Well, not exactly moving day, but more like moving week. My blogging silence is due, in part, to my having been away from home helping my aunt move from her two-story house to an apartment on the ground floor.
For almost a week, my cousin and I have pitched in, moved boxes, gone shopping, built furniture, bought groceries, cooked meals, sorted clothing, set up computers and televisions, plugged in telephones--all in order to help my aunt in her transition to a new stage of life.
So that gets me to thinking. And, here it comes, it also gets me to offering advice.
Some thoughts on life's passages.
1. Think about where you want to be when you can no longer be where you are. The key is to plan. Of course, you can't anticipate everything, but you can at least plan. When my aunt broke her hip, which resulted in hip replacement, she could no longer live in a house where the ONLY bathroom is on the second level.
2. Take note of the things you value--the possessions that you want to take with you to the next stage of life, and even those you want to bestow on family and friends. Someone else looking through things won't know the value, sentimental or otherwise, of a particular item. THEN WRITE IT DOWN--for example, you may not get to tell someone that the strange painting of a child was a portrait your mother painted of you as a child.
3. Declutter. Just that. I recently heard an interesting guide for knowing when to get rid of something--if you haven't touched it for 2 years, get rid of it. That doesn't mean you have to throw it away: donate to Goodwill, or Freecycle it, or even sell it on Craig's List, but get rid of it.
4. Accept the next stage of life as part of the journey. Of course it is wrenching to leave the spot you are now in--geographically, psychologically, emotionally. Transitions are hard. Be prepared for stages of grief. But eventually, accept that the next stage will have joys.
Sorry to sound so...ponderous. But, I have been doing much thinking. I hope I learn my own lessons. Maybe you have some additional thoughts on how to make life's transitions go more smoothly.
Top photo--early morning over the Hudson River
Last photo--moon rise near my aunt's apartment