Everything Must Go – Including Me!
“The only thing constant in life is change.”
François de la Roche Foucauld
This June, I will have lived at the same address for 19 years. It’s where my kids were born, learned to swim, catch a ball and ride a bike. It’s where I greeted trick-or-treaters and decorated for the holidays, where I chose to put my career aside to become a stay-at-home mom; planning day trips, hosting play-dates, pool parties and birthdays. There are no regrets. I wouldn’t have had it any other way for my kids and while many things have changed over the past 19 years, my address remained a constant.
Now, that’s about to change.
In preparation for this event, my daughter and I are having a MEGA lawn sale. For weeks we’ve been gathering items to be sold and we’re selling, EVERYTHING! From the attic to the basement, she and I have been cleaning house. We’ve gone through every closet, including the ones we used to hide in, from Nana, when she’d come to visit during the toddler years. We went through boxes, like those filled with plastic play-food my kids served in the restaurants they’d “open” on a weekly basis. We emptied drawers that housed costumes, like the one this “craft-challenged” mom fashioned out of a black pillow case by cutting holes in it for arms and eyes and then just putting it over my two-year old son’s head. (Who makes a ghost costume out of a black pillowcase??) He LOVED it and wore it all-year-long.
We cleared shelves full of games we played so often, so long ago. The ones they are too big for now. We even found the Spy-Alarm my son put on his bedroom door a few years back. Meant to be a deterrent, to keep his little sister out, a blaring alarm would sound if anyone (usually me) tried to enter his room without knowing the code. Of course, she figured out the code, every single time. He finally gave up and took it off. We’ve washed, sorted, bagged and tagged everything from Cinderella, Belle and Snow White dress up outfits, to books, baskets, Barbies and blankets. It’s been a wonderful opportunity to say “hello” again to so many treasures that have been resting in the dark for such a long time.
A heartwarming experience on several levels, working with my daughter has been a real treat. She’s been a driving force behind this endeavor and has been pretty amazing about giving up much of what she’s amassed over the past 10-years, even willing to say “good-bye” to Pooh.
“I don’t really play with him anymore. Maybe some other kid will. You know mom?”
I’m taking as little as possible with me. I don’t want to bring things from this house into my new home. Much of the sentimental value attached to a lot of our stuff was robbed a year ago, along with the over $10,500 worth of cash, jewelry and small electronics that walked out the door or should I say, climbed out the window, that winter. That whole occurrence plays a large role in why this house doesn’t really feel like a home anymore — to me anyway. And it’s not really what was taken, as much as what was left behind, that brought me, to this point of needing to go.
It was the constant discovery of yet another missing something that left behind feelings of anxiousness and wonder. It was the months of worry leaving behind so many sleepless nights. It was knowing that a “stranger” was watching our “comings and goings”, mine in particular and taking advantage of the “goings” by taking his time to root through our precious closets, boxes, drawers and shelves, our bedrooms and private things and taking our things, that left behind feelings of anger, fear and helplessness. It was the repeated invasion of privacy, more than eight times in four months, that ultimately left no love-loss between this house and me. Much as I tried, I just couldn’t continue to make it a home anymore. After a while, I didn’t want to.
In her little heart of hearts, I believe my daughter is as eager to leave as I am. She gets it. She always has.
A home should be a sanctuary, a haven, a warm peaceful retreat from life’s daily stresses. Honestly, it could be in a cardboard box, as long as it’s a happy place to be. A home should be and feel safe. When it doesn’t, it’s time to go.
I’m ready to go and to let go, eager to get on with this next adventure and continue life’s journey. And although I may not be taking many things with me, I will be taking all of those treasured memories that resurfaced while going from the attic to the basement. Those, I will keep forever in my heart.
Everything else, must go! Including me.
(And Edward of course. He goes where-ever I go.)
Tell me, where are life’s changes taking you?