Early in my legal career, my law office was making a building move and it seemed like an overwhelming task. My boss (who I am still friends with today) left a copy of Who Moved My Cheese? on everyone’s chair. I read it back then and put it away on my bookshelf, now in a box with 272 other books I refuse to sell or recycle, to my wife’s chagrin.
I know it’s probably a more of a business/career book to many people, but the simple message sticks in my brain now as we are into our 5th month in our new town and still trying to figure out which direction we are going.
What happened in August is that I moved my family’s cheese. Now we are trying to decide if we are just craving the old cheese or if we’re really ready to be optimistic about this new cheese.
We moved for various reasons, mainly quality of life by decreasing my commute 120 minutes per day, good schools, and general great things about our new town that made it all seem like a no-brainer.
But actually moving away from the family cheese hasn’t been a total breeze. Cheese, breeze…see what I did there?
We had so much cheese in our old place. My wife lived in the same area for 50 years! She had so much cheese, and lots of old cheese. We had many cheesy friends, we always could have people over, had constant social plans or just see cheesy people everywhere we went! We had school cheese, baseball cheese, neighborhood cheese, old school friend cheese, and even political cheese.
Leaving your cheese comes with so much doubt and thinking about the cheese you are losing or leaving behind is (as we see in the book), paralyzing. The reality is that we are adjusting and finding a way to balance our occasional optimism and pessimism about the new cheese possibilities.
We really miss our old cheese. We do. We want to see our old cheese every day or week, like we used to, but we are not far away and actually have the opportunity to visit our old cheese while seeking out our new cheese! How great is that!?!
But the reality has set in that we need to let go a little of the longing, embrace that the old cheese isn’t gone forever, but allow ourselves to dive into the new cheese possibilities. They are there. We are already finding new baseball cheese, new work cheese and even new school cheese.
People move all of the time. I originally oversimplified in my head how easy the transition would be. My family moved from Southern California to Connecticut when I was little and, oh the friend and family cheese my parents left behind must have been tough! But my parents knew how to move, they’d lived all over the world and moved constantly. They were always able to find new cheese. So, I never thought it would be hard. But moving from your old cheese is hard.
The lesson in all of it is that we don’t need to overthink what cheese we had, what cheese we’ve left and what, if any, cheese we may find. We will always have that valuable old cheese and will never truly leave it behind. We definitely have some lifelong cheese that will be with us no matter where we are or how much new cheese we find. We are lucky and thankful that we were never actually cheese-less. That made it harder to move, but we are crossing the bridge to the new cheese and can look forward with more openness and excitement!