Embrace it or get rid of it

by Diana on July 15, 2009 · 4 comments

in Musings

We successfully arrived in our new neighborhood.  It looks like a toy bomb went off in here, but otherwise we are having a really good time so far.

Until I have time to write a longer post, here’s the short version: lots of neighborhood kids, family visits, firefly catching, running around in bare feet, splashing in blow-up pools.  Summer perfection.

My husband and I are desperately trying to get the house together.  It’s considerably smaller than our California apartment, which is a good thing, actually, and has turned out to be an exercise in acceptance and letting go.

Yesterday I saw our new neighbor’s home.  Her house is the other side of our twin, so, it’s pretty much a mirror image of ours, though she has done a number of excellent renovations and additions.

Her home is lovely, a model of taste, comfort and clean simplicity.  I felt such pangs going through that house, a real longing to have  a life different than the 10,000 lb. reality of our life. (Well, actually, our belongings weigh 10,000 lbs, plus the weight of the 44 boxes of books we mailed through the post office; they were obviously not on the moving truck, so they weren’t weighed with the rest of our things.)

As I was falling asleep last night on our new bed (we had to sell our Cal. King bed — ultra-comfy mattress and gorgeous Mission-style frame — right off the moving truck.  When we realized that it would never fit in our bedroom, I used Craigslist and an impossibly low price to make sure that we didn’t have to take that beast into this tiny home) I thought about that yearning for a simpler existence.

That desire makes me subscribe to Real Simple magazine and stimulates my salivary glands when I see displays at Ikea, all organized and neat and impossibly wispy-light.

When I woke up this morning, I realized that moving offers an opportunity to see all your worldly possessions, to touch them again after they’ve been stored away in plastic bins for years, to make the decision to bring them with you, to give them away, to sell them or to trash them.  And when you arrive at your new destination, you get that opportunity all over again as you unpack and settle in.

I figured that I can either embrace all this stuff and celebrate where I’ve been, who I am and what I’ve collected or I can throw it all out.  

For whatever reason, this is a real challenge for me.

Whatever I do, I realized that it’s no use fretting about it.  Either way, the kids will still come over and play and will still run in and out, demanding snacks and juice.

And it’s all good.


1 Genevieve July 15, 2009 at 9:15 am

I hear you! I need to simplify our life, as well. It’s spilling all over the house. My mom has been here, helping us go through toys we no longer play with and has taken two giant boxes out of the house, and there’s still more to do.

I can’t wait to see pics of the new house, whether or not it’s Ikea-ish in it’s simplicity, and if you have any tips on where to start to live more simply, please share! :)


2 soochal July 15, 2009 at 9:16 am

I am experiencing those same feelings now. Much of it is just too much for me to deal with so it has been boxed up and dropped in the new garage for another day/month/year. Moving is enough for me right now – add the memories of Charlie into the mix and… well, I’m not going to find out what would happen, if I can help it…

I am glad you’re safe, you’re HOME, you’re so much closer to ME! XXOO

3 Paul July 15, 2009 at 9:18 am

It’s a wonderful yoga. I got everything down to one small car, have accumulated new stuff, and let go of some of THAT to fit into my small apartment.

The deep memorabilia is at my mom’s, but most of my stuff is *stuff*. Just that: what I need, and what is currently amusing.

I’m sure it’s different to some extent when you have a family, but the letting-go-of is very pleasant (after the initial twinge, that is).


4 Erin Hughes July 20, 2009 at 7:53 pm


I sent an email to a gmail account of yours, but I’m not sure you are still using it. I heard you are in town and would love to see you. (I live in Bala Cynwyd and keep looking for you when I’m in Narberth.) Please call, email, whatever!


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