Ranging home

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In sign language, the hand movements for “home” literally say “where I eat and sleep.”

These two daily comforts we require to feel ready to face the world outside; to the place where we recharge, we retreat. Hiding behind the words “home” and “where I eat and sleep” is the assurance, wherever that place is, it is a place of security, a place where the most sustaining of life’s business happens in safety. We know this place inside out.

When we move house, we step onto insecurity. Even when we keep the same pillows on the same mattress, the bed is in a different place; although the cutlery drawer is ordered the same way, the stove is in a different place. It may take weeks - or months - before we feel really secure in a new abode.

However, as Robert C. Gallagher says, “Change is inevitable - except from a vending machine.”

Often change of one kind or another requires moving house.

Relocation can make us feel as if home has metamorphosed into the enemy. Unfamiliar night sounds are not soothing. Preparing the simplest comfort food can leave us feeling as if the whisk and spatula have been conspiring sequential ambushes. It’s as if we have to redesign cosy, old habits so often, there is no comfort anywhere.

We also know, “If nothing ever changed, there'd be no butterflies.” So... we persevere, nodding when Bruce Barton* says, “When you are through changing, you are through.”

There is an option less appealing than withstanding the wrench and throes of moving house and home. Something as simple as plugging in the alarm clock becomes as fraught with challenge as the prospect of scaling Cape Split. Achieving buttered toast requires as much attention to detail as preparing raspberry trifle from scratch! The mover invents new process, deals with details and skirmishes with ingrained habit until exhausted.

Cranky? Bank on it! Stress on this level invades well-being and can aggravate (or cause) any imaginable physical symptom, unpack lots of nasty emotional baggage and result in some truly unpleasant behaviours**.

Yes, home eases life for us in ways both visible and unsuspected. No wonder even a move across the street rates high-stress on the "Holmes-Rahe Social Readjustment Rating Scale."

Add the strain of leaving old relationships behind, the ambiguity of getting new ones going and the other associated stressors....

Still, “Change always comes bearing gifts.***” I pray they will be sustaining gifts for you, Laurie and Ray! * Advertising pioneer ** http://www.roadtowellbeing.ca/questionnaires/life-stressors.html

http://www.WorkingResults.com ***Price Pritchett, who has an international reputation as one of the clearest and most authoritative voices on mergers, corporate culture, and organizational change

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