There are few things in life more stressing than packing to move. Deciding what to keep, what to throw away and what to donate are paramount. There are things to sort, lists to be made of things to do before the big truck arrives. I sometimes pad my lists just to be able to cross things off, making it look like I’m being productive.

Call cable company about deposit

Eat breakfast

Go to liquor store for boxes

Mail change of address forms

It’s strange, going through boxes of things that I thought I’d need forever and realizing that none of it is important. No, I won’t keep the raggedy stuffed (pretty sure it’s a) bear I won throwing darts at balloons any longer. I have the memory of that long ago summer carnival – hot sticky night, cotton candy and the tentative but hopeful hand grasping mine in the decidedly unscary House of Horrors.

I won’t keep clothes I can’t/don’t/won’t wear – those go to the women of the Domestic Violence Shelter, those brave souls that run with nothing more than the clothes on their backs.  Maybe the bear will find a good home there too, giving one frightened child a safe friend to hold on to.

Mismatched sheets and frayed towels go to the Animal shelter, giving just a little bit of comfort to those waiting for their forever family to come find them.

The coffee cups are having something akin to ceramic sex in my cabinets, because I’m pretty sure I didn’t start out owning fifty four mugs.  

The books are the hardest to part with – some I’ll keep, like the clothbound school primer that belonged to my grandfather.  Others I’ll donate to the library and the nursing home.

The house is growing empty, but my heart is growing full. 

Ridding myself of unnecessary encumbrance is like shedding the cocoon and fanning my wings, waiting for them to dry before attempting liftoff. I’m finding that memories are easier to pack and light enough to allow me to soar. And that’s pretty excellent.



~ by Shannon MacLeod on July 9, 2011.

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