Nothing is as sobering or interesting as pawing through one’s belongings, while packing up for a physical move. Not enough time to sit on the floor with photographs and letters to feel the qualities of the memories, to consider why and how relatives came to acquire the pieces lovingly passed down, to taste the dishes made with the odd kitchen tool rediscovered in the bottom cabinet on the far left in the back behind the moldy potato, or recollect precisely why that bag or pair of shoes seemed like a good idea.
Instead, it happens in a blur, like a near death experience. Or what you hear about that moment, when snippets of life dash up to snatch balance and equilibrium. Not exactly making sense in the moment but recognizable as the facts of one’s life. The caffeine-propelled life review makes sound sleep impossible. Too many thoughts awakened – forgotten ideas, new “must dos” before it’s too late, the stories that surround every item – to relax or let go.
And, then the whiplash of despair and panic. “Am I really moving this again?” Immediately followed by, “How will I find this on the other side among all my junk?”
Our stuff defines us. I might want to claim minimalism or sophistication, but my belongings tell the truth. I am an eclectic nightmare, a hodgepodge of influences and motivations. But all the acquisitions fascinate me. How did I ever manage to acquire so many BELONGINGS! Though I am glad and grateful for them mostly, I do briefly regret each thing as it demands my superficial attention as handled – dusted, wrapped, packed, lifted and stacked.
I admire people who can clear house when they start a new chapter. I intended a massive purge these past few weeks. Actually, I did sell a few things, gave away others, and put others out on the street. [Astounding that broken resin Adirondack chairs would be appealing. Happy to not take them to the dump.] I could have let a hundred other things leave my existence. Or maybe not just yet.
However, I found jewels among the detritus. Literally, the jade earrings from my mother that need updated posts. My passions documented in my book selections: cooking, autobiographies, geography, travel, photography, coaching, business, intuition, writing. And, suspended in the nightmare of paper piles, my ideas, dreams and plans. I see some of them now in motion, and suddenly resurrected (or rather stuffed in one of ten boxes marked “Important!) is the very next element needed to spice up my current project.
And repeats. I discovered duplicate purchases (or close enough) in areas I wanted to look good, appear smart, or become expert. The money spent underscores a lack of confidence; I can reconsider now as I see the patterns.
So, for good and/or bad, a lot of stuff is drifting over the border with me tomorrow. Maybe I will reconsider much of it, as I unpack (maybe not all) the many boxes. Next week, I’ll explore possibly letting go more thoroughly. Or, do I mean letting more go thoroughly? Test whether the belongings still belong in this new life.