I’m looking around my house and see the litter of a lifetime of collecting strewn about the tables, chairs and any other level surface. I have KEEP boxes, STORE boxes, SWAP MEET boxes, OFFICE SUPPLIES boxes and am now starting a box for each of the kids. I was crying yesterday about all these keepsake books I have, what could I do with them? We have a new midwifery school here, Nizhoni, and they said they would take whatever I could donate to them, so most of those keepsake books will go there. A signed copy of Spiritual Midwifery, several issues of Our Bodies, Ourselves, an extremely rare (and impossible to find) copy of You Can Breastfeed Your Baby –even under special circumstances, classic Dr. Spock’s from the late 1950’s and an original Thank You, Dr. Lamaze (the book that transformed birth towards natural birth); Books that deserve to be used, not hoarded.
One book in particular, (Having a Baby) I was telling Sarah about and tears just streamed down my face. I didn’t know that was going to happen! I’d read that book until the pages were tattered when I was pregnant with Tristan. I have books like that for each of the kids. Giving those up was so painful. Blessedly, my love told me to write notes in the books and give them to the kids. Wonderful!
You see, in order to let go of most of our things, I got into the mindset that the next people to see our stored boxes would be the kids after we’re gone. I can’t see Sarah and me ever having a house again. While it is going to be sad to leave our home that we’ve been in for ten years, we are looking at living in an RV as a giant adventure! We’ll be able to travel when and where we want, with our bed and our dogs. (Yes, we’re officially old women who treat their dogs like kids.) With this storage mindset, it is much easier to let go of some things... the starfish I got to remind myself that change happens one person at a time, my hourglass I bought to remind me to stay in the moment and many of my little chatchkes that brought me a smile, but would make my kids say, “Huh? Why did she have this?” and toss it aside. It’s better if I put things where they should go... even if where they should go is the Swap Meet.
I have hundreds of cd’s. I do not have an iPod anymore, so when I want to listen to something, I go back into the 90’s and pop it into the cd player. Amusingly, we even have loads of cassette tapes. Sarah says these things are perfect Swap Meet material so to put whatever music I want to keep on my computer, back it up and then we can sell them all. I also am keeping the videotapes of the kids when they were little, including the KidPrint ones that we paranoidingly made in case our kids were ever kidnapped. (Remember those?) Someday, I need to get them put on dvd’s or whatever you store things like that on nowadays.
I had Sarah get out more tape today, tape to close boxes with. I wince seeing all the rolls, knowing they will all be used to close up the things in my midst, vanishing, albeit lovingly, but my familiar surroundings are slowly being put away for someone else to unwrap.
I have a giant plastic box (3 feet by 2 feet) filled with photos, most of them of the kids and Disney World. I can’t even get to it yet, but ALL of those need to be scanned and stored on my computer (thank goodness for the huge HD!). I am almost immobilized by all that needs to be done.
I have the medicine closet to go through. What do I do with the things I don’t need now, but need if I get sick, get cut, get an infection? Do I throw out half-used bottles of shampoo? Alcohol? Nail polish remover? Where do these things go? It seems so wasteful to just toss all of this, but who wants the ¾ gone bottle of Benadryl?
And then my clothes. I know the rule... toss what you haven’t worn in a year. But I have clothes I didn’t fit in this last year that I will fit in this coming year. (Everyone says that, I know, but I am going to have a revision of my gastric bypass, so I know it is true for me.) Where do I put those clothes? In storage in the front so I can get to them? Keep them in the RV down below so it’s easy to get to them when I need them? I have to save room on the RV for my midwifery supplies.
That back room... where all the midwifery and medical supplies are kept, have been kept since Ama Mama closed. My goodness, I am just baffled about what to do with so much of that stuff. Donate it to Nizhoni so they can divvy it out to students who can’t afford some of these supplies? (Probably what I am going to end up doing.)
Questions, questions. I need to stop writing and get working on these boxes that are sitting, staring at me with gaping flaps that beg to be bound with tape, their mouths full of yummy memories and delicious mementos.