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.
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.
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?
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.