Sorting, packing and jettisoning years of stuff has been both energizing and exhausting. I have found items that I have no idea where they came from, possibly they slunk in unbeknownst to me and decided to stay. I have found things I had forgotten about that I do wish to keep, letters and such. And I have sent many things on their way to new homes, with only the absolute junk off to the dump. I am also getting tire of the whole process and the diy that has gone with it.
I have my list of tasks at hand-
Paint touch ups
Sort, pack, toss
Put in new sink
Wash this, fix that
The list goes on, and all those who have moved know the burnout that a moving prep list can bring. The ennui that tackling another task brings on. The energy spikes that can occur unexpectedly to help power you through. And all this before the house is listed or the new place found! No wonder my mom hasn’t moved in over 60 years.
October is over, November has begun. The clocks will be set back this weekend bringing in closer, darker nights. Fireplace weather, woodstove days, bonfire nights- all to keep the dark and cold at bay. I am leaning into this season, likely our last in this house, to not only enjoy the days, but also to winnow what I want to carry forth from here. It is a time to travel light and leave behind that which no longer is needed.
I am often out looking at architecture, old and new. If I can pull over or walk back safely to it I will do so to get the image even if I never use it. Just a historical record of sorts. Joe and I are preparing to pare down to a place with a much shorter driveway and smaller yard. To that end, I have been working on winnowing items for several years, and we now have started bigger tasks that we can breakdown into smaller ones. Mainly cutting back all the overgrowth that occurred since we did it last back in early 2015. Amazing how quickly it filled back in! The list seems endless, and many tasks are simply not DIY and will be on the slow to get done list for now. It is both exciting and a bit scary to start down this road after 25 years at the same address, but the house needs a young family in it. The girls will be finishing college soon and off on their own full time. the dorm days are nearly over, school breaks and childhood bedrooms will be a thing of the past. It is nearly time to leave this harbor and sail forth.
It took me almost 2 years, but today was the day that the boxes got packed. In hindsight I should have dealt with the items back in the fall of 2015, or any of the following months. But hope kept me from tackling the task. Now, after nearly 30 years of “Protecting and Serving” I have capitulated and packed up all my husband’s work and military uniforms for passing on. It has not been easy to come to this point for either of us, but work will not be something he is able to return to. And for anyone who has had a career identity that was a lifestyle, you know how hard it is to make the change. For someone who has a brain injury it is even tougher, as part of your mind still feels you can do the job, even as you know you can’t. Trying to adjust to this new life we have has been a varying challenge, but there you have it- life does that and the options are, stay locked in place or continue to move forward in a new direction. Accepting uncertainty, and going off script has never been easy for me, so this is a whole new terrain to navigate and one we both often resent having to navigate. It has brought restrictions to both our lives that we didn’t expect. It has also brought time to spend together that was missing when duty called. Light-dark. up-down, yin-yang all part of our new season.
Out and about today in the wind that changed a warm fall day to a very chilly one. Then back in to clean and sort and haul stuff to Goodwill. It feels good to be getting rid of old stuff that is still usable to someone else. It just seems the more I get rid of the more there is. I suspect it is either spontaneously recreating or someone is sneaking in and leaving exact replicas of what I have. In any event I am chipping away at it. It takes a lot of time though, whether in big blocks or small clusters, days and days of it to get a load ready to go. And I wouldn’t have said I had this much stuff. It is just a lot of inherited items that need to be dealt with a bit differently than the generic items that accumulate. There is a feeling of expansiveness that comes with shedding stuff that is wonderful.