Friday, August 19, 2011

An Ode to the Wet Dream of an OCD organizer

Listening to: The psychosis of the McDonalds play area

Mood: Meh

As I’ve always overshared, I have a serious love of organizing things. I don’t think I qualify as an OCD person, but I do love me some organizing closets/basements/attics/etc.  Understandably, I thought I would LOVE going through our house and getting rid of all of the nonsense we’ve collected in the past few years and the things we can’t take along for other reasons. Turns out the only part of this I’m enjoying all that much is using up our supply of red wine. With a duty of around 300%, we will certainly be finishing that up before 
we leave.

Aside from the things that we can’t take along for practical reasons, it’s a lot harder to sort and get rid of things than I thought. For one, it’s almost impossible to keep stuff sorted out in the first place. That toy horse the kids swore they were done with has been taken out of the sell/give away pile more times than I can remember to scream at the kids about. For most of the stuff, it’s more practical. We went through once and got rid of the stuff that was just obvious, it’s the less obvious things I’m having trouble with. A weed whacker? There’s just no way we’ll need or want one living in an apartment in India. A set of huge metallic mixing bowls that I could buy again in India? Not quite so clear. Also, my baking stuff.  I won’t have an oven, but it really worth buying all new pans when we return from India just so I don’t have t store them while we’re there? I’m waiting for my husband to go through with me and do a final sort through. He’s great at providing a definitive “Woman, there is no way you’ll need that.”

As it turns out, it’s a lot harder to actually get rid of stuff we don’t need/want than I thought. Perhaps the flaw in my logic is that I was going to try to make a little bit of money off of things rather than just walk into Goodwill with full arms and a smile. I thought this would be a piece of cake with underpricing and Craigslist. Turns out, not so much. I have neither the time nor the energy for a garage sale….so I’m not even sure what to do with my stuff. This right here offends my Midwest sensibilities. Cheap stuff, in good shape and barely used that NO ONE is interested in??? What??? I’m getting quite frustrated that no one wants to throw $15 bucks at me for a weed whacker that is barely used and cost $90 to buy.

Ah well, I suppose I should just give up on the idea that stuff is worth anything anymore if it’s not new and just put it out by the curb with a free sign. It certainly would clean up some of the clutter that has enveloped my house like a bad case of mold on an old loaf of bread. Sigh. One of the reasons I HATE moving. Our house devolves into chaos for long periods of time.


Let the Hemorrhage Begin

Listening to: The psychosis of the McDonalds play area

Mood: Meh

Because I really haven’t gotten to the whole extent of it, I really haven’t discussed the monetary aspect of moving to India. For obvious reasons, the cost of such a move will be different for every family, and I’ll get into costs later. Today I want to talk about voluntary costs that add a buttload to your overall moving expenses.

Let’s just get it out there. We bought leather couches. “What?” you say? “Totally unnecessary throwing of money down the black hole!?”  Well actually I’m getting to agree with that point just because everything is so damn expensive, but I do feel that this was a necessary expense for our family. As to your family, well, not everyone will have a child with moderate to severe eczema. I’m not planning to bring my vacuum and India is legendary when it comes to dust. For our family, a couch I could wipe off was almost non-negotiable as dust is an allergen trigger for my youngest. Bringing the vacuum along also wasn’t a really viable option either, the converter to make it able to run itself is a hassle.  I actually really like the couches just because they scream classy. At least to my mid-western blue collar sensibilities they do anyhow.    

The point I’m trying to get at in this topic is that unless you’re a standard family without any exceptional problems (mental, emotional etc.) then the cost is going to be a bit more than you wanted. I know I definitely could have done without dropping a few (not so) extra thousand dollars on new couches that we wouldn't have otherwise bought. The further we get into this move, the more the expenses seem to multiply like unsupervised rabbits.  

So unless you’re willing to either spend the money it takes to obtain what you want/need to be comfortable or are willing to be even more uncomfortable than you would have been, a move like this probably isn’t for you. We could have gone the route of going with suitcases and shipping a very small amount of our personal belongings, but my husband is quite worried about our ability to deal with this huge change in general, it’s never really been an option to start completely over again. Another deciding factor is that re-buying a household in India is almost comparable to furnishing one from here, on Indian pay. Salaries aren’t the same as the US and goods in a general sense will costs just as much, but not have the same quality.

It’s really a shame. This should be a super-exciting time for my husband and I, and in a way it is. I know I’m super excited to go! But we’ve never had disagreements about money before. We both don’t really like wasting it, so this type of this where the money is flowing out like water is really unnerving for us. No blow out fights yet, but I’m not counting them out.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Leaking the news

I Like it – Enrique Iglesias

Mood: Calm

Now that you’ve made the decision to move to India (or any other country really for that matter), how do you let your loved ones know? I guess this depends on how much your family cares for you and how close you are with them. For us here at the G family, we have a fabulous family on both sides.  I told my family first because I swear my head was going to explode if I didn’t tell somebody. The first person that I called was my mom.  This was a smart choice. My mom sits at the top of the totem pole of people who expect to be notified first of, well, almost anything. Unfortunately, my mom is about as difficult to find as Shahrukh Khan movie in which Shahrukh isn’t crying at some point.  For those who don’t get this analogy, it can be really hard to find her the first time you look.  

At this point, I could have sworn my head was going to pop off and explode like a champagne bottle if I didn’t tell someone. So I decided to post it on facebook. This was a not so smart choice. My wall exploded with people congratulating me, asking what I was thinking,  and why I didn’t call them and tell them in person.  The whole episode was capped off by my husband calling me very pissed that people at work where congratulating him on a move to India that he hadn’t told them about. So…yeah. I would definitely not recommend that approach.  Some people warrant a phone call when it comes to you moving.

I did end up talking to most of those important people I know and apologizing for being an insensitive ass about the whole thing and not calling them and telling them first. Overall, most of 
my friends and family were supportive, if not thrilled.

My husband told his family shortly after I did. For the most part, they were very supportive too. My husband comes from a loooonnnnggg line of worriers.  The funny part about this is that they’re worried about me, not my husband. So most of the feedback was along the lines of: well, what about this? Did you think of that? What about Becky? How will she deal with this, that and the other.  I really do love my husband’s family. I couldn’t have asked for a nicer family to marry into. They are the reason that I am willing to move to India. I would not be able to do it without their support.

So that’s how the news came out at our house. I’m pretty sure I won’t have this experience to do again (but who knows!) and that’s what I would do the same and differently. I’m sure I’ll get a bit more honest and extensive feedback (my family is nothing if not honest and upfront, even if you don’t want to hear it) when I visit them in a week.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Decision

Listening to: Jay Sean – Down

Mood: Slightly overwhelmed

So much has changed since I last updated this blog. Let’s start at the beginning. Since I wrote last, the husband and I pretty much wrote off India. It just didn’t seem to be in the cards for us at all.  In other news, my sister in law’s family has settled into the new chapter of their lives and is doing extremely well.  We are super happy to see how well they’ve adjusted, made friends, and generally embraced where life has taken them.  We had decided to pursue a job change in the US for husband and were resigned to some change disrupting our lives. Our summer plans were put off in the anticipation of what would happen over the summer. We hoped to make a long-overdue trip to India for a vacation to see the family and meet up with some very much missed cousins. Our vacation was rather dependent on a job husband was pursuing and very much attached to a time schedule so we would have plenty of summer to enjoy in India without worrying too much about the kiddos missing school. We had everything all planned out besides tickets. It soon became very apparent that the job was not going to come through on the schedule we were after and the trip was not going to happen. That was one of the hardest things I’ve dealt with in the last few years.  In spite of knowing better, I let myself get excited before tickets were actually purchased.  A good friend hooked my husband up with a contact in India just to have a chat about a job. It was at this point that we started thinking seriously about a move to India after all. We found ourselves at a natural crossroad in life and started thinking more on a serious level about the huge choice in front of us. After many anguished discussions and many, many long nights discussing every pro and con and then discussing them again, we decided to do it. Even though that particular job didn’t pan out, we were still going to make India work. That’s right! The G family is preparing to move to India.

That’s right India; here we come. I can’t even begin to describe the euphoria/anxiety that erupted at our house after that decision was made. After a few days of completely freaking out, we decided to start making a battle plan. I’ll get into everything that has happened since in the coming posts. I still am getting a breathless panicky feeling in my chest whenever I sit too long and think about it. I wouldn’t necessarily categorize it as a negative thing, but in the interest of honesty, there is plenty of that too.

I think the biggest thing that comes to mind is the kind of life change this is for our family. This isn’t simply a move. This is a closing up shop of an entire life in one country and the opening of another somewhere else. And to think I told my husband that at almost 30, I was getting a little too old to start over again somewhere else in the US. Ha! That is exactly what I get for tempting fate. I’ll get into the reasons that husband and I decided were worth it to move, but for now, I’ll leave it at assuring you all that this was not only entirely voluntary, it was fully supported by myself. An entirely new chapter in our lives is about to start, and it is absolutely breathtaking.  

This is going to be the record here. All the good, the bad, and possibly the ugly. A few reasons I want to do this:
  1. To assure my family and friends that the husband, myself and the kiddos are indeed alive and kicking when they need visual confirmation.
  2. Pictures for those we no longer are in physical proximity to.
  3. A physical record of a time that I hope is going to be amazing, even if it is the most difficult thing we will ever do. As I have learned, time moves way too fast. I want reminders and pictures.
  4. A resource for those looking at the same decision point in their lives or those who already are on the road. I really wish we had more information from people who have done it.

So welcome along on this crazy rabbit hole we’re jumping down. I’m nothing if not honest, so I apologize ahead of time if I make you uncomfortable. I will be telling it how it is.