Saturday, May 23, 2015

Things to Lose, Things to Take

Scenes from a renovation:

My child temporarily has a 50-inch TV in her bedroom. She is over-the-moon happy with this.

I temporarily have a seven-foot credenza in my room. As a result, I can barely open the drawers of my dresser. I may have to relocate my underwear, or else go without underwear for a few weeks. I don't think anyone wants that.

My main living areas echo, because nearly all the furniture in them has been moved into the bedrooms (see above) or into the garage. Benedict Cumberhatch has to live outside for a while because his half of the garage is full. I fervently hope that our unusually wet and stormy Texas spring doesn't bring any hailstorms until I can get my cherished car back under covered parking.

Yesterday I went through a very large box containing old correspondence and mementos from my life. Apparently in my younger days I was in the habit of keeping greeting cards people sent me. But I decided that it's no longer crucial to commemorate birthdays and housewarmings from years ago, and it's especially non-crucial to hang on to old valentines and anniversary cards. Out they went.

Examples of technical writing I did 20 years ago: Out.

Company newsletters from my first full-time job: Out.

Letters from barely remembered people I went to college with: Out.

Every single damn thing I ever got from Bestest Friend, including greeting cards, long letters (because we're old enough to have written each other long letters with some frequency), track lists from mix tapes, and notes we passed in high school(!): Carefully repacked in a waterproof, airtight plastic tote to be kept forever (and probably eventually edited into a bestselling book).

Because best friends rule.

Oh, and old photos of myself from my 20s, when the last thing I ever would have called myself was hot, but...damn, I actually was a little bit hot. Why did I not see that and appreciate it? I missed out on the whole damn thing.

Life goes on.

I am being brutally unsentimental about the things I'm taking with me when Precocious Daughter and I move out of this house. I've whittled my stash of books way down. I'm holding on to only a handful of CDs (including all of my Beatles CDs because Rhapsody still doesn't have any of their music). I'm keeping not a stick of furniture besides what's in our bedrooms. I'm taking everything that's been handed down through my family and little else.

There's a framed painting that my spouse did and gave to me. I'm keeping that. Because I don't want to remove every trace of him from my life, and because I really, really like the painting.

I'm definitely keeping the convertible hand truck I just bought from Home Depot. It's strong, useful, and doesn't take up much space. If it had a tongue it would be everything I want in a man.

Oh, and I asked the contractor to push back the start of the renovations for a few days. Because even with all the tons of stuff I've gone through, discarded, packed, and stored, I've got tons more stuff to go through, discard, pack, and store. And I was starting to lose my mind a bit as the original start date approached.

Of course, now we have to live in a house with essentially no furniture and no work being done to justify why there's no furniture.

But my sanity has been preserved.



  1. I feel your pain. We are currently packing up and preparing to move (IF the inspection goes well). Although we got rid of a bunch of stuff in our last move, I am thinking of getting rid of even more (furniture, possibly) as I want to start completely fresh. Good luck!

  2. It's incredibly tough to throw out old memories. But it's not the memories - it's just stuff, and there's always a flood of new stuff to fill up more space.

    I'm getting better at throwing away things I really don't need.

    But I can relate to starting over, and I wish you all the best in charging on through these next few weeks!

  3. Whew! I was getting nervous there for a second! Glad to know our old letters, etc., are safe and sound! When do we starting curating for the book?



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