Moving is such a strange and emotional experience. I am the kind of person who likes to stay put, so to think that I have now lived in 9 homes in 5 states is quite surprising. I personally, am flabbergasted by it. My parents lived in their home for 54 years, and honestly, if there had been a category for high school yearbook awards for "Most Likely Never to Move More than 50 Feet from the House She Grew Up in," I would have voted for me!
This current move is a particularly strange one, because we aren't moving to another house. We are moving into an apartment for six months, and then in the spring we will buy an RV and travel for the foreseeable future - as long as it takes us to see what we want to see and get tired of it. So, this weekend, we are moving most of our worldly belongings into storage and I don't know when I'll see them again.
Stuff is just stuff. I know that. We have sold a few pieces, donated much, and thrown a lot away. But there are things I simply can't part with - my mother's china, her tea cup collection, a few family antiques, some pieces that Dick and I bought during our 31-so-far years together.
There is a strange dynamic that kicks in when I am packing to move. While I am emptying cupboards, wrapping fragile treasures in paper and bubblewrap, I am forced to look at my life as represented by these things. This was from our first Christmas Prelude in Kennebunkport, these were Grandma Goodwin's playing cards, this was from our house in East Boothbay, we bought this when we moved here....every "thing" represents a person or a phase in my life, or both. While I am packing, my heart is leaden with sadness. But then, when the boxes are taped up and stacked away, I feel strangely ... free.
It happens every time. While you're doing it, there is sadness. But afterward, there is liberation. It felt wonderful yesterday when the fellows from Salvation Army carted off some furniture. And it felt wonderful this morning when we dragged out boxes for the large-item pick-up.
Stuff is just stuff. But some stuff is the stuff of our lives and we shouldn't feel bad about wanting to keep it. Now that it's boxed up and ready for storage, I am fine. I don't miss it, and I feel lighter. And sometime, on the other side of our travels, I will be delighted to see it again. It will be a bit like Christmas, opening the boxes.
Am I the only one who feels this way?