I first decided to pick this blog back up at the urging of my husband, who said I had some “magic,” ability to connect with people. I’m not sure if that’s true, but I do enjoy learning about others and sharing my own story, so here’s another chapter in mine.
This past weekend we embarked on that universal task, cleaning out the garage. I finally got tired of looking at the chaos as I come and go. I also really want to travel lighter through life these days. It’s not that I don’t like “stuff.” I actually love “stuff.” But I’ve come to that point in my life where I really only want to keep the stuff that means something to me. Not in the Marie Kondo, sparking joy type of way. I just want to know what I’ve got and to be mindful about what I’m keeping around.
We started with one side of the garage and the plan is to work our way around the perimeter and then tackle the crawl space under the house. What struck me during this process is how the meaning of things change as we grow and evolve. Some of the things that I’ve carried around from my childhood don’t seem to feel as important as they once did. Same goes for some of the old stuff from my parents. I cherish photos, books and some serving pieces I remember my mom using. But old furniture? Nah. I can carry some of those in my memory, don’t need to have them gathering dust.
Of course, a good deal of the things we carry around belongs to our grown children. None of them have storage for their mementoes, so they are still our burden. But little by little, we’ve weeded through some of those boxes as well. And, when they come to visit, they’ll have some work to do, too. It is fun to revisit some of their recent past. We sent lots of texts back and forth, along with photos of some of their things.
As we go through this process of organizing and weeding out, I feel a sense of comfort. It’s hard being separated from loved ones, both in death and in distance. But as I open each box, handle each item, share a text or photo, it’s as if the things are momentarily alive again. And just as I am organizing the items, I am also organizing my thoughts and feelings around them. I get to revisit the experiences and memories, letting each one fall into place in my heart, saying goodbye to some, keeping others close. And through it all, I am reminded who I am and where I come from. There is real magic in the process.