Friday, May 21, 2010

Cleaning House

We move from Ross River in exactly two weeks. It's coming up fast, almost too fast. I consider myself adept in handling change. Then again, I'm sure so are most twentysomething university graduates to RCMP spouse to young parents. When I first arrived here two Aprils ago I was scared, but now I will miss my Ross River home.
As we prepare for the move and all the literal upheaval it involves, I have set out on a mass purge. I have been going through our belongings room by room, one mysterious Rubbermaid container after container, making piles of "keep" and "get rid of." I have bags of clothes to donate, garbage to toss. I have second-hand furniture that got me through those first few apartments but is now too shabby for my chic living style (ha!).
It is an exercise of priority-setting, but also one of guilt: I feel terrible tossing half-used bottles and jars of bath lotions, but if I haven't used them in the last year, it's gone. I feel bad throwing out the rug my grandfather brought over from Syria before we even knew he existed, but it made the toss pile too after suffering years of cat, dog and people messes upon it.
In completing a room of its purge and detox, I feel much better. I stand with hands on hips and look around with a smile and a sigh, happy to be free of clutter that would otherwise require my energy to be sorted, stored and placed in our new house. I like it when there's a place for everything, and everything's in its place.
Boxes continue to be piled in the back canopy of our truck (destination: town dump) as we get closer to June 4th, and it seems almost everything is an exercise in pairing down. There's always something to sort through, to make sense of, to recalculate.
As I prepare to move to a familiar city, a new house, a revisited group of friends, I find it necessary to purge myself. Not in an eating disorder kind of way (alarm!), but in my mental filing cabinets, rolodexes and storage closets. I came to Ross River a newlywed and I leave it a mother who has gone through so many ups and downs. I feel I have aged many years, in a good way. I enjoy my balanced perspective, my laid-back approach to the unnecessary, and the ability I've found inside to get through the tough stuff, intact and with love.
I purge myself of jealousy and pain, of heartache and sadness. I purge myself of competition and bending over backwards for people instead of letting them do it themselves. I forgo wasting energy on problems I can't fix, on arguments I can't win and messes that aren't mine to clean.
I already feel a lot lighter, and a lot stronger without having to balance all those precarious other things around.

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