My husband and I finally cleared out our storage locker this week.
When we moved to Charleston, there was just too much to fit into the tiny antique house we bought, so we paid for a cube of space to store the stuff we didn’t use every day. When we bought a slightly larger antique house this year with an attic that could hold most, if not all, of our stuff, we knew it was time to face the storage locker.
Cue the metaphors.
We had saved things from our old lives that we thought might re-emerge in our new lives. Just-in-case folding chairs from years of watching our daughter play soccer, enough for a tribe of soccer fans we never had and never will. A Total Gym in case we turn one of our precious few bedrooms into a workout room. Art from an office I’ve retired from, in colors that seemed right then but seem too loud in the water-softened South Carolina air. Business papers from relatives dead for years, the ink faded and the paper soft with damp.
And so many photographs, stuffed carelessly in boxes, their edges curling now. Images of my daughter as a saucer-eyed baby slide over images of her as a hip-jutting teen. Images of us in lives we no longer lead.
Some we dumped in a nearby dumpster. Some we donated to thrift stores that benefit animals or children. The photographs and a few other things, we kept for later.
And now, as the week, and the year, wind down, our living room is cluttered with boxes, stern reminders to sort through our lives. We are tripping over boxes because my husband has made the rule: nothing gets hauled upstairs until it has been sorted.
So, I am going to take the physical reminder as a metaphorical one. It is time to sort through my emotions and memories, keep the ones I truly cherish, and just let go of the ones that don’t fit who I am now.
Happy new year, my friends!