Girls Night In

the blog for single, over-40 women

Leaving Things Behind

on October 22, 2015
image courtesy of nonicknamephoto/freedigitalphotos.net

image courtesy of nonicknamephoto/freedigitalphotos.net

When I moved after I finished school the first time, I put my not-often-needed stuff in my mom’s basement. She reminds me occasionally that a lot of it is still there.

After 9/11, I moved from my perfect little Brooklyn apartment back home. I stored my things in my sister’s garage. The garage leaked and ruined some of it, and a raccoon made a home among some other stuff. It was all lost to me. I remembered that before I’d packed, a friend said she would be starting over and needed to replace everything. I told her she could have all my stuff because I was moving home and would not be using it. We never managed to connect somehow. I’d thought at the time that not giving my stuff away was probably for the best because I would surely be making use of it all again very soon. In the end, what could have been a great blessing to her, ended up being of no use to anyone. I still live with regret over this.

When I moved again–temporarily in with Grandma–I put my not-often-needed stuff in storage. Just until I closed on my house in a month, I thought. Alas, the house didn’t close. A year later I faced the fact that I was going to be at Grandma’s for a while, that storage was costing me a fortune, and that I could store everything in Grandma’s attached garage for free. So I did. And it continues to sit in Grandma’s garage to this day. Every now and then I’ll go over, rummage through my things and find something I love, but really do not need.

It’s time for me to move again. This time to another country. The apartment I share with a roommate contains mostly her things. I have a bedroom set and some bookshelves; clothes and books and bedding and linens; tools, lamps, a few utensils, and dishes for two; a desk with a computer; more books.

Leaving my Brooklyn apartment and returning home required me to downsize my life. Moving into Grandma’s meant more downsizing. Leaving Grandma’s to head back to school and having only a small bedroom to call my own in shared housing arrangements necessitated a radical elimination of stuff. Yet as I look around my room, I still have more stuff than I remember accumulating, and more stuff than I need.

What I know now is that a move means a life change. It means going to a new place physically, psychologically, emotionally–even financially. As I prepare to move this time, I am beginning by settling my heart, my mind and my spirit. I’m working on the internal movements that need to take place along with the physical ones.

This time, I do not want to hold onto old stuff. This time, I only want to carry with me what I will need for the next leg of my journey. The things that belong to this place I am moving from, I am letting go. If I get to the new place and need what I no longer have, then I look forward to being surprised and delighted by how the Lord will meet my needs.

What has moving meant for you, physically and emotionally?

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