This was a week to remember: not only are we in the midst of a major move, what we call “the” move of a lifetime but my modem was accidentally broken by my cleaning lady and my email account was hacked! Getting the former replaced and the latter secured, blocked and then reinstated took up so much of my precious time in this super busy period.
We are literally tearing our home apart, going through 40+ years of unabashed accumulation (much of it of profound sentimental value) as we prepare things for the movers. Our goal is to move only the useful, the necessary …along with a minimum of what we simply cannot discard but which is hardly definable as useful or necessary. Long lists are everywhere, piles abound under the headings of “To Throw, To Give Away, To Sell… To Decide Tomorrow” (there are some decisions which defy immediate decisions – they need to be slept on).
Our home was fortunately…or perhaps unfortunately, large enough to accommodate what I now call “accumulation abuse” over these many years. Anything… and more was carefully stored and labeled…ready for some possible future use…until this move made it blatantly clear that there is no plausible future use for so much of it.
We are moving to a small place on the property at Genius Loci – downsizing 4:1. This has been a pondered and informed choice of ours…perhaps more in theory than in practice. On paper it didn’t sound so complicated and didn’t seem that it would entail so much work. What wasn’t measurable until we actually got into the eliminating, was the emotional and sentimental toll, the unsettling feeling of eliminating a huge hunk of our lives. The hardest part for me is throwing the hordes of even the smallest, seemingly insignificant, drawings, notes, the “little nothing” gifts from young Mar and Michael (I can still see their beaming faces as they so proudly presented me with their carefully chosen souvenir type gifts from every trip we took together as a family), or their rock collections, shell collections, dusty handmade crafts made from twigs, leaves, dried flowers and even dried insects!!!, their precious crayon scribbled “I love you” notes left on my pillow along with a flower from the garden…their way of saying goodnight!
Never was that ill feeling of losing a huge hunk of my family life more poignant than when I went through 39 large photo albums (before going digital) documenting these years! Knowing, however, that this overly-detailed, exaggerated photographic 39-volume document was simply way too much for the children in the future, I saved only a fraction of the thousands of photos placing the most significant ones lovingly in two sturdy photo boxes.
I’m trying to keep the faith – to remember that I do firmly believe that Less is More. The hard part is getting to that perfect balance of Less!