Taking Stock of the Emotional Ups and Downs

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.

Inspiration!

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.

24 thoughts on “Taking Stock of the Emotional Ups and Downs

  1. Sounds like you guys have made tremendous progress on downsizing. I am so proud of both of you. I know this has been a very difficult chapter. PC tends to want to ask too much when we have a yard sale and then in the end wants to give it all away. I just try to price things reasonably enough that we will make some of our money back. It is very hard here in El Paso to make more than $.25 piece for clothing. No one has money. And everyone needs clothing.

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    1. I’m working on feeling better about just giving things away. Now, I’m discovering more stuff which just will not fit into this space. And hoping to give stuff away…. will be searching for donation places tomorrow.

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  2. Transitions are hard…and amazing…aren’t they, Pat. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, I’m terrified of the day we consolidate our two houses down to one. We cannot take everything, and I don’t want to…but where to even begin? I admire the work you’ve done already, and good luck with Phase 2. I found your reaction to giving things away so interesting. Our relationships with money and possessions are so complicated. I’m glad you were able to have those mask-free get-togethers with friends before the big move. Those may prove to be the hardest things to let go of. Good luck in your new adventures and new connections!

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    1. Christie, Where to begin? I actually did a whole house inventory with three columns – definitely take with us, definitely don’t take with is, and not sure. The not sure column had the most to begin with!

      I also didn’t start soon enough in the getting rid of things…it would have been nice to try and sell things on sites like e-Bay. And then there’s silly stuff like getting the pantry down in size. We have boxes & boxes of pantry things packed – cans and staples and different condiments. I was shocked at how many mustards, marinades, BBQ sauces, and jams I had in there! I know I could donate all to a local pantry (find one, figure out when the accept stuff, box it up anyway), but then there’s that relationship with money thing!

      I do think when it’s over – we’ve unpacked and are past the second go-away – that I will feel a sense of lightness.

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  3. Oh Pat, thank you for sharing a post so many of us can identify with. The leaving of what is known to the unknown (even though you have had a house there, it’s not been home yet) is one I understand. We did it, out of financial necessity but it nearly broke me health wise…until I got cancer (seriously) and that lifted me right out of that MOOD!

    Your stories shared help others understand. it’s a gift you have. Please continue!

    Thanks so much for linking up for #lifethisweek. I am always grateful to see your blog post there. Next week my guest poster is ready to comment…I have done one training session with him…and I will be there too. Cheers, Denyse.

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    1. Denyse, what fun to have your husband do a guest post! My hubby does read my blog, but he’s never been a writer and would find the task of creating a post just horrific.

      I am working through things, and my blog gives me an outlet to share my feelings. It’s always nice to hear that it helps others.

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  4. Former upstairs neighbors of ours moved here from Ohio to rent until they found their forever home. We still remember the day they moved in because the moving van was out front from morning until dinner time (all to fit into a condo!). They ended up having to rent a large storage locker for the spillover. I thought that was probably a good object lesson for us. It’s good that you’re doing all this work now rather than when you get to your new destination home! – Marty

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    1. Marty, I know we are moving more than will fit, but it is so hard to reduce things. We both know we will have a huge “go-away” pile at the other end. We will not get a storage unit! It’s crazy, but I’m even moving snow boots… why I have no idea!

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  5. My hubby was a bit like that when we moved. We had 2 dining tables in the old house. We had a formal dining room with a mahogany sideboard and posh table and chairs. When Grant realised we couldn’t get a lot of money for what is still good furniture he was all for bringing it with us & took some talking down from that. While I gave things away without expectation, he still talks of his disappointment of a family member taking a TV, an outdoor setting and a sofa bed without even dropping round a case of beer as thanks. It’s not so much about frugality I don’t think, as it is about appreciation – and that’s really not too much to ask. It is an emotional rollercoaster so my only advice is to ride it!

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    1. Jo – I am soooo glad to hear I’m not the only one who feels like this! Thanks for sharing Grant’s feelings…. it really helps. I’m getting a bit better with the give-away without appreciation…but might be grumbling about it for awhile myself!

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  6. You’re in such a roller coaster Pat. I think it’s probably only natural that you would be feeling this way. Having to give away your things as well as moving to a new life would be hugely stressful but I’m sure once you arrive into your new life you will feel more settled.

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    1. Jennifer, I am actually looking forward to settling in, too. Both of use are – Hubby and I have talked lots about what we want this new life to feel like and how we want the new house to be. But like any big transition, there are ups and downs!

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  7. A couple weeks ago, my husband made a comment about moving to be closer to the grandkids. It would be about halfway between them and my family. It’s in a place I’ve always loved. So, why did I get a sinking feeling in my stomach? All I could think about were all the changes I’d have to make!! I’m not a very spontaneous person so I’m not surprised I didn’t jump at the chance. Maybe it will be the right thing to do someday, but not yet. And then we’d go through all the changes you are right now. I’ve always wished I could do things spur of the moment and be happy with the result, but I think like you, I need to have things planned. I’m working on it. 🥴

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    1. I had a chuckle about your “jump at the chance”. You do realize I’ve been talking about this move for 4-5 years and we’ve had the Florida house for 18 months. This is the execution of the (pretty detailed) plan. Sorry to tell you that the plans have not made the emotional challenges or changes any easier. Planned and check-listed, and reviewed & refined, and actually being executed without much issue…. but not easier. A place you love? Closer to the grandkids? Start the planning!

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      1. Yes, I know that planning doesn’t make that part any easier. Guess we just have to accept that and let the feelings come. I moved when I was a junior in high school which was a terrible time to move. Looking back, my life has probably taken a better course than if we hadn’t moved. But it never feels like that at the time. You’ll do great!!

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  8. Pat: Your comment about finally gathering with friends really hit home. We dined out recently with friends we hadn’t seen for nearly a year. All four of us fully vaccinated, it felt so good to give them both hello hugs. As you say goodbye to your dear friends, open the door to new ones that I know will be coming.

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    1. Kate, Hasn’t it been wonderful to just have a dinner with friends again? I do not know how I’d be emotionally if I couldn’t do this to say goodbye! And that all my friends are in the “Of course I’m fully vaccinated” camp! Hopefully new ones will be in same camp.

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  9. I share some of your personality traits, so take heart! We will overcome. I’m not moving but after reading so many articles about not leaving all your possessions for your children to dispose of, I’ve been trying to part with things. But, I’ll keep at it. The mental tussles are the worst.

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    1. Irene, I wish I had done some of this getting rid of stuff without a moving deadline! I would have figured out eBay and tried to sell things (instead of giving things away). I encourage you to keep pushing to do get rid of things!

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  10. Hi Pat – so much heartache and excitement all rolled into one. Transitions are always emotional and (although we know the end will justify the means) it’s always tough working our way through them. So glad you’ve managed to cull some of your stuff – that will make the move easier. Good luck with the last stages and I’m sure there will be new friends to be made – you certainly seem to have made some great friends in your current area – which is a really big deal at our age and stage.

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    1. Leanne, I’m coming to realize I don’t know my “relationship status” that well until I’m leaving. I didn’t grasp how many “compatible couples” we had actually amassed in our life until I started to work on the “last” dinners. I had a similar feeling when I left my career (7 years ago) – not realizing how many people I engaged with, until they were gone. Maybe this double hit of awareness will move forward with more gratefulness as I find new friends.

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