I come by my sentimentality naturally. I do not believe my mom threw out a single letter or card she ever received. I have had to do that for her! I have worked hard over the years to not follow in my mom’s footsteps in this way but I still have held on to way too much. As our storage unit begins to fill up with our furniture, etc, space is becoming limited so I am having to attack my own attachments in this area of nostalgia. This week I have begun to dig into old letters (ours and my parents) and childhood papers, etc (mine and the girls). It is staggering how much there is! A flood of emotion comes over me as I have picked up each one and tried to decide what to let go of. The emotion has been both deep joy and deep sadness. The one thing that is constant in life is change and lots of it. We have moved five times (soon to be six) in our twenty five years together which means relationships change. As I continue to go through old letters, I am reminded anew of all that change. While this is one of many passes I have made through old sentimental items over the years, I am braver this go round. I realize how much keeping things has had to do with holding tight to times that have passed. I had a wonderfully loving childhood filled with a large extended family. As an only child, I loved having the extended family relationships to balance the only child part but as I slowly began losing that strong network of loving aunts and uncles starting in the 1990’s, I tried to hold tight to parts of that time in my life (and over the years to other times with friends)….it’s all there in the boxes of letters, boxes of love. The thing is, I don’t go back and look through those letters hardly ever. I don’t need to! Those memories are stored tightly in my heart! I don’t need them all! I am keeping some but as with everything else in this process I am realizing that when you have more than you need, you have trouble finding the really important ones. One year for my birthday I asked my dad to write me a letter in his handwriting. My dad always left cards up to my mom so this one letter is so treasured but I had trouble finding it because I had saved almost every card my parents had sent me over the years. I found it and it will never be hard to find again because of the process of letting go of the volume! I don’t need every letter to be reminded how much my parents loved me!
I think this Walt Whitman quote says it well! Enjoying the moment we are in instead of holding tight to times that have passed ultimately leads to a more satisfying life! I think one of the other interesting things that looking at old letters brings up is where we were and who we were emotionally at any given point in time. I would like to think I have grown by leaps and bounds from who I was when I was younger and that seems to be reflected in these letters. Some have been super easy to let go of because those relationships didn’t support that growth. I want to keep growing and stretching…that’s what this Australian adventure is about really!
One of the things we have been talking about doing for years is getting our old movies digitized. Finally, we did it! We shipped this huge volume of old movies of my childhood and the girls to Southtree and now we have them both in the cloud and on a hard drive. So happy to have the extra space in storage that boxes of these would have taken up! We had hoped to do something similar with photos but time has run out and that will have to be saved for a future date but the freedom of going digital is inspiring us to not wait too long to get it done! Maybe on our first trip back to Florida we will get the photos sent off and digitized!
I love the illustrations of artist Aimee Sicuro! I often encourage my feng shui clients to add more artwork to their home that supports the direction they want to head in their life. I know for all four of us, art inspires us. This simply beautiful illustration has been a supportive presence for me this week in my letting go process! While we are truly only taking what is needed to Australia initially (clothes and our animals), taking only what is needed for the future in a broader sense is also true.
Tomorrow marks three weeks since my accident and I want to say thank you again for all the comments and private messages you have sent my way! They have helped so much! I still have a way to go with my right arm and hand but am progressing and oh so very lucky to be healing so swiftly! Thanks again!