Ministry will show you how you can adapt, feel connected, and thrive after a move

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