[Note: Today is day 6 of 10 in our annual Guest Blogger Series. Please remember: the Intramuralist may or may not agree with the opinion(s) expressed. The goal is respectful articulation.]
After over 30 years in a home that had seen the rearing of children, the hospitality of neighbors, the hosting of family gatherings, I engaged in the daunting task of MOVING. Oh, it was time, and I was excited about the new home we had purchased. Even the term “downsizing” was appealing. Nevertheless, “daunting” was the right word.
Closets held too much clothes; shelves held too many books; storage areas contained too many long unopened boxes; furniture was unusable in the new house. But where to begin? Sorting, pitching, saving I knew, but what should go into each category? Goodwill and I became personal acquaintances. Chin families needed clothes and linens. Salvation Army picked up furniture. Records and books went to the Half-priced store (for little in return). My piano went to grandchildren. (Notice, no garage sales… that’s not for me.) High school and college papers and classroom lesson plans I purged… with some reluctance. At times I did feel as if I were “downsizing” me.
But I saved other treasures of sentiment as well… gift books with special notes written in the cover by the giver, my dad’s violin, my mother’s dresser, dishes that were their wedding gifts, the first dress I sewed for a 4-H project at age 12 (white fabric with frisky pink lambs on it), pictures and professional recognitions. Items likes these are touched with love and memory of events and people dear to me. I’m not saving just the item, but the warmth therein.
However, I have discovered that often a process has many other applications. I wonder if it would not be wise to evaluate just what intangibles we are hanging on to, that which has no real value and should be purged as well:
— a self-regret based on “woulda-coulda-shoulda”
— a resentment that others have achieved what we have not
— an ego which prevents us from seeing the good in others
— a prejudice that blankets collectively people we don’t even know
— an anger that we nurse and rehearse because we won’t admit we might be wrong
— an unwillingness to forgive because that might give a gift to one who doesn’t deserve it… when it really is a gift we give ourselves
— an excuse to live not as we are called to by serving and loving others
Yes, I found the moving process though laborious, yet liberating as well. Shedding “stuff” simplifies life. But wouldn’t letting go of negative attitudes and hostilities be even more simplifying? More freeing? Wouldn’t each day be more peaceful without carrying around a load of burdensome feelings and inner turmoil?
Consider trying it. This is a process that doesn’t require a change of address… only a change of heart.
P.S. Thanks, Intramuralist… and I don’t miss a thing I left behind.
[Intramuralist Note: DL has poured insight into me for decades; most of the time, I listened. Well done, Madre… well done.]