In the first 19 years of my life, I moved once, (not counting the year I lived in the dorm on the college campus where I grew up), from a small apartment to a larger house when I was age 9. Since that time, I can count nine times, soon to be 10, with the longest time in one place being nearly 11 years at the previous address. Whether a move has been of my choosing or not, each one holds a level of stress different from any other.
The move to the current address was the second as a single mom, but given the length of time in one place, more stuff had been acquired, making the packing and planning a challenge. Added to it was the fact that the process included selling two houses – mine and my mother’s – and packing massive amounts of belongings. Fortunately, it was to a house that was slightly larger with room for all the aforementioned stuff.
A newly anticipated move now includes downsizing and simplifying, also known as purging said stuff. Making decisions to save, toss, sell, or give away belongings is painful at best. Coming across reminders of memories long past and having to choose creates major conflict, sometimes because the people with whom those memories were made are no longer physically in my life. The flood of memories is pleasurable. The choosing to let go, not so much. The stuff would mean nothing to a stranger, but hold so much meaning for me. But alas, the decisions must be made to let go and move forward. In contrast, the process cannot be rushed, but the stuff prioritized for its value. Fear comes in thinking the beautiful memories will be forgotten and the stories not passed along to the next generation.
Seems like the perfect parallel of life – letting go of the baggage that weighs me down: choosing the people who add to my life through encouragement of my efforts in making my dreams come true, releasing those who negatively challenge the positive activities I want to accomplish in life. The less stuff I’m attached to, the more free I am to be the person I was intended to be. This process is making me more aware of who I am, what my purpose is, and the kind of people with whom I want to surround myself.
Besides, the memories cannot be erased. They’re just stored away in the files of my brain, to be accessed when needed most. I’m implementing a defragmentation for better focus!