BOSTON — You would think that after moving a dozen and a half times, changing addresses again would be pretty ho-hum. But I still get excited when my family has an opportunity to live in a new state or country. Instead of seeing the myriad details of switching residences as chores, I love the sense of discovery that accompanies such activities as house hunting, finding the best places to shop, and tracking down a good dry cleaner. It's surprising how different these tasks can be in various parts of the world.
Last week I met a lady who has lived in the same neighborhood for 50 years. If my husband had been an accountant instead of an engineer and I a teacher rather than a writer, would we have done the same? Maybe. But I know how much we would have missed had we stayed in one place: meeting new people, having unforgettable experiences, learning different customs, and gathering memories. When you move often, the world is a smaller and friendlier place.
I tried to explain this to my new acquaintance, but she saw only the sadness of leaving friends behind. "How do you adjust to so many different places?" she asked.
I've found that the best way is to take a cue from Janus, the mythological Roman god of going out and coming in, who had one face that looked forward to the future and another backward at the past. In my experience, successful moves require looking back with appreciation while looking forward with anticipation.
*Judy Lowe recently joined the Homefront as assistant editor.
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