I may not have much in the way of my own words for you today, my love.
Let’s start with some words of Mary Oliver’s, words that have held me up during this move, and then we’ll see where we go from there.
(You can read the full text of “In Blackwater Woods” here, I’ve excerpted the second half of the poem — the half that speaks to me as I move through this change — in the image.)
The downsizing just doesn’t seem to have an end. Not yet anyway.
I’m still unpacking, and today is the first day I’ve actually done some work that’s not move-related in a couple of weeks. I’ve been in my new for-now home for the last four days. And while there was a ton of culling and releasing during the pack-and-prepare weeks, I didn’t get the full wallop, the full extent of letting go, until move day arrived last Monday.
Downsizing: The latest letting go (the most painful one, maybe).
You see, I chose to keep my bed. In fact, I had fought to keep my bed. My made-for-me, queen-size, heavy, substantial, wooden captain’s/platform/four-poster bed. The one I intended to keep until I could pass it on to my daughter (until she had space for it). I thought I had planned so well. I thought all the downsizing, and right-sizing, had already been completed. Hah! Was I ever wrong!
I turned down more than a few possible rentals because they came with a bed provided. No way, no thanks, I have a bed. A cherished bed. So I kept looking.
And the Universe laughed. My beautiful bed did not fit into this house, the place I decided to move to for 9 months or so until I find my hopefully forever place.
It didn’t fit! Couldn’t get it through either door. Oy, it breaks my heart — again! — just to write these words.
I moved Monday. The movers tried so hard to get the frame into this house. But it just wouldn’t fit. After a painful private meltdown, I gave the bed to one of the movers. I slept on my mattress on the floor for two nights, and am now sleeping on a serviceable platform I found online. The good news — it’s got me off the floor, and I have and probably never will have any sentimental attachment to it. It’s not unlovely, but it wasn’t made for me and it won’t hurt much when the time comes to let it go.
Letting go of cherished things, people, places is never easy. Like the story of the monk and the disciple and the broken cup (many versions can be found, they all teach the same lesson about the transient nature of possessions and attachment), this latest letting go for me has been a gentle (okay maybe not so gentle) reminder to me of gratitude (for all the nights and weeks and months and years that I had this bed). And even deeper than gratitude is the reminder that things are just that — things. And that wellbeing, health, happiness — when derived from something other than what I possess — has even more value than when provided to me from my beautiful possessions.
There has been no shortage of letting go around here these days.
That’s the good news, right? All the letting go I’ve done so far made it possible for me to own the idea that I will survive one more letting go. And the ones to come after that.
Because this is not the last move I have planned. It’s the next-to-last move. Given my age, and given that I’m planning to apply for all kinds of housing, I may
have to get to downsize again. By the time the next downsizing comes around, if and when it does, I should be even better at it than I am now!
Going through changes and transitions at any age is tough.
Going through changes and transitions in your 40s, 50s, and older, especially if you’re single, can be really hard.
I made sure to ask, and ask again, for the help I needed. The most important help I was offered and happily took was the kind that held me up as I packed, and packed some more. And now, on this end, help culling what doesn’t fit in this house, and helping me find nooks and crannies for my stuff that I get to hold on to for now.
This process is informing and changing my work going forward. Maybe now’s the time for us to talk? Can you use some support navigating the changes that (I promise you) just keep coming?
I’m here to support single women in their 40s and older through the changes that life has in store. Because as long as you’re breathing, you’ll be going through changes, sought and unsought, welcome and not so much so. Whatever transition you’re facing, you don’t have to do it alone. Work. Health. Moving. Business. Income. Family. Loss. Gain. All of it. If this resonates for you, please book a no-strings call with me, and let’s see if having me in your corner as you navigate what’s up and what’s next might be useful.
That’s it from me today. I’d like to hear from you! Does this resonate? Do you have any experience to share? Let’s talk in the comments.