To prepare for the “big move,” I was given a tip by a friend who recently left town: Get rid of everything.
I laughed at the time but it all made sense last night, standing in front of my picked over bookshelves.
We do love our books. As I referred to in my previous post Books are Life, it is a trait given to me by my mother and I’ve passed it down to E. But now I have to actually move a life and I’m beginning to sweat – and this is just the books! After a second pass over the shelves, I realized I needed to sit and rethink. In my job, if a system stops working, I step back. I take time to objectively figure out a new approach. I figured the process would just as easily apply to my big move so I stopped everything and just sat.
First, I asked what I wanted out of this move. Turns out there was only one real question that needed answering before packing another box: Am I transplanting or am I moving forward?
I had lived and worked different lives to get here. I was into typical trends as a young girl, graduated college, enjoyed my twenties, traveled cross-country several times, worked at sea, been married, gave birth, divorced, raised a child, and worked for a wonderful agency until retirement. And that’s the abbreviated version. Like velcro, my life rolled throughout, picking up stuff and sundry along the way. What I have in this house is the collection of a lifetime and I needed to decide how much from those past lives should come with me.
The answer was….well, I wasn’t sure. But rather than asking if something sparked joy, I needed to ask if it belonged in my new life. I then started to approach this not as stressful packing but more as an opportunity, and that made all the difference in the world. The light bulb went off, I heard the bell ring. It was my A-HA moment. The stress receded (for that part anyway) and I was energized to start again.
Some things I would shed, donating to groups, selling online, and giving to friends. Special family items would be shipped to nieces and nephews to carry forward. The process would have its own type of stress, but I had found a way to be more focused and almost eager to keep it moving forward.