After 30 minutes of on and off sobbing, I pulled myself together to get ready for work. Once I was at work my mind was focused on the productivity of the day at the frame shop and I was happy to be there.
Rewind one hour before . . . It hit me. It finally hit me. It wasn’t until I watched the video my husband sent of our home in Upstate New York where all of our memories are stored that I realized I won’t have that anymore. Everything we owned and worked so hard to accumulate from photo albums and artwork to our road bikes, my wedding dress, Pat’s album collection, the kids’ cradle . . . will be donated, sold, or passed on to family and friends.
I came to Maui with my husband two years ago with two pieces of luggage. One housing my art supplies, and the other with some clothes and framed family photos. We started from scratch searching Craig’s List to furnish our home and decorate it with colors of turquoise, blues, lavenders and greens. We met new neighbors, made some new friends, and started a new life living here. It was adventurous and all so filled with excitement. Never once did I look back with regret.
Now we are selling the house in Rochester containing 27 years of accumulation. I’m more than happy to say good riddance to the burden of keeping two homes. I’ll be happy to be free of the “things” that bind us, giving us a more minimalistic approach to living. However, something about that video shook me into full comprehension of what this all means.
Letting go has never been a strong suit of mine, but it has been a mantra for quite some time. It started with the letting go of my two children who were growing into young men who asserted their own ideas of who they are and what they want. Letting go also meant letting go of beliefs that no longer served me, ideals that were unrealistic (insert my husband’s quote, “You have Norman Rockwell expectations, and a Homer Simpson family.”) Now I will be letting go of a lifetime of accumulation, a home my children were raised in with lots of happy memories, holiday celebrations, birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, etc. It’s not the “things” I’ll miss as much as it is the memories attached to them that bring sadness to my heart. Hence, the sobbing.
Letting go also means accepting change. So much has changed. My 50 year old self I see in the mirror, for example, is not the person I am. I am much younger than her. I’m still the 20-something-year-old who makes bold moves, has a love of learning, and sees the best in every person I meet. I’ve got energy to burn with a list of things I want to accomplish in this lifetime. But the wrinkles (or “crinkles” as my son would call them) are my reminders of the memories I’ve accumulated. The hopes and dreams, joys and sadness, and the gains and losses.
“Everyone is entitled to a pity party,” Mom would say, “As long as you’re the only one in attendance and it doesn’t go on for long.”
I’m not looking for pity or sympathy. This move was a choice. Selling the house is a choice. And it will all be so good for us. However, I gave myself permission to be sad about it. For 30 minutes, off and on, alone.
So begins the daunting task of packing it all up and saying farewell. I do hope the next family to own the house will enjoy living there as much as we did. Hopefully, they like gardening, will appreciate the good neighbors, and will make many happy memories.
I came across this quip I had posted on Facebook on December 31, 2010. It motivated me to write about this subject for this month’s blog. Here it is:
“I wish you all lives filled with just enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray the day may appear; I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more; I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting; I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger; I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting; I wish you enough loss so you can appreciate all that you possess; and I wish you enough hellos to get through a final goodbye when the time comes.”