Closet · memories · Memory · moving · stress

Cleaning Memory Closets

Stress comes in a multitude of colors, situations, shapes, boxes, and people, and I’ve had 3 weeks of all of them.

My days and nights have been cram packed with changes and adjustments creating upheaval in my life:

  1. Bidding farewell to my home of 15 years, and my community of 24 years.
  2. Emptying out my house
  3. Changing addresses
  4. Finding long forgotten treasures
  5. Replacing a hearing aid thanks to my doglet
  6. Making decisions of what to keep and what to discard, recycle, repurpose, or destroy,(this includes my doglet)
  7. Adopting and perfecting the knack of flexibility
  8. Juggling relationships destined to change
  9. Saying goodbye to a known lifestyle, and hello to a new culture, country, and language

In other words, giving up my well-worn path, venturing out to explore another trail or trails, and risking comfort and security to respond to an internal whisper urging me forward.

Yep, I’m moving, and upheaval is exhausting. I’m delighted to  be making the changes, but I’m experiencing various emotions: joy, fear, sadness, elation, clarity, confusion, confidence, doubt…the list is endless.

Part of my discomfort is deciding. I’m well versed in decision-making. After all, I’m 76 and have a doctorate in choosing. What shoes to buy, what car to buy, what friends to have, where to eat. Those are selections I’ve spent a lifetime perfecting.

But this time I’m required to weigh each keepsake, every collected memory, all the miscellaneous thoughts on a scale of To Keep or To Release.

Is that picture of my sister and me at Knott’s Berry Farm in 1955 really worth carrying around for another few years? And who is that girl sitting next to us, acting like she is a member of the family? Oh, maybe she is. I don’t remember.

Mother loved that ‘whatever it is’ thing I’ve had secreted in my closet since she died 16 years ago, but do I really need it in order to remember her poor taste?

Dad prized the never used helmet shaped decanter holding cordial glasses he obtained about the time I graduated from college in 1963.  Is that the best thing I can keep to recall his poor attempt at  sophistication?

Or, how about those feather pillows bought in 1947 and kept in a box under various beds since the early 1970’s?

You get the idea, what ‘things’ can be discarded while keeping the memories?

Three weeks of sifting through my parents’ ‘stuff’, as well as my own worthless but cherished mementos can drain a body.

I must admit, driving away from the now empty house and waving bye to a life I loved and love left me feeling lighter. As the saying goes, “It’s just stuff, and you’ll find more stuff to replace it.”

So, I’m off searching for crappy items that will add more memories to my overflowing mental scrapbook.

More later as I fill my closet with new experiences to write about.



11 thoughts on “Cleaning Memory Closets

  1. Oh, I do so empathise Margo. I’ve been having a go at my “stuff” too, although I’m not about to move anywhere. I asked my daughter what, if anything, she really wanted, and the answer was “nowt”. So I’ve given my DVD’s and vinyl to charity, have started considering what to do with my stamp and coin collections – they are going somewhere! I’ve been thinning out my closets and drawers. My shed has had a really good thinning out. Isn’t it liberating!!!!!!
    However, having said all that, I did write about “stuff” some time ago, and many of the things I was sorting then have still not been achieved!!


    1. Yep, I do know the feeling. My kids don’t want any of my things, so non-profits got most of it. However, I did keep ‘stuff’ that I will no doubt have to go through once again…or better yet, let the kids do it when I embark on the next journey.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Good luck, Margo. It sounds like you have pulled up your big girl panties and made one of the important decisions for life and I have no doubt it will be the right one. Continue to enjoy that sister relationship that will only grow sweeter with time. I look forward to reading your life’s musings.


    1. Ahh, Doris. Life in Mexico is such a treat, and San Miguel is indeed a special place. I’m fortunate to be able to make these life changes and explore other avenues of living. I meet so many people here who have travelled extensively and experienced other cultures. It’s nice to spread my wings and soar over new territory. Would love for you and Joe to come down for a visit.


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