We’re moving! Oh, you didn’t know? You must be one of the three people who reads my non-knitting posts who I don’t know in real life. Yes, I care about you three SO much that I wrote that announcement and looked up this video just for you!
Forgive my flippancy. It’s just a “be flippant or curl up and sleep” kind of day for my mental energy. Moving is horrible. We don’t have that much stuff, as stuff goes, and I’m super-organized and therefore still half-packed from moving in two years ago. (Moving Tip #1: If it’s going to end up in a closet to be stored most of the year, pack it in a big plastic tub that it can stay in after the move! Genius, right here. ) The process of calling all the utilities and the landlords and scheduling trucks and getting boxes and changing your address and figuring out the insurance change in a new state, well, it’s all just insane. Pure and simple.
Working two jobs on top of the process has my brain split in so many directions I feel like I can’t get anything done. Plus, brilliant me, I decided to try to implement a shift in my eating/exercise habits because I’ve been feeling serious sugar drag. More energy from reduced sugar is awesome…but I forgot that when you go temporarily cold turkey on carbs to reset your brain’s sweet cravings to be fine with whole grains and fruit, there’s a withdrawal period of headache-encumbered crankiness. Yay.
As I’m packing our belongings in this mental state, I find myself throwing a lot of stuff away while hollering, “Dammit, why do we keep so much trash?!?” John, bless him, understands the source of my crankiness and recognizes that I’m yelling at myself. He spends a lot of time laughing at me, which helps me keep everything in perspective. But dammit, I do keep a lot of trash. Maybe it’s the general moving crankiness, or maybe I’m getting less sentimental at this point in my life, but I have thrown away about 75% of the tchotchkes and knick-knacks and greeting cards that I have hoarded over the years.
My rule used to be that I had to keep something for every single memory so that in the future, I would be able to pick up the item and remember the story that went with it. What my ten-year-old scrapbooking self did not understand is that your memory goes downhill pretty quickly once you hit adulthood. It’s frightening. I know for a fact that nothing goes into my Memory Box without being connected to a story I cared about, but as I sorted through it, I realized that I didn’t even have a hint of an inkling as to what half of the items meant. The physical connection just wasn’t enough to trigger the memory, possibly because as I’ve gotten older and made more memories, I’ve had less time to spend handling the objects and remembering. And while it makes me sad to throw away these items that once meant something to me, the truth is that I don’t care about the items. I care about the stories, and those are already lost, because it’s not bad enough that we can’t hang on to life forever: we can’t even hang on to our lives while we’re alive.
See what I mean? I am a royal cranky-pants right now.
What I find myself clinging to is the hope that those stories have been pushed out by memories of better stories I’ve lived. If my brain has a finite capacity for personal memoir, I guess I want to hold on to the best of the best. And with most of my life hopefully still ahead of me (assuming the zombies and robots don’t get us first), I’d like to think that I have yet to live the best years of that life. Always onward, always upward, right? This makes it okay for me to let go of the junk that used to hold a memory. The same thought plays counterbalancing to the anxiety of a major move as well–things have been nice where we are, really, but they’re going to be even better in our new location, closer to the people we love.