Material Possessions and Emotional Connections
During our first move in 1983, a van, a pickup truck and a couple of friends helped Tricia and I relocate from Houma, LA to Baton Rouge, LA. We packed everything we owned without a thought about material possessions and the emotional connections. That was an easy move as we packed, said bye, hugged and kissed friends and family and left our home town.
In 2012, a moving company, with an 18-wheeler, moved us from Comfort, TX to Covington, LA. In this 18-wheeler were items from 1983! Many of these material possessions have ties to our life experiences, our emotional connections. Today, in 2017, many of those items are still with us; Tricia’s wedding dress, boxes of old photographs, a SLR camera that was a high school graduation gift and many other memorable items. Most of those items are connected to happy memories; children’s art, baby shoes, baseball gloves, toy trains. Unfortunately, some items remind us of sad, sometimes tragic events. Tricia and I are reliving all of those memories as we touch every item we possess. But, we remain committed to make a decision on every object in our home to begin this next chapter in our lives.
Our material possession plan is to “clean house”; place those items we need to survive in our RV, store the items we will truly need at a future home, keep a small amount of emotional items and let everything else go. How many items are truly “let-go” is dependent on the emotional connection. It would be easy to sell, donate or throw away material possessions if there were no emotional connection to those objects that are not used, have no use or not needed.
Let it go!
If there was no emotional connection to objects, the process of letting-go would also be much quicker; each item would simply be sold, donated or thrown away. In reality, many items will undergo a memory review; sometimes a very emotional memory review. As a result of this self-reflection, what should be a 5 second decision may possibly take five minutes, a week, or a decision may not be made as the item is placed in a box.
The task is a physical and is an emotional challenge. Multiple hours and days are required. Looking, touching, lifting, pushing, reaching and pulling objects is the physically tiring part of the work. The emotional challenge can equal or exceed the physical challenge. Memories are physically and mentally exhausting. Thirty-three years of memories result in smiles and frowns, laughter, and yes, tears. Sometimes, it would be much easier to just pack the RV as needed, and box and store everything else without thinking and deciding what to do with each item.
Memory in a box
As I sit here writing this post, days away from the start of our estate sale, our on-line auction, I realize that I have been forced to confront one thing that many, including myself, sometimes chooses to put off, or ignore…that is the emotions and connection to possessions. It is easier to store an item, a memory in a box, than it is to make the decision and possibly let the object go. The photo shoot for the on-line auction is fast approaching, and decisions need to be made; more to do, more to post as this journey continues.