I just finished reading The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning, which prompted me to toss all my old journals and personal diaries. The author suggested we all have a box labeled THROW AWAY to store our personal items in, and then trust our families to do just that when we die. So I raced for the trash can with armloads of journals. Why? Because when my dad passed last year, we found a folder labeled FOR GEORGE'S EYES ONLY, and of course we opened it immediately. I can't unsee the contents of that folder, and wouldn't want any of my kids to be scarred unnecessarily by my own private whatever.
As the trash truck drove away with about thirty years of my scribbles, I was prepared to be upset - to feel that I had abandoned myself, as Randall said. What I wasn't prepared for was the feeling of vast space inside. A space that could be filled with new imaginings, new dreams, new anything. Hmmmmmm. That got me thinking.
My husband and I played "Let's Move to Nebraska" during Hurricane Irma. Lately that game has morphed into "Why Not Move to Oregon" and some daydreaming about living along the rugged seastacks of the Pacific coast. So I asked him during one of our nightly dog walks/philosophy sessions what he thought about leaving everything behind and beginning again. To my surprise, my stuff-hoarding man was open to the idea of re-defining ourselves and our space. But I suppose it isn't so scary when we would still have each other: witnesses to our lives and reminders of halcyon days gone by. Also our conversation was pure conjecture. A safe zone for risk taking.
But I am looking at my stuff with fresh eyes, wondering what else I can drop-kick to make room for more potentiality. I have been firmly instructed, however, to keep my fresh eyes off a certain someone's baseball hat collection.