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I knew my mother would be coming to visit today. It’s moving day, that glorious day when my little sister gets to go back to college after winter break. I live near her school, so I knew they’d be stopping to draft me into the Boyer help-carry-shit army, yet somehow I forget while I was sleeping and when my phone went off only two or three hours after I had closed my eyes, I bolted straight up and almost peed from fright. I don’t know if pee constitutes fight or flight, but my sister calling meant that they were only a few minutes from my house and I hadn’t even brushed my teeth yet, so “flight” certainly described my morning.

For the record, this is my ringtone when my sister calls, which says a lot about our relationship. One time, I had a super early flight out of Harrisburg (which is a tiny airport). There were all of 100 people in the entire place, all half-asleep, and she called me with the volume on high. It was echoing everywhere and I couldn’t find it in my purse because I was cracking up. She has the same ringtone for me, which is why we’re bff, not just sisters.

Sisterly love. (We do this German Christmas good-luck tradition where we compete to find a hidden pickle ornament on the tree and she's won EVERY year and makes fun of me all the time. Except this year I won. Finally. YEAR OF ALLISON.)

But I digress. Today, I had just enough time to pull my hair into a ponytail and throw on some jeans (because I refuse to wear sweatpants in public, even to a college campus), and I zombie-walked up a few flights of stairs helping my sis carry a bunch of shit that she really doesn’t need back into her dorm room. Seriously, why did she take like 15 DVDs home with her? I know damn well she didn’t watch a single one.

I’m doing that digressing thing again. I need to digress from digressing.

Anyway, my sister’s mountain of crap really isn’t anything out of the ordinary. I always had a packed car when I went back to school after break, and I even used to lug around a desktop with a big, old-school 194-pound monitor for fear that leaving it would get stolen if I left it in my dorm room over break. That thing was a beast. Even with today’s flat screens, every student I saw moving back into the dorm had a ton of crap.

This is last year's pickle picture, proving that I'm not the only gloat-y Boyer sister. Also, it's a super flattering picture of me, right?

I’m sure there are minimalist students out there, but even so, there’s still stuff to move in and other every semester. Clothing, books, whatever. And you’re just counting your days until you move again.

But aren’t we all?

I counted - between my start as a college freshman in fall 2003 and today I’ve moved nine times. In less than eight years…NINE MOVES. And that doesn’t count mini-moves in and out during winter breaks. Two of those moves were on a massive scale, involving trailers filled with furniture. And I don’t think I’m alone.

We’re all moving, constantly, looking for that next better step in our lives. We’re moving into a biggest house with more space to fill with more crap we don’t need. Or we’re moving into a smaller house to reevaluate our situation and purge or lives of unnecessary crap we’ve finally decided to let go. Or we’re moving to a new city for a better job that we’ll enjoy more or that will earn us more money. Or we’re moving to a nicer neighborhood to feel safer or be close to work. Or we’re moving to college. Or we’re moving to the next military base. Or we’re moving home. We’re moving, moving, moving, barely settled in one place before we’re house-hunting again.

Sometimes, it’s okay to STAND. STILL.

People have a lot of sayings they like to throw at your face - “A rolling stone gathers no moss” or “If you aren’t moving forward, you’re moving backward” or “If you don’t shut up that damn dog, I’m going to come over there and smack you.”

Ok, that last one was for my neighbor in the off chance that he reads my blog, but the other ones hold true. People seem to have this fetish of needing to always be moving toward the next bigger, better, more awesome thing.

Screw that. Sometimes, it is ok to just stop and BREATHE for a moment of your life. The world is not going to leave you behind. I promise. Besides, if you actually stop and look around, you might find that today is already pretty awesome.

One of my friends on Twitter, Andrew Walsh, illustrates when I mean perfectly. Andrew wants to have his own blog, but he’s not completely sure how he’ll fit into his niche. So he’s taking some time to think about it before posting all sorts of crap that won’t fit into the blog he ultimately develops. He’s not going to move forward until he’s ready. Smart.

Let everyone else run around trying to figure out their next big move. You don’t have to do that. I’m not advocating getting complacent. I do believe that we should all strive to constantly learn and grow as human beings. But it is okay to be happy where you are. More importantly, it is okay to stay where you are, even if you aren’t happy yet, and develop a plan instead of rushing to the next thing as fast as you can. Me-time is FINE.

Yes, you’ll frustrate the hell out of people who perceive your me-time to mean that you don’t have goals or drive or whatever. That’s okay because you know what? It’s your life. There’s really no sense in moving on to something you dislike just as much as your current situation. Move when it’s a move that will make you happy - and remember that there’s nothing wrong with being happy wherever you are right now, even if you aren’t a millionaire or a CEO or supreme ruler of the free world. It’s okay to be happy with something simpler. It’s okay to just stop moving, at least for a little while.

One more Boyer sister picture to prove that we aren't making fun of one another all the time. Just most of it.


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  1. Judy Helfand (Reply) on Sunday 9, 2011

    Alli,
    Since birth I think I have moved 20 times. Not many, really in the scheme of things. I do always marvel at how much stuff people take to college. In 1967 I went off to college with a footlocker. Not a trunk…a foot locker. Everything I owned, which was not a lot, was in the footlocker. I did not own a typewriter, a radio, tv, …. In those days, basically arrived at the dorm with our clothes and our brain!!!!
    Just recently I learned that a good friend had passed away. She was 89. What always amazed me about her was that she lived in the same home from age 12 until her death. Can you imagine 77 years in the same home? She was married in that home in Brookline, MA, in 1942, raised her three children in that home.
    Well, Alli, I enjoyed the photos of you and your sister and I enjoyed learning more about you. This post was a welcome diversion from our Tucson weekend.

    Judy

    • Allison (Reply) on Sunday 9, 2011

      Hi Judy!

      I think it’s something that’s changing with the generations. I read a report recently that said that most young adults in the 70s and 80s who were surveyed believed that they’d be with their current company for the life of their career, or at least several years. Today, that’s not the case - most people fully expect to move on from the company where they’re working today.

      I think that people run the risk of standing still too long. If you’re unhappy, it makes sense to work toward something better. But if your first was happy, good for her for staying in her house for 77 years! We’re bombarded with people telling us that we have to move on, do better, be better, but if life is about finding happiness, sometimes it’s okay to stop and realize that you’re already happy!

  2. Jess Boyer (Reply) on Sunday 9, 2011

    for the record…. I watched almost all those movies while I was home because home can be boring. You weren’t FORCED to help move my back… but i’m glad you did =)

    • Allison (Reply) on Sunday 9, 2011

      Ok fiiiiiiiiine. But you still had so much crap to move back in. (So did I every year )












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