“Good to go, but hard to leave” is my mantra about transitions, especially changing jobs, moving to a new place, and even dying. There’s the grief of letting go of the familiar, beloved and comfortable, along with the excitement of a fresh start, meeting new people, exploring possibilites. So in recognition of those simultaneous emotions, I developed my mantra and share it freely. “It’s good to go, but hard to leave”, and I’m living that reality as my new job starts in a new town with a new home in less than two weeks.
I’m about to see if the lovely amber glassware I’ve accumulated from garage sales over the years is dishwasher-safe. If it is, I’m donating it to a local thrift shop along with the cobalt blue bubble glass tumblers from great-aunt Evelyn. The reality of moving from my two-story house to a charming but much smaller apartment means down-sizing, or right-sizing to put a positive spin on things. It also means renting a storage unit, culling my clothes so that I only have those items that fit and look good, and giving away books that might be useful to others but don’t need to be on my shelves.
I’m overwhelmed by all these choices, and grieving the move from my pretty home and circle of friends. I know things are fine, that things will be fine, and that my peace and well-being do not depend on the stuff in my life, and I have just as much chance of a joy-filled existence if my cats and I live in an apartment as if we lived in another pretty two-story house. My head knows that, my heart will catch up.
In the meantime, it’s time to take the amber and blue bubble-glass tumblers out of the dishwasher and find out the results of my experiment. Then I will put together boxes to hold books. To keep the stress from triggering a cascade of healthy issues, crucial parts of my transition routine are prayer, meditation, and exercises to ease both my knee pain and the stress, and like the Beatles sang, sort of, I’m getting by with the help of my friends.
Today’s Prayer Poem, “Rummage Sale” by Jennifer Maier from Now, Now, @ University of Pittsburgh Press, 2013.
Forgive me, Aunt Phyllis, for rejecting the cut glass dishes — the odd set you gathered piece by piece from thirteen boxes of Lux laundry soap. Pardon me, eggbeater, for preferring the whisk; and you, small ship in a bottle, for the diminutive size of your ocean. Please don’t tell my mother, Hideous lamp, that the light you provided was never enough. Domestic deities, do not be angry that my counters are not white with flour; no one is sorrier than I, iron skillet for the heavy longing for lightness directing my mortal hand. And my apologies, to you, above all, forsaken dresses, that sway from a rod between ladders behind me, clicking your plastic tongues at the girl you once made beautiful, and the woman, with a hard heart and softening body, who stands in the driveway making change.
With so much change in our world, the climate, and each of our lives, may you find peace in your transitions as you let go of what’s no longer needful.
Grace and peace,