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Closeup of Louise's accessories

I was chatting with my son Ted about our adventure, and admitted I was a little scared. (Don’t worry—I have run all the cognitive therapy questions and I know intellectually that leaving home is no scarier than staying home. But I will allow myself to be scared anyway, because it’s a normal reaction to a big forthcoming change.)

He said, pithily, “Seems like the scariest part would be packing up.” Bingo! Yes, indeedy. Reshaping the possessions pile. Deciding between keep/toss/store/pack. Ridding oneself of bits of the past. The unhappy bits are already gone, as I have moved five times in the last ten years. But some of the happy bits need to go, too.

Photo of Louise's bracelets

My bracelets … at least as many as would fit in one photo.

Focusing off the really big changes, I am obsessing about…accessories. I am attached to my scarves, bracelets, shoes, bags, necklaces, shawls, earrings, and watches. When I was unable to find affordable jewelry that was big enough for me, I started to make my own. Imagine how much more attached I am to the things I’ve made! And that spurred this enormous bead collection….things waiting to be made.

And some were gifts – from my children, my beloved Tom, best friends and relatives now far away or passed on. Many are souvenirs of travels around the world: when others buy teeshirts, I buy earrings or scarves. Silver from Mexico, gold from Turkey, silk from Spain, scarves from France, a fur hat from Canada, a wool shawl from Germany. They are small and packable, and up to now I haven’t had to lose any.

Photo of Louise's scarves

I love my scarves. Fortunately, they pack light.

Will anybody else get this if I say too good for Goodwill? Lots of my stuff is headed there, no problem. But there are some things that I want to sell personally. I want to watch them go, and see who they’re going to, and hear someone say “You made this? I love it!” I guess that means I want to be validated as my still-loved accessories go away.

Of course the flip side of watching them sell is the way certain people without taste will fling some of this stuff aside.

So how do I do this? Do I do it piece by piece on eBay? Do I set up a table in the apartment and put an ad on Craig’s List? Do I want people stomping around my apartment? Do I invite only people I know? Do I give the proceeds to charity? Do I seek a neutral event space? Does it have to be this hard? Anyone? Ideas?

Photo of Louise's necklaces

My necklaces do NOT pack light. I made most of them myself. How can I part with them?

Please do help me focus on the Accessories Issue because….I really don’t need to worry about anything bigger than that. There is nothing to fear. I am not becoming homeless; I am becoming a citizen of the world. My children are grown up and don’t need me hovering around. I love hovering around them but I’ll still be able to do that whenever I want; it’s just a longer, more expensive flight. So nothing to fret about, really. But I will anyway. Better to worry about earrings.