Turn, turn, turn

My last essay was about cleaning up my lifestyle habits, and I am happy to report that I have dropped another pound. So nice to see 235 on the scale. Only 15 more to go to my first milestone. But that is not what I am writing about this morning, although I am addressing an equally daunting task.  The topic for today’s blog is: Time to Declutter Our Living Spaces.

Five years ago, we downsized from a 2500 square foot, two-story home to a 1500 square foot cottage in an age-restricted retirement community. We love the retirement lifestyle and our small beachy-bungalow. And when we moved five years ago, we were sure that we had discarded enough of a lifetime’s detritus once, and for that, we would not have to attack that onerous task again. Wrong.

Our beachy-bungalow is more than adequate for the two of us, and after all, it is always the two of us, as Interstate 85 only runs south. Remember when you visited your grandparents and slept on a pallet on the floor in the living room? Not my three grandkids. It is one bed per child. I am not exaggerating here at all. So, my grand-family of five people and two big dogs, although they can get all of that horde into their Honda Odyssey, our beachy-bungalow of three bedrooms and two baths is just too small. Want to see the grand-family, we travel south on I-85. 

OK, I have set the stage. Now for the changes that precipitated the decluttering. Even in our small house, we have a sunroom that leads out to our small but lush backyard where our two Brittanys love to hunt frogs. Once we decided that we did not need one of the guest rooms (since we never have guests), one of the front bedrooms is in the process of becoming my office and the sunroom returns to a sunroom. Never one to give up hope, Sandy, is already planning to put a futon in the sunroom just in the statistically insignificant chance that our grand-family will find out that I-85 does actually run north and south.

The decision to move my office meant that I had to decide which of my items of memorabilia currently in the wall-spanning Ikea bookcase in the former-study-now-sunroom, must go. Clearly, if one leaves the memorabilia where a very unlikely visitor might see it, one might have to explain why in the hell he still has a textbook from 1969!

Off I went, not in reckless abandon, but with the distinct sense that I was deserting my past. In the trash went work-life keepsakes that had significance only to me a few folks – most of them several hundred miles away in Alabama or Kentucky or Indiana.

The big step was to recognize that most of what I had physically retained over forty years in my profession and 51 years of marriage were now to be kept only in my memory! What a depressing thought, given my memory of late! It is OK. I am only 73. I have a life ahead of me to make new memories. And I think that is a good thing.

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