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In Fear of Big Change: Relocating to the Other Side of the Country

In Fear of Big Change: Relocating to the Other Side of the Country

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Dear Rachel,

My husband’s firm has just relocated him to the other side of the country. As he’s theWe’ve been living in our current neighborhood for 14 years family’s main breadwinner, that means we are moving. And that means a lot of change! We have to sell our house and find a new one, find new schools for the kids, I have to get a new job, and we all have to integrate into a new community. We’ve been living in our current neighborhood for 14 years. I hate change and especially hate when it happens all at once. I’m feeling scared and resentful and worried about how all this is going to impact our family in so many ways.

Not a Happy Camper




Dear Traveler,

Congratulations on your husband’s new job and this new opportunity! I’m sure that the last thing you need to hear right now is a cliché, but the truth is, the only constant is change. If you were to think about it, you’d realize that much has changed in your life in the 14 years you’ve been living in your current location, but the fact that it has been incremental has rendered it less noticeable. Things can’t stay the same no matter how much we want them to, and that’s usually a good thing. What we’re here to do in this world—exemplify growth, innovation, exploration, discovery—all engender change.

G‑d said to Abraham: Lech Lecha—”Go for yourself.” While G‑d was instructing Abraham to leave his home, his place of birth and everything familiar, He told him that he was doing it for Abraham’s own good. A change of place can bring positive growth.

Your family will take their cue from you. If you look upon this move as an adventure, a chance to reinvent yourself, meet new people and take advantage of new opportunities and possibilities, your family will follow suit and have a positive attitude about the move, even though it will be difficult. If you try to hang on to the past and mourn your loss instead of embracing the new challenge, your family will do the same.

I’m not trying to underplay the challenges. It’s stressful and scary, but with the world being a global village, you’re not completely severing yourself from the people you care about. Moreover, your husband needs your support. He’s under a lot of pressure to succeed professionally while ensuring that his family is happy. You’re really the key to that.

Inasmuch as this is a fait accompli and you’ve already agreed to the move, your only choice is to make the best of it. And it’s not a life sentence; if you don’t come to like it, you can always discuss other options.

Once you move, be sure to get involved in the extracurricular activities you enjoyedBe sure to get involved in extracurricular activities where you are now—join a synagogue, volunteer or take a class. Weave your thread into the tapestry of your new home.

The Jewish home is considered a miniature sanctuary. When the Jews sojourned in the desert, they dismantled the Tabernacle when they journeyed; when they rested, they reassembled it in their new spot.

What you are taking with you—your family, your sanctuary, your Tabernacle—is infinitely more important than what you are leaving behind. You, your husband and children are embarking on this adventure together, which means you are taking the most important part of your previous lives with you: each other.

“G‑d guides the footsteps of man.” (Psalms 37:23) Consider yourself as having received new deployment orders from G‑d. He is sending you to a place where He thinks it will be good for you, for your family and for the community you will be joining. There is a purpose (beyond financial) for you to be in that place, for you to impact whoever you come into contact with.

Cherish your memories, be grateful for the last 14 years, stay in touch with your friends, but enjoy the adventure and the rebuilding of your Tabernacle.

Happy trails!

Rachel

Rosally Saltsman is a freelance writer originally from Montreal living in Israel.
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