As part of our “Love Essentially” series, Jackie Pilossoph helps us navigate the complex world of relationships. Have a question that you would like her to answer? Contact her here, and it may be featured in an upcoming article!
Moving is probably one of the most stressful experiences in a person’s life, especially if you’ve lived in the same place for a long time. But add Covid-19 into the mix, and moving just got a lot more complicated and nerve-wracking. I would know, because I just did it.
After living in my Glenview home for 16 years, I moved last week, and let me tell you, the anxiety of change, the financial stress, the physical work involved, and the uncertainty of the pandemic was no picnic. But the challenge was worth it. Not only am I loving my new place, but something showed itself in many ways before, during and after the move: love.
Love started with my real estate agent, Leslie Glazier. Glazier, a Chicago and North Shore based agent with @properties became a dear friend throughout my whole buying, selling and moving process.
I believe everything happens for a reason, which hit home when I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer the day I found out my house sold. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Glazier had thyroid cancer 27 years ago, and was there to support me through the bad news. I think it was an act of God.
In addition to my valued friendship with Glazier, here are six other ways love showed up for me before, during and after my move:
1. Memories in boxes.
Most people, including me, don’t enjoy packing. Sifting through old photos, mementos and other things that might seem like clutter and thinking, ‘Why do I still have this?’ and ‘How can I get rid of this?’ can feel overwhelming and exhausting. That said, while packing up, I found things that made me laugh, made me cry, and warmed my heart. I began taking pictures of things and texting them to friends and family for a trip down memory lane. That part of it was so much fun!
2. Help from friends and neighbors.
The dog-owners who live two doors down from me offered to watch my dog on moving day. Another friend came over and supervised my move while I went to my closing, and someone else offered to take back my cable equipment to the Xfinity store and bring me lunch! It was touching that people were so happy to help.
3. An emotional good-bye.
After the movers took everything out of my old house, reality set it. I found myself standing in an empty living room, staring at the spot where my now almost 17-year-old daughter took her first step. I went into the dining room and looked at the table where countless meals and celebrations were shared. The nearby fireplace brought back memories of my kids and I and our dog, sitting and talking on freezing cold nights. I looked outside on the back patio, where I can’t count the number of times my boyfriend and I sat out there having a glass of wine and talking. I walked out the door for the last time. The end of one chapter, the beginning of another. It was a beautiful, emotional few moments.
4. Gratitude and empowerment.
On the day I moved, I had a closing in the morning and in the afternoon. Talk about stress! But when the last box was put in my new house and the movers drove away, I stood there thinking, ‘Wow, I can’t believe I pulled this off!’ It felt very empowering, especially as a single mom. Also, there are so many costs associated with buying, selling and moving, which can feel scary. But at the same time, it made me feel immense gratitude for what I have.
5. A fresh start.
I always appreciated living in a safe place in a beautiful area, but my old home was my marital home, and therefore never truly felt like mine. What a wonderful opportunity I have to make my new home my own, and to start fresh, feeling independent and empowered.
6. New neighbors.
I will truly miss my old neighbors. Every one of them was wonderful. I know I will stay in touch since they are now lifelong friends. But, I now have the gift of meeting new neighbors. I’ve only been here a week, but so far, I’ve encountered countless dog owners, who are all smiles when we cross paths.
According to Glazier, who has been in the real estate industry for 15 years, I am not alone in my decision to move. Despite Coronavirus, the real estate market is bustling.
“I feel like people are frantic. Everyone is moving somewhere,” said Glazier, who is also a Certified Divorce Real Estate Specialist. “COVID has caused people to re-evaluate their living spaces. They want more office space to work from home, more space for the kids to do e-learning, and more outdoor areas. They want more peace and quiet.”
Glazier said there is always stress when it comes to buying, selling and moving, but COVID compounds it.
“There’s a stress level for sellers to have people walking through their home,” she said. “When people need to bring in inspectors or to fix things, now more people are coming into the home. Then there’s the movers. There is also the stress of ‘Where are we moving?’ Do you put your place on the market first or do you find something first?”
Glazier said she believes it’s a seller’s market, but that we aren’t in a place where people will overpay just to get something.
“If you’re not priced right, you won’t sell,” she said. “It has to be priced where a buyer feels they are getting a fair deal.”
In closing, feeling comfortable, safe and happy in your home has always been important, but the pandemic has intensified the value of loving where you live. Moving is a huge decision and it’s scary, but speaking from firsthand experience, if you think you might want to make the change, and you are willing to take on the challenge, even during Covid-19, you’ll be glad you did it. Moving is no piece of cake, but love truly helps with the heavy lifting.
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Jackie Pilossoph is a former television journalist and newspaper features reporter. The author of four novels and the writer of her weekly relationship column, Love Essentially, Pilossoph is also the creator of the divorce support website, Divorced Girl Smiling. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism and lives in Chicago with her two teenagers.