Moving Weekend: Sweating It Out and Talking It Out

I thought I would pause in the midst of packing to give you all a little update.  (Actually, I just really really really hate moving, so I’ll take any excuse to not think about it…like “Oh my public NEEDS to hear about what’s been going on!  I better forego packing up the kitchen to write…for them!”)

Anyway, for the most part, things are going well.  Internet has been set up at Lot 26, so there will be no need for a lapse in blog posts :).  And some furniture and other items have made their way into our new home as well.  We’ve also finished painting and steam-cleaning, AND (and here’s the big news) there is actually progress on that awful tub!  Yay!  Let’s see some pictures!

After we tore the shower walls out

After we (and be "we" I mean CF) tore out the tub

Sweeping up the crud where the tub used to be

To be honest, I was a little disturbed by how simple it was to tear this stuff out. I just hope that installing the new shower (no tub) will be just as simple for CF and his dad, Mr. Handyman.

And to make up for the pictures of dirty, unfinished stuff, let’s look at the nice clean living room!

Painted, Vacuumed, and Steam-Cleaned!

So, things are coming along, but boy did I pick a hot day to start moving. 90 degrees on the first day of fall? Who wudda thunk it?

And in order to get a jump on all of this (and because all this hard work has made it really hard to want to work hard at my actual job…), I took a personal day to get it all done. Because I don’t teach on Fridays, this means I get a four day weekend to execute this move. But in order to take the day off, I had to fill out some paperwork with my secretary, which involved a series of questions and a series of answers:

“Why are you taking a personal day? Catching up on grading?”

“Nope. I’ll do that before I leave the office today. I need some time off because I’m moving.”

“Oh! Where?”

“Oh, I’m moving in with CF. We got this place in (insert town name here).”

“An apartment?”

“No, actually, we bought a manufactured home and we’re fixing it up”

“Oh! Neat! While you’re filling out paperwork, you should fill out the form to change your address.”


That’s right folks. I couldn’t even say “mobile home” to the secretary at work. I’ve been really open and honest about it with colleagues at work who are also trusted friends, but I don’t have that kind of relationship with the secretary yet. So, I called it a “manufactured home.” How the heck did I come up with that? I think that’s what the insurance policy for the place calls it. So, I fell back on insurance policy speak. I was so uncomfortable I had to rely on a term used in a policy I will probably never fully read. WTF?

The minute “manufactured home” came out of my mouth, I was mad at myself. What’s my problem? I think it’s a problem that (now) only rears its head at work, and I’m trying to figure out why I feel the people I’ve worked with and built positive relationships with over the past few years would judge me for my living arrangements. Gah! I’m still scared!

And later, when I told CF about this conversation, he asked me why I was still feeling ashamed. He said, “It’s no big deal. It’s a home. And we bought it. And it’s our choice. Who cares what anybody thinks?” This confirms what I’ve known all along: that CF is going to have a much easier time adjusting than I am.

And I think I know why. It has to do with a sense of “belonging”–and belonging is something I’ve worried over and had trouble with since I was 9. And that, dear readers, is something I will delve into fully in a new post soon. For now, I think you’ve heard enough from me tonight. Wish us luck with the final move this weekend and look for some deep reflections on our new situation next week!

Until then, may all your belongings be easily packed, and may all your moving days be cool and dry!


About Cathy G Gilbert

I am veggie-loving, community college professor who lives, teaches, and writes in Central IL.
This entry was posted in Reflections, Renovations. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Moving Weekend: Sweating It Out and Talking It Out

  1. JS says:

    When you tell people where you live, you have several options: trailer, mobile home, factory-built home, manufactured home, or simply, home, don’t you? Similarly, you could describe yourself as a professor, college professor, community-college professor, English professor, teacher, community-college teacher, English teacher, composition teacher, etc. We make these types of choices all the time, without even realizing it. Recently, when people have asked me what I do for work, I’ve rarely said “I’m a cook.” I have said, “pastry cook” or, more commonly, “I work as a pastry cook at (fancy restaurant name). When people ask me where I live, I say “I’m staying with my family while I look for a place” not “with my parents”….I think it’s great that you’re reflecting on your choice of labels as a way of learning more about yourself, your fears, your thoughts on authenticity, belonging, judgment, perceptions, trust, etc. Sounds like you’re going to learn a lot about yourself in your new home. Happy adventures! 🙂

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