Anticipating that we may be able to begin roaming sooner than originally planned, Phil and I spent our quarantined 39th anniversary weekend (!) going through our house and pulling out things we no longer need. We’re donating them, trying to do a little good as we lighten our load. This exercise has been very interesting in several ways:
- We have so, so much more than we need. We are serial downsizers, but each time we reduce, our remaining stuff seems to grow. There is so little we truly need. This time we pinkie swore we’ll avoid stockpiling stuff—clothing, dishes, jewelry, linens, gadgets—and make sure we acquire only useful and necessary things. And maybe the occasional treasure.
- This is hard. As an English major and former teacher, I’m addicted to books. Even now that most books I buy are digital, I still love the feeling of holding a real book. We’ve downsized our books before, but this was the deepest cut ever. I felt joy as I looked over beloved classics, contemporary novels, memoirs, histories, poetry, and of course my beloved cookbooks. Phil drove to the donation center with about 600 of my books. I felt a bit melancholy, tinged with a sense of freedom and joy.
- I’m learning that I don’t need objects to remember loved ones. Parting with treasured books, gifts from family and friends, and some of my mother’s and grandmother’s jewelry at first came with some guilt. Would my friend Gwyn be hurt if she knew I gave away the meditation figure I’ve kept in my office for over 25 years? Would my grandma be sad seeing me part with her favorite strawberry brooch? They both died years ago, but I like to think they’d approve of my decision to release stuff in favor of adventure, knowing that I will always hold the memories close.
- Deciding what to keep is becoming easier. There’s a bit of Marie Kondo magic in holding an object, feeling it spark joy, and deciding it has earned its place in the storage unit of our future.
This process is affecting us. Roaming feels closer, more real than ever. I wake up excited to reduce more, to plan, to get closer to the time when we can travel again, say goodbye to our house and our stuff, and embark on this adventure. And thank heaven for technology that enables us to keep treasured images!
She’s been with me over 25 years.
Wartime love–from my mom to my dad
I found this in my daddy’s treasure box.