My surgery has healed enough that I am back to packing things up. That means I’ve been busy, methodically going through each room, each closet, each drawer and deciding what gets put in a box headed for the new home, what goes to the garage sale, what is given away or what is destine for the dump.
Despite that it is going on 23 years that we have lived in this house, the process of packing it all up and moving is as daunting a task as it was when we moved several times within the first five years of our marriage. If anything, it’s even worse because we’ve had a lot more years to accumulate stuff. What always amazes me is the number of boxes we have.
One important thing I’ve learned is to label each box with its contents, preferably on top and on at least one side. You will be glad you did when you arrive at your new home and you are desperate for a can opener. There you stand, staring at 30-40 boxes stacked wall to wall and if they are not labeled, good luck finding the can opener.
Meanwhile, there is a great opportunity to witness a humbling experience and it comes just after the movers, or your friends who were good enough to help you move, have unloaded the final item from the truck and bid you an exhausting goodbye. And you? Well, there you are alone with your boxes…a gazillion of them. It is now that you realize your entire life, everything from Scrubby your first bath buddy, to the award for being student of the year in fifth grade, to the first all-A’s report card (well, maybe not everyone has that) to dating souvenirs, to the set of china your parents-in-law bought you, to your kid’s artwork, etc. etc. etc.–it’s all here, your entire life’s collection of material goods, stacked several feet high and wide…in boxes.
The boxes, however, contain much more than just “things.” They harbor all the references and memories that expose the links to your soul and everything you have done in your life. Inside these walls of cardboard are items that represent all your most cherished accomplishments, all your failures and all your in-betweens. Each is a mini-warehouse of goods that trigger emotions you’ve openly expressed or kept secretly tucked away. If the boxes could come alive, they’d be a heap of pulsating pulp, inhaling and exhaling, sighing and smiling or seething with anger or frustration. All that you are, have been and will be are here before you in a mountain of brown fiber waiting to be reopened and let out again.
And that’s what moving is all about. Enjoy!
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