"We all have a bag. We all pack differently. Some of us are travelling light. Some of us are secret hoarders who've never parted with a memory in our lives. I think we are all called to figure out how to carry our bag to the best of our ability, how to unpack it and how to face the mess. I think part of growing up is learning how to sit down on the floor with all your things and figuring out what to take with you and what to leave behind." - Hannah Brencher.
I found this quote one recent morning on Instagram and it was exactly what I needed to read.
We moved house last week and I cried and cried.
Not because I wasn't happy about our new place but rather because I was so attached to our old house.
Even without our belongings or children's laughter echoing around the rooms, I felt a connection to that house deeper than any before.
Maybe because it was where my children have been growing up?
Perhaps it is the endless hours of house improvements my husband and I have completed around the property.
Maybe it's all my roses and hydrangeas in full bloom as I drove away for the last time.
Or is it because I was at my happiest when we decided to move?
We spent Friday and Saturday physically moving house and Sunday I moved emotionally.
I had knots in my stomach as I said my ridiculous goodbyes to each empty room, rose bush and garden space.
Why are some people much more emotional than others? What makes some people so unaffected by change and others frozen by the fear of something different?
My sons were unfazed by the move, instead looking forward to sharing a new bedroom and garden to explore.
My husband mentioned he felt a little sad but quickly moved on, excited for a new beginning with another new house to renovate, fix up and maintain.
My two cats moved with us and have since gone walk-about, another worry amidst all the change.
I've always worn my heart on my sleeve, my emotions at the forefront of all decisions, experiences and memories.
I'm affected by what people say, think and write about me.
Moving house is one of the biggest emotional stresses and doing it at the busiest time of year doesn't help.
Everyone is already tired and hanging out for Christmas holidays.
It makes people tired both physically and emotionally, simple furniture placement can turn into World War III and knowing what to throw out and keep can be hard.
Physical things that were important at one house can suddenly become redundant at another.
• Megan Nicol Reed: The emotional effect of moving house
• A canny view: The ups and downs of downsizing
• Premium - 'We're all human' - South Auckland residents frantically sell properties in Flat Bush after Housing NZ tenants move in next door
Emotions and memories are not as easy to throw out as physical items that are no longer required.
It takes longer to sort through relevant feelings and memories that are important to keep and ones that need to be let go in order to move on and start new.
It can be hard if one person filters change faster than another, waiting for a partner to catch up.
As I head back to unpacking box after box and wondering how I'm going to fit everything in to my new house, I'm reminded that it doesn't matter if I am feeling sad or emotional about moving.
It is a part of life and I can process that as fast or as slow as I like.
My emotions are valid, as is my dislike of change when I enjoy routine and an ordered lifestyle.
I am reminded by the smiles on my sons' faces and my husband's joy at being back in a house he so loves that, a house doesn't make a home, people do. A family does.
And with mine right here by my side, I will be able to process our house move with my loved ones, a chance to make new emotional connections and store even more special memories as they are created in our new home.
Nothing can take away the memories from our old home, I just need to sort and clear out new space for even more memories to come.
But first, I need to find my cats! "Halo!!! Foxy!!!!"