Moving on


It’s time. And despite the fact that the person at the Goodwill with whom I’m suddenly having a daily affair is crankier than cranky—he has never offered to help, nor smiled—it all feels right.

Late August can at times be a somewhat melancholy time of year for me—the peak of my summer gone, a warm and pleasant memory in my ears—but not this year. And despite my excruciating painful feet (and very tired brain) at the end of every day, and the cranky exchange with Mr. Goodwill, I’m energized. It feels good to take charge, to clear out the deadwood, the million dusty and obsolete things we once thought we couldn’t part with. I feel skinnier already.

So far, I’ve discarded or passed along a million pairs of boots and shoes and ski-boots we’ve all outgrown or out-aged, a snowboard, skis, back-country hiking backpacks, a tent, crutches (who was that again who hobbled around the campground on crutches one summer?), basketballs, hockey-sticks, Bert and Ernie hand puppets, golf clubs, tennis rackets, books, mug collections, team jackets, dolls, doll clothes, swivel chairs, toboggans, flotation devices, a thousand wires and cables, and much more.

A flotation device would be good right about now. It’s 30 degrees, and my feet are complaining about the 50 flights of stairs for too many consecutive days now. I’m more a packrat than I imagined too—the closets downstairs have mostly the wires and electronics and games that others here haven’t wanted to part with just yet, but I’ve stored more children’s artwork and blown-up and framed childhood photos than I thought closets could hold.

Still on the chopping block are a dining room suite and china (truly gorgeous, but rarely used now), a lazy treadmill that failed to keep me fit, several amps and electric guitars, a table hockey game, DVD players, CD players, a dinosaur TV, and other similar-looking but unidentifiable (by me at least) electronic cousins.

Busy, full and wonderful years they’ve been, happy and sad, but the house is almost empty now, and it’s time, as they say, to batten down the hatches, streamline, simplify, make it all more contained and manageable, free up space and energy. I’m terrible at delegating, and, over the years, have done a disproportionate amount of the sorting, organizing, shuffling around, cleaning and storing of things others haven’t been ready to part with.

They’ve been good years, but it’s time. First though, along with the current burst of energy—tears of nostalgia, good-byes, regret, and plain old fatigue. But I’m ready for this, so ready.

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