February 28, 2021 · 10:44 pm
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.
February 20, 2021 · 3:49 pm
How many times has this happened? I suddenly have a good idea for a blog post. I’m going into a meeting but that’s ok, I can remember that. Then an hour later, I find a blank space in my mind. It’s just gone like a cartoon moment where words are walking the plank. I have it….oops, it’s gone. I don’t think it’s senioritis – it is more about taking a few minutes, jotting down some notes or making a voice memo to capture the tone for writing later.
Soon I will have more mental disc space for such moments. This blog has been about sharing those interesting family moments, with some personal reflections thrown in. It has evolved as we both have grown. But now this momalot life is winding towards retirement. Time will eventually be more abundant and, I hope, filled with less multitasking and more mindful actions. But that’s the end game of this chapter or the beginning of a new one.
Retirement from my job will coincide with home upgrades geared towards resale. Add the challenging coordination of purging, packing, and moving me, E, and two pets across the country, and I expect a good nine months of blog worthy tales.
Get ready for quite the ride.
November 22, 2020 · 1:23 pm
I was standing in my living room, looking at my wall of knick knacks and pictures from the perspective of Christmas and what needed to be packed away to make room for decorations, when my gaze fell on a photo of me with my mother. It was the year I unexpectedly became pregnant with little E. I had booked a cruise with my mom and, despite her doom and gloom protestations, I was still hell bent on going at two months along. That cruise provided sweet memories of morning sickness, no alcohol, and early bed times. But I firmly believe that ten days of people handing me well cooked meals along with buffets of unlimited fresh fruit gave me a great head start on a blissful pregnancy. It also gave me a small slice of time with my mom, who unexpectedly passed three years later.
My daughter walked into the room while I stood there so I asked her to look at the photo, and told her my mom was the same age I am now. Her jaw just dropped. She couldn’t believe it. Now, my mother had major health issues and she passed away from them as they escalated. And people are just more health aware now, trying to neutralize the diet of our youth when fatty beef was our friend and the fridge held things like head cheese….which I ate alongside my dad, who also died too soon.
This post was motivated by the fact that this year has crapped all over my strength, my self control, and just my overall personal mental and physical balance. And as I gazed up at that photo, I realized how much more feeble I feel. Feeble is a bit strong so I checked with my friend the Thesaurus and came up with a pile of better words: fragile, frail, inadequate, strengthless, and my favorite – out of gas. Whatever the word, it needs to perfectly define my state of being since, when screwing in a bathroom doorstop the other day, I couldn’t get back up off the floor. I mean I needed both the tub and toilet to heave myself to standing. And that is just not acceptable.
I can’t wait for a vaccine or for the world to reset to get it together. Otherwise, I will be climbing out of a much bigger hole. I’ve gained 6lbs throughout this time of craziness so I am better off than some but it’s the flexibility, strength, and the mental sturdiness where I’ve taken my punches. Annually as the weather grows cooler, I have always started my push for healthier eating habits, which has never failed to draw blank stares from my co-workers, their minds already on stuffing, mashed potatoes, and Christmas cookies. I am so glad that at least one of my deep rooted habits still remains.
It’s almost Thanksgiving. A time to be grateful – for my family, my friends, for the life and good health God gave me. And it’s time to throw a razzie over my shoulder and pull myself back up, literally and figuratively, and find my way through. Wishing you all your own curative path.