Few things I want to do, and few that I don't
May 12, 2022 8:58 AM   Subscribe

Hi, this was me. After some delays, I'm all set to move to the new place. I'm looking to build some positive habits concurrently, and also not do certain things, as much as possible. And an additional thing that shouldn't have been a surprise...but is. Help me sort this out?

Things I want to do:
The place I'm moving out from was in a terrible part of the city, and very far from my workplace. I'd locked into the habit of delaying my return home to avoid rush hour and then indulged in revenge procrastination (by Friday I had slits for eyes and the patience of a hungry crocodile), and a lot of comfort eating, especially when WFO resumed. While the late returns home reduced somewhat once I got my cats, the snacking and procrastination didn't. I need better sleep hygiene/discipline, more consistent physical activity, and better food choices, and it would be so cool to use this move as a reset button as I now would have more time and access to calm/beautiful public spaces. How do I build these habits? All at once? Stack one by one? How do you ensure you sleep enough to feel rested/eat sensibly most of the time/incorporate enough movement?
Things I don't want to do:
The cost of living in this part of the city is significantly higher. It's well worth it in the general sense, but I would like to be careful about my budget since there is no corresponding increase in my pay. How should I rebalance my budget? (The main increase would be transport costs and utilities).
I'm also moving much closer to a guy I dated for a bit. I felt much more strongly than he did, and while we fell apart romantically we remained very good friends - which sometimes means I still have moments of sadness about 'if only' scenarios in my head. He's said he's looking forward to hanging out much more often and it sounds both awesome and horrible. He's one of the very few people I know in that area. I love spending time with him. It's easy and fun. I don't want to torture myself thinking of all the ways it would be so great to be together. It's not meant to be. How do I protect my heart?
And lastly, the thing that's throwing me for a loop -
I made a huge mistake when I picked current apartment (this was seven years back) - I followed someone to this city and chose basis physical proximity to them. This worked out badly, to put it mildly. They abandoned me early on, and the last few years has been a terrible slog, both physically and mentally, some of it irreversible. I am ecstatic about moving...and yet, I'm hit by a strange sense of grief. I built a home for myself. I adopted my rescue cats. I made local friends. I had haunts and favourite coffeeshops. I learnt that my sense of humour would (and did) carry me through some pretty bad stuff. I weathered big bad events alone, including the worst of the pandemic. I've always been the sort of person who acutely misses cities and old homes and familiar faces. How do I honour this stuff before I move out? I want to.
This is a grab-bag of a question but since everything is centred around the move I put it all together. Any and all inputs appreciated!
posted by Nieshka to Grab Bag (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
To protect your heart, consider NOT getting together with this guy more. Put your energy into finding new haunts and making new local friends instead. It is normal to grieve a place you're leaving, even when it's happy. I would suggest talking to your own heart when you feel it, naming the feeling as you go. "Aw Nieshka's heart, I know you're going to miss some things about your old place. Feeling grief about a change is normal. It's going to be ok. This time, I moved for all the right reasons." Something like that.

I think tackling all those habits at once sounds hard, but I agree this is a good opportunity to reset. I would focus on the revenge sleep procrastination. Usually when people are doing that, they feel that too much of the rest of their day is outside of their control. And indeed, you could not control traffic, etc. Can you ask yourself with gentle curiosity, what is in your control and what is not? Is there anything you can change? It also sounds like your commute will be much shorter, which is assuredly a life improvement. What if you left work on time now and told yourself "I'm excited to go home to my new home and my new neighborhood." Maybe just the difference in how much time you'll get back into your control would be enough to stop the sleep procrastination habit?
posted by purple_bird at 4:28 PM on May 12

Take a bunch of photos of the current house and neighborhood. Every room, every bookcase - have a photo to activate all of the old memories. If you want, have them printed into a book. The book will help you take the good memories with you - they are a part of you that you need never lose.
posted by metahawk at 4:41 PM on May 12

Look forward to finding new haunts, bookshops, coffee bars, boutiques. Get a good map of the area and find parks and small streets to explore. Is there something you've always been interested in that's nearby? A gallery with drawing lessons, a sewing or knitting shop? Expand your horizons and find new friends and acquaintances.
Change one habit at a time and give it 3 or 4 weeks to establish.

You sound excited and happy about this move, so go with the happy feelings and remember you are much stronger and wiser now than 7 years ago.
posted by Enid Lareg at 11:36 AM on May 13

Good luck with the move, Nieshka! :) I feel like I have come out of a comparable situation with a dude recently, and the important thing has been honestly to ignore all the good feelings I get when I experience an interaction with him. I've been emotionally burnt - not to sound overdramatic about it - way too many times by him to expect things will be any different the next time around. I've trained myself into not responding with my usual heart-eyes fervour to his texts, not suggest we hang out, never seek him out. It's hard, but it gets easier with practice, and I think of it not as denying myself something that gives me that short term burst of pleasure, but honouring myself, my time and my emotions. That's just what has worked for me, so take from that what you will. I get that it's socially difficult sometimes to disengage from existing friendships. It was possible in my circumstances but it might be harder with yours.

Be prepared for feelings to hit you when you leave. It may take a while for the new place to feel like home. Everything can feel off at first when you move to a new place. Don't worry about those feelings... They eventually shift, and you can alleviate a lot of the 'new home blues' by indulging in a bit of redecoration!
posted by unicorn chaser at 4:46 PM on May 13

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