A blog link-up I often read (link here) has the prompt this week of “taking stock” which really resonated with me. Spring has sprung, the pandemic has a light at the end of the tunnel, and we are embarking on a huge lifestyle transition. I felt it was time for a taking stock look at the emotional roller coaster I am on!
Moving Update – Will it Fit?
The quote “You can’t squeeze ten pounds of sugar (crazy/sh*t) in a five pound bag” comes to mind often these days. We did a lot of downsizing. Hubby really tried, tossing out things and putting more items than I expected in the “go-away pile.” We’ve had 5 full car-loads to Goodwill (so far), a full pick-up truck of furniture and artwork to the consignment shop, sold things to friends and friends of friends, gave things away – to friends, neighbors, and even strangers (free on NextDoor or the local Buy-nothing FB site), and took 8 boxes/bins of chemicals to an environmental-chemical recycle place. We are giving the new owner of our house a bunch of furnishings we bought just for this house and I’ve still got another huge sell/donate/give away/toss pile to manage through. And even with all that, I know we are moving too much – way more than will fit in our new space. We both know that there will be a reckoning (it really doesn’t fit) and another (huge) go-away pile at the other end of this move!
Acts of Kindness?
I continue to struggle with getting rid of things. I’ve realized I do not get a positive emotion from just giving things away for free. It made me wonder about all the write-ups on random acts of kindness, which indicate you get positive emotion from this type of activity! Hubby seems to be OK with it. After he’s gotten over the it’s-going-away hurdle, he is fine with giving it away for free. I’m looking for either a feeling of appreciation or getting some monetary payback for the item. Yes, the receipt from a donation place gives me that sense of appreciation, plus a tax write-off (double, though small, positives). I’m learning my relationship with money/stuff is more frugal than I realized. My gut feeling is, “I paid good money for that item, it’s still got a lot of use left in it, why shouldn’t I get money back for it?” So giving away things for free is not an act of kindness providing positive emotion but rather a stress-inducing “I’m losing money and going to be a bag lady” feeling.
Thankful for the Vaccine
I am even more thankful for the vaccine (beyond being an end to the isolation of the pandemic, in time) because it has allowed us to have wonderful mask-free “last dinners” with friends. It’s been wonderful to have mask-free time with B&N, C&A, C&M, L&A, K&T, and J&R. These are some of the folks we are going to miss a lot! One of my goals in retirement transition was to find “compatible couples” who we could share an evening of great conversation, great food and wine. These last gatherings are making our leave-taking harder, not easier, as I realize I was successful in having these wonderful couples in our life. Even as I am grateful for the time to say good-bye, each has been heart-wrenching.
A number of these get-togethers were spontaneous as we needed to be “out of the house” for showings & inspection. I am looking at these spontaneous gatherings not as Compare and Despair moments, but rather as an Observe and Inspire. Going forward, I want to take on the spontaneity of CJ’s last minute throwing a charcuterie board together, CV’s “let’s just order pizza” easiness, and JW’s toss some things on the grill. I want these casual connects in my life going forward, and need to get comfortable with doing them myself.
Transitions are emotional rollercoasters! It’s helpful to take stock of both the positive and negative emotions.
Picture Credit: LR on a going-away last hike in a favorite park…. lots of turtles sunning in the spring warmth.