Moving Away and Letting Go

Moving Away and Letting Go

It’s summertime and because school is out, many people find this to be a good time to move. For many people this is an exciting time, but for others, it’s a time that presents challenges of going down memory lane and getting rid of what no longer serves us. Perhaps that’s one of the upsides of moving—it forces us to make a clean sweep of our house and get rid of what we don’t need. If you have a family, the decision of what to keep and what to give away, might be a group decision, however, when it comes to sentimental personal items, it’s often a decision that must be made on an individual basis.

I believe that statistically I’ve moved as much as most Americans during the course of my life—about eleven or more times. For me this averages about once every ten years. I’ve never had a problem deciding what to give away and what to keep. My mother taught me that if I had not worn or used something in a year, then chances are I don’t need it and should give it away. This works fine for items which are not sentimental, however, I have a more difficult time getting rid of family heirlooms and items of sentiment.

When people talk to me about moving, I can’t help but think about my last move. Eleven years ago today, my husband, our three kids, and I decided to take the leap and move across the country from Florida to California. The movers packed up our entire lives into a 53-foot tractor trailer.

While the movers loaded the truck, I found myself shuffling boxes in the house from one place to another, deciding what to keep. I felt that ridding myself of some of these items would be the best solution to the clutter in my life. The problem was that doing so—that is, discarding things such as my wedding gown, my daughter’s first doll, the kids’ drawings from kindergarten, the high chair where all three children had swallowed their first spoonfuls of Pablum, my father’s watch collection, my grandmother’s perfumes—made me feel that my past was being eradicated.

Did I think that hoarding these keepsakes in my attic protected me from my future self or gave me a certain security about my past? What was the purpose of all the memorabilia in my life? I wasn’t sure if I should …read more
Source: Steven Aitchison