Moving On

In four weeks time, we are moving house. Stated like that it sounds so simple. In reality, however, it is anything but.  (Having said that, I have this amazing ability to turn the simplest things into the most complex, stressful, complicated events. I cringe when I think about what I will do with moving house!!)

Honored with a place right at the top of the list of the most stressful events in life, right after death (I'm never sure if this is my death or someone else's!!), is moving house. I have quickly come to realise that moving has a way of forcing you to deal with all sorts of issues. Physical, emotional, tactical, logistical, the obvious issues, and those that blindside you - coming out of nowhere and sending you reeling. Issues that have been safely compartmentalized, and tucked away for aeons suddenly rise up like Mount Everest, with sanity on the other side.

One of the most daunting tasks ahead of me during this process is one of both a physical and emotional nature. Unfortunately it is a task I have to perform before I can even think about packing a box. I am a collector (read hoarder). I am intensely sentimental and hyper-sensitive about things from the past. I have what I think is a normal, healthy attachment to these things (others might disagree and say it borders on unhealthy-obsessive-bag-lady tendencies, but who listens to that niggling voice in your head anyway!).   I have a collection of letters (written on actual paper - not electronic!) from my school days. Notes passed in class between my oldest BFF Jennifer and I. We are still firm friends today, and reading these takes me straight back to those carefree days of crushes, parties, school disco's, first boyfriends, clothing crisis's, and exams. There is no way I can part with them. Moving on.

I have cartons and cartons of old photos from my parents youth right through to my own kids. In boxes. Unsorted. Again, I can't part with these. Moving swiftly along... Up in the rafters in the garage is a suitcase of old baby clothes from my kids, cartons of school work (from my school days and from my kids), and picture frames - TONS of them. Outdated and empty - but maybe one day they will be revived and given a new lease on life? And magazines. I have no idea why I thought that by storing literally hundreds of magazines I would one day find the time to sort and file the relevant things in them  - the obvious reason why I kept them in the first place! I could go on, but as I list my "collections", the knot in my stomach grows, and that voice in my head gets louder and louder!

The emotional issue I have with decluttering before I pack needs to be dealt with. I keep these things for reasons. I don't live in the past, but I like to visit from time-to-time. However, I have decided that I need to purge and cleanse before moving. Be selective and  chuck. For me this is huge.

This need to cling to the past, the comfort zone of what we know, has been passed onto my daughter, Kirsten. She has had a hard time getting used to the idea of a new house, a new room, a new area. She has moments of panic when out of the blue the tears start and she asks "Mom? Can my snow globes come to the new house? And my books? And my curtains?" Seeing her battling with this has forced me to address my own fear of leaving the past behind. Stepping out of my comfort zone. Helping her through this as sensitively as possible will be a good exercise for both of us.

Logical issues (being logical is not in my nature!), are another hurdle I have to overcome. I have this tendency to be impatient (*blush*), and need to be firmly in control. I want things to happen how and when I want them. One thing moving house has taught me (in unavoidable neon lettering!), is that I am not in control of a lot of the when's. When the transfer happens, when the exact occupation date is, when my new curtains will be ready, etc etc. I am out of my nicely controlled comfort zone here!!

The physical issues about moving are staring me in the face. These boxes are not going to pack themselves! Before making a start, however, I need to update my WILL DO List. Maybe if I commit to categorizing my photo's and filing my recipes and sorting through my kids old artwork from school (boxes and boxes of it!), I will do it. Or maybe I will trawl Pinterest for How-to-Organise-Just-About-Anything ideas to get me started. Maybe then dealing with my moving issues won't be such a Mount Everest for me. Maybe. I'm Just Saying...

Will Do!

I have read so many blogs and articles lately where the focus has been on "Bucket Lists". There have been Bucket Lists for school holidays,(which I admit had a certain appeal after a few "you are  both going to boarding school!!" days these holidays); Bucket Lists for adventures; Bucket Lists for the next three months (90 things in 90 days); Bucket Lists for before you kick the proverbial bucket; and my favourite from my good friend Bernadette ( Bern had an "I'm almost forty, and I still haven't done all those wild things" moment, and created her own form of Bucket List. Her journey through this list has been hilarious, and so admirable. She has literally put her money where her mouth is, and has documented her escapades for inspiration.
To be honest, I have always found the idea of a Bucket List to be a bit morbid. What happens when you get to the end? Is the whole concept not temping fate? I am such a believer in fate, so the thought of waving the red flag in front of the "OK-I'm-done-with-my-list-now-grim-reaper" scared the hell out of me. And then the antithesis: how many of us are really going to walk the entire Great Wall of China? Or cliff jump off some remote Death-by-Stupidity cliff face? Or write a Pulitzer Award Winning Autobiography? Or even organise our CD collections by genre and alphabetically??? So by committing ourselves to a Bucket List, are we not setting ourselves up for inevitable failure? Or is that too cynical an outlook?

Lately, however, I have found myself in quite a dilemma. I am a HUGE procrastinator by nature. I tend to put off doing things until I absolutely have to. And then work frantically under pressure. I am also big on lists. Having lists keeps me focused and on track. And I have dreams. Big "one day when" dreams. Dreamer plus procrastinator does not bode well for making "one day's" a reality.  So do I give into the modern trend of creating my own Bucket List? Somehow, though, I just can't shake the ominous feeling of impending doom if I do.
It is now two weeks into the school holidays, with another two still to go. On my list, stubbornly unscratched off, remains my twins' birthday party to organise; a house to pack up for our impending move; promises to teach Kirst to knit properly & Dyl to snake-board (yes, I CAN!!); thoughts of pre- cooking suppers to freeze for the start of the new term;  my running career to resurrect; my new business to set up properly; my recipe collection to organise and my wish to do more writing.  And this is just my To Do List!
I have decided that the only way I am ever going to see the other side of my "chore list", and create space for my "One Day When" dreams, while side stepping the morbidity of a Bucket List, is to create my own version - my Will Do list. The caveat is that it will be bottomless in practise, and the whip-cracking-motivation is that it will be public. Its time for me to put my money where MY mouth is, and commit to some of my "one day's". Nothing as mundane as categorising my CD collection, and nothing as eye brow-raising as tattoo's.  Who knows? Maybe as I work my way through this process my goals will become more adventurous and brazen! And mixed with my everyday "To Do" items, the scratching off of completed tasks will spur me on! Someone very clever once said that goals not written down are merely wishes. So watch this space, I am putting pen to paper... I'm Just Saying...