Saying Goodbye

We’re at T- minus five days until the move.

I’ve collected seventeen garden bags of stuff given to charity,

given away a dining suite, sofa, chairs desk, table and more assorted furniture.

Taken one load to the storage unit and there’s at least one more trip before everything is tucked neatly away.

The walls are denuded, some rooms are bare.

Curtains are packed away, the garbage and recycling cans are overflowing.

My back is aching and I’m bone weary. There is no rest on my days off, there’s too much to do.

But I need to keep moving, keep wrapping, and sealing boxes.

If I stop I will have time to think,

to feel the wrenching pain of putting a dream long-lost away for good.

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These rooms are filled with memories- of birthday parties, and Christmas trees, Easter egg hunts, and a Halloween haunted garage.

Loud basketball games on the driveway, playing catch in the grass. Riding scooters and bikes down the hill. And hot summer days splashing in the community pool.

Sidewalks for skating, and backyards for playing hide and seek. Trees for climbing and streets wide enough for kickball and football games.

My dream was to provide my kids with a neighborhood- a place where they could wander and play with friends. That was my gift to fill their childhood with great memories.

Now it’s time to pursue a different dream- this one is for me. City life for a change.

©annettealaine2017

 

Digging Through the Past

I’m an excavator of my past.

Sifting through boxes and bins, I re-discovered the truth about myself, a truth that got buried and left to grow dusty in the garage.

I uncovered six or seven plastic bins shoved against the garage wall last week. As part of the ongoing purge to downsize, I immediately started lifting the layers of files, books and other detritus moldering in the boxes. search

I had to pack with little or no thought as two jobs changed quickly. The first set of bins from teaching Exceptional Student Education five years ago. I immediately recalled the acronyms that confused me in the early days on the job. My learning curve was steep as I inherited 100 students with mild disabilities that first year. I had to read extensively and re-learn how to write an Individual Education Plan (IEP) using computer software, and teaching middle school for the fist time. As I sorted through my stuff, I realized how fast I grasped the job and its responsibilities. I did not get discouraged with 100 students. I took it as a challenge to get all those IEP’s up to date with the school district.

Four more bins revealed an earlier life- my first two church jobs. I was amazed at all of my files containing training materials I created and details for each special service- Christmas, Holy Days and Easter. Underneath the books were reflections and papers written in graduate school. Three kids under the age of ten, a spouse who was on the road every week, yet somehow I completed school in four years going to class once a week and writing papers at the Y,  in the parking lot waiting for the kids, or late at night when everyone was in bed.

This past week I heard a talk on resilience. The ability to bounce back, to recover from big changes. Basically resilience is tied to your outlook on life. If you have hope that things will be better, you can weather change.

I have started over again many times, especially in the past ten years. Some changes were easy and some were real challenges. But looking through those boxes reminded me that I CAN change and I am resilient.    images-1

©annettealaine2017

As We Plan Our Escape

Come with me and escape~ Rupert Holmes

Some of us think holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go.~ Herman Hesseimgres-1

We are in the final stages of the great escape from suburbia. Seven years ago, I remarried and we lived together with kids and a cat in my four bedroom, three bath house deep in the suburbs.

We dreamed of finding a place of our own- not mine or his, no memories of the past, just a fresh start for a new life.

Jobs, rebounding kids and life in general put our dream on hold for a few years. But our time has arrived. Step one was getting the house on the market. Second was finding a place to live. Third was waiting for the timing to work in our favor. We got our contract and put the deposit on our new place three weeks ago.

Now the clock ticks down as we work through the hard part- downsizing. Forty plus years of stuff to sort through. And we do all this while working full-time. Days off are filled with purging and packing. Every room filled with this somewhat controlled chaos.

There have been a few days when I’ve been overwhelmed by the enormity of this task. After years of moving (twenty-one times since I was a kid), I traveled pretty light. Each move was a time to re-assess some of the stuff we had accumulated. My shredder is working overtime, removing volumes of paper that I don’t need. I divide up knick-knacks and other goodies to the  kids, cajole friends to adopt my books, as we  create our piles: purge ( to charity), store, move.

I’m discovering how easy it is to let go of the very things I swore I’d never part with- realizing the once important items no longer hold any sentimental value. What I have learned is that my memories are my most precious asset. I don’t need a figurine to recall a great time from my past. And in divesting myself of so much stuff, my load is lightened. I won’t drag the baggage of the past into my future.

A few more weeks, thank goodness, to continue to sift through the piles. We are ruthless with ourselves and our stuff. If it serves no purpose- either physically or emotionally- it’s gone.

We have planned our escape from the past and look forward to many adventures in our new home.   imgres-3

©annettealaine2017

 

I Think You Meant to Say, ‘Thank You’

I Think You Meant to Say, ‘Thank You’

Worth a read…

challaandhaggis

philly-marchTo those who saw the Women’s Marches around the country and–damn–around the world and didn’t “get it” — try harder. To those who called the rallies “protests” and compared us to those who willfully and criminally broke windows, attacked the police and set a car on fire in D.C. yesterday — try harder. To those who don’t understand that our individual rights and freedoms are under siege — try harder.

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Change is in the Air

I’m glad I could burrow deep within myself today. I was off- no need to make small talk and pretend this day was business as usual.

I should have spent the day packing more boxes for our move in February. Instead I sat in the quiet house. I read, I drank my tea and I pondered the world.

As an introvert, I seek to avoid drawing attention to myself. I am comfortable stating my thoughts and opinions in relation to my job, but I have always kept most of my personal opinions about religion and politics to myself.

If we become close, and I learn to trust you, I will open up, but I’m not  joiner. I don’t sign up for marches and protests. But that is changing- because I no longer feel I have the privilege to ignore what’s happening in this world.

I say world, because friends abroad have told me their own stories about injustice, ignorance and intolerance.

I think everyone is created by the Divine equal in every way. I don’t believe Eve was an afterthought. I believe through the study of world governments and religions that we all believe in the goodness of our fellow human and that our planet requires careful stewardship.

I believe in good and evil, but I believe there are shades of gray in almost every situation. I believe people are basically decent, but our greatest weakness is our inability to keep power from corrupting our souls.

I believe we were put here to make a small difference, but to do no harm. I believe the struggle is real between selflessness and selfishness. And I believe we all have a plank in our eye that keeps us from helping the other guy.

I hope the greatest gifts that come in the next four years is to care deeply enough about what happens in our country and our world. That the decades of political apathy is replaced with a new activism. And my greatest hope is that the patriarchy that has had all the power for centuries, will finally yield to a new world order. It’s past time.

©annettealaine2017

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Moving On

2017 begins with a bang!

I’m finally selling my house.

I’m distracted, harried, hurried, and harassed.

The clock is ticking louder, faster, marking the time- what little time I have left-to reduce my gargantuan footprint.

Downsizing is difficult. Downsizing is liberating. Downsizing is bittersweet.

So I pack up the past: three piles to separate fourteen years into manageable groups.

Move- Store- Purge

The future has arrived, and I’m ready for new adventures.images

©annettealaine2017