I’m helping a friend move this week.

This is a 26-year-old friend I met last summer when I moved to Seattle and immediately signed up for kickball. (I’ve met some great friends through co-ed kickball). He’s never helped me move, and I hope he won’t have to. When he thanks me – as he has repeatedly – for helping pack up kitchen supplies and carry liquor bottles to the car, I think, “don’t thank me.”

It’s “thanks” to all those friends who helped me move five times in the past couple of years. Those friends I’ll never have a chance to repay because, well, they’re in their 30s and are far more responsible than I am. They are “settled down.” They own homes. They’re starting families. They have enough money to hire movers. They are responsible.

Not me. Not anymore. My ex-husband and I owned a few homes. We had professional movers once. But I’ve regressed. Now I’m a uHaul-and-friends kind of mover, with the promise of pizza and beer at the end of the day.

About 1 1/2 years ago, I relied on family and friends to move me out of my house – fast – once I found out my husband had an affair. And then six months later, they moved me out of my apartment. In the blazing July Midwestern heat, they helped me store furniture, sell off many items and take numerous loads to Goodwill. And then they helped pack my little car, which took me to Seattle with the fewest positions I’ve had in a decade.

Someday I’ll get to the point where I’m paying it forward again. But until then, I have some karma-catching-up to do.

Can I count moving as my exercise for the day? Sadly, my arms are kinda sore ….

Lola, 32, Seattle

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