Woke up this morning completely disoriented. It was dark for one thing, and it was warm for another. Jeff forgot to turn down the heat and that makes me cranky – I don’t like sleeping ‘warm’ – so I was uncomfortable. And I was confused by the lack of light; for about 3 minutes I forgot about daylight savings time. I happen to agree that summer time makes sense; in fact I think that we should double up on summer time in the summer months – I love long, lingering evenings in the warm dusk – but this year, jeez, it sort of snuck up on me.
Especially this spring when I really could have used an extra hour of sleep, and certainly didn’t need to lose one!
We spent yesterday day packing. Well, first there was sorting out papers and file folders to see what needed to be shredded and what could just be recycled; then there was trying on clothes that used to fit (dear god, how did my ass wind up hanging around my knees!); then there was leafing through books to decide if they were keepers or sellers or give-aways (wherever I live, I am the library’s best friend!); then there was laundry to do; then we packed.
Oddly, it doesn’t seem that we have packed that much, although my cupboards are becoming bare, and there are many small boxes filled and ready to seal (this time, I am making better lists of what is in each box – a few extra minutes at this end will mean much less time at the other). It just seems like… there’s still so much to do! Of course, we still have to live here for another few weeks, so not everything can be packed, like, now! but still…
Because of the change in our lives coming in April, and in May come to think of it, Jeff and I have had to really think about what is intrinsically important to us to live with on a daily basis, and what we want to keep, and what we can let go of. We’re certainly not the first family to go through this exercise – current economic conditions alone have forced families to do this same thing, never mind those who have downsized their lives to concentrate on things they believe are more important. We chose this path and think we can prepare for it well. At the same time, it’s hard to let go of some of the things that you’ve acquired, either by work or as gifts or even as inheritances.
As you may know, I have a terrible time letting go of books, but this packing adventure has also brought me up short because there are things that I have inherited from grandparents and parents that I am very uncomfortable not having with me. Perhaps it’s a sense of guilt, perhaps a little feeling ungrateful somehow, but whatever it is, not keeping these things makes me think I’m forgetting where I came from, who I came from. Does that make sense? Most of them are things that are actually also useful, so putting them aside, waiting for the day when we again have a house of our own (which we most sincerely and devoutly hope will be in 2013), does make sense. (As long as we don’t have to pay for storage for too long, but we have plans for that too.)
The first decade or so Jeff & I were married, we were moving constantly because that what the Navy does – they move you! You think that they’re in the business of preparing for naval and air warfare but no, they’re actually in the business of moving families all over the world. So that’s what we did – we moved. And because we knew we were always going to be packing and unpacking, we just didn’t collect a lot of stuff. If we bought something new, something old went out (books, again, excepted to some extent. Also, shoes). I think that’s where we’ve come back to now.
This new professional opportunity, on the assumption that it goes well, is likely to also mean moving two or three times in the next two or three years. So, paring down and muscling up, we’re getting ready for a new phase in our lives.
Now if we could just get the grey cat to understand that she’s coming with us, that all these boxes do not mean – like they did the last time for her – that she’ll be left behind and have to get used to another new family.