It’s been about a month in my new home now and I am proud to say I am unpacking the final boxes this week. When you are in the middle of your life, you don’t realize how much you’ve accumulated until you have to move it all somewhere. And you know, I could have sworn I threw a lot away. At least it seemed like a lot. And it felt really good to do that, to let go of things.
Still, I took a lot of flack for having a lot of stuff, which makes me wonder if I really do have that much stuff, or if the people who teased me about it have so little. There isn’t a way to tell what is the norm, I guess. We decide we need what we need. Some of us need a lot, some not so much. Most of us are probably in the middle somewhere.
I have a lot of projects that I would like to get to, some started, some not, some almost finished. I seem to think I have a lot more time than I really do because those projects sit for a long time without going anywhere. But I hang on to them just in case.
Funny thing about unpacking, it seems like it would be so easy, much easier than packing it all up, which I got really good at, by the way. I am really good with spatial stuff, so fitting things into boxes was like a giant Tetris game for me, and I was lovin’ it. By the time I was nearing the end, I was a ninja packer.
So you would think then that it would be easy to unpack and find everything in a logical place… but it wasn’t. It was weeks before I found some very practical things I was in dire need of, so I just went out and bought them until I finally ran across them in some random box. I guess I got more involved in filling the space in the boxes than thinking about packing by category. Oh, well. It did make discovering them again a very joyous moment, though.
You don’t think much about how you live in a space until you move. You’ve been putting things in their proper place for so long that you don’t think about how you decided that this drawer is the junk drawer, and that this is where you want your potholders to hang from. No, you stopped thinking about that a long time ago.
So once you have a new space to live in, you need to make a lot of decisions about that. How do I live in this new space? Where is the proper place for this item to be? What is the best way to set this area up? It’s actually a lot of work, which is why is takes a little bit of time. You don’t want to rush it, and you end up making a lot of adjustments as you go, because you realize something is just not going to work the way you originally thought.
So each night for about a month is the same. Go to a room, open a box, make some decisions. Then, go to the next box. Once all the boxes are empty, go to the next room and start the process again. Only this time there is no dog to interrupt and remind me to take a break and rub his ears. Hmm. Maybe the neighbor has one I can borrow?
So this has been my life for the last month. Slowly getting each room in some kind of living order, and breaking down a lot of boxes. There is still a lot to go through. Some things I packed in a hurry and didn’t have the time or energy to sift through. Some of it makes me laugh – why did I feel the need to keep this, again?
I think a lot of it has to do with where we are. Not just where we are physically, although I’m sure different places influence us in different ways and cause us to make decisions we might otherwise not make, but also it has a lot to do with where we are in our head. Where we are in our life, where we are in the processing of what’s happened in our lives.
Being in a new place helps you think more clearly, helps you see things more clearly. There are no memories here to influence my thoughts and actions. All my decisions are my own, and I can change them easily without getting any feedback. But the lack of memories also makes a house a little cold and distant, and not really yours. So have a party, a friend suggested. You need to make some new memories in this house to make it your own, he said, and he was right.
So party we will. Not being a cook, I am not the greatest party-thrower, but that doesn’t seem to matter. Friends want to celebrate in a big way. They are happy for me and the food is not what this is all about. It’s been a long time coming, and gathering to celebrate this moment is something many have been looking forward to.
I can simply purchase all the food I don’t know how to prepare. But no amount of money can purchase the wonderful friendships that I have built over the years with these people who have been so supportive of me. There is no price tag you can put on the words of support they have offered and to be able to show my appreciation for that makes me very happy.
The value of this friendship is impossible to measure. It can’t be fit into a box and moved from place to place. It is carried with you always, and the joy and esteem it fosters is a great gift, and one that gives every day. There hasn’t been one loving comment that has gone lost or ignored. I have treasured them all, and am very thankful for those who have shared them.
There is almost no way to express how I truly feel about the happiness this friendship has brought, it is such a deep emotion for me. James Taylor says it best, “Ain’t it good to know that you’ve got a friend, when people can be so cold? They’ll hurt you, and desert you. They’ll take your soul if you let them, oh now but don’t you let them.”
When the guests arrive, the house won’t be perfect. There is still a lot to do. But no one will mind, or even notice. Because we will be too busy celebrating one of the most wonderful and important things in life, and that is the value of good friends.