First Sight


Some nice clouds and brilliant sun came to visit me at my new apartment yesterday, while I waited for the cable young man.  Thank goodness he was late.  It was such a relief to have nothing to do except wait and send emails and look around.

The kind of tired I am is like nothing I can remember experiencing before.  This tired is a bone-deep discouragement.  Every single thing I pack is a gesture of futility – I know I can’t keep most of it and live comfortably in my new circumstances, but there just isn’t enough time left to sift and choose.   It’s exhausting to keep my body engaged in doing what my mind knows is impossible.  Downsize and move 8 years of living into 20 percent of the space, in 8 weeks?  I can get myself to keep moving just 5 minutes at a time – so I set my timer and work for 5 minutes.  A couple of days ago, all I could manage was to work for 5 minutes, then rest for 5 minutes – so that’s what I did.  It might sound unproductive but I got a lot more done that way than if I had just sat on the couch and cried.

I suppose this is what battling perfectionism looks like.  It doesn’t matter what the right way to organize and pack is.  It’s just as useful to continue to do everything wrong – to persist in making this huge, impossible, unmanageable mistake.  As long as I keep moving.


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4 thoughts on “First Sight

  1. Oh Brenna! Wish I could send my sister Edith to you. She is the BEST packer: we moved 22 times up to and including our time in Canada alone ( don’t ask) . Take heart ! Can you put some things in a friend’s garage?? Yx

  2. And I wish I could pack me up and send to you to help with the sorting and packing. You keep capturing so beautifully this painful process of moving on – a process that was also excruciating when I was clearing out our home in DC and leaving behind remainders and reminders from parents, friends, and just past experiences. Now Bill has just made peace with letting go of some things he has held onto that have become moldy and worn over decades – and we both have found that we can keep the memories without the things. I am wishing you both some temporary respite (like a friend’s garage as Yvette suggests) to store the things you’re not quite ready to part with, and the peace and comfort of joyful memories when you let other things move on. Did you know that your mom used to pack up boxes of things and ship them to my mom when she moved about or went overseas? And sometimes she forgot they were there and was so surprised when mom sent them back! If you need to ship something to Colorado, just let me know as I know I can clear some closet space.
    Love you so much dear.

  3. Dear Brenna — keeping you in my heart. I’d be happy to store things in our attic, and even to pay the shipping. Would that make it any easier, or just add another layer to a heavy load? –

  4. My heart goes out to you…my goodness. We last moved in 1999; an indication of how much I hate moving, not of satisfaction with this apartment. Needless to say, there is no extra room here to store stuff. However, we do have here a very creative six year old girl who might enjoy making collages or doll clothes with some of the less choice bits, and we’d be happy to accept a SMALLish box or two. It might feel better than tossing it. Bon courage, Brenna.

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