After The Bloke and I spent yesterday packing I find that I am spending the first part of Monday morning sitting in my front room surrounded by boxes, packing tape, newspapers and bubble wrap. In my very first post I commented on the amount of ‘stuff’ that I own, but it was only when I started to organise all my worldly possessions and box them up that I realised exactly how much I’ve collected over the years. Twelve years ago, when I moved to the city to start univeristy, everything I owned could fit into the back of a car. I remember the day that I got my unconditional offer acceptance letter – I went straight out and bought myself a frying pan, a plate, bowl and cutlery from Woolworths in Bolton Town Centre (I’m showing my age here) and all these years later I am going to have to spend the day finding a large hire van to transport everything across to our new home next week.
I’ve always been a hoarder – I keep everything that I find useful in the event of ‘just in case’ and I decided that in order to make the move easier I was going to have to be ruthless and get rid of everything that I hadn’t needed or used in the last two years. The Bloke went and got some large boxes from Argos so that we could separate things into what we wanted to take to charity shops and what we would take with us. However, this proved to be a little more difficult than I initially expected as what I unearthed were hundreds of happy memories.
I found programmes from concerts and shows that I had seen, cinema tickets, my final dissertation from my degree, cuddly toys that had been given to me as presents (including ones for my 16th, 18th and 21st birthday from my mother), cards, old music, letters, trophies and certificates, photographs and frames, my paperweight that I had been given from my orchestra when I left, the brass treble clef that my ‘twin’ (not really my twin, but it’s a long story that I will save for a later date), trinkets from various places that I had visited – I found a keyring from my visit to Washington D.C. a few years ago, a dreidel from my visit to the Holocaust Museum, tiny clogs from Amsterdam, an airline ticket from Malaga, a tiny model of the Eiffel Tower from Paris, the box for the Lego Empire State Building that I brought back for The Bloke, charms for my bracelet that my friends had bought me, a box that the Best Mate had filled for my 30th, ‘best teacher’ mugs from my students, pictures of the cats when they were kittens, the tag from the flowers that my mother sent me when I passed my degree, postcards… I even found a script that MD and I wrote on my mother’s typewriter for a play that we put on when we were just 11 years old. Clothes proved to be just as difficult – I have quite a few beautiful dresses and skirts that I can no longer fit into (I’ve put on some weight over the last few years) but remind me of fantastic nights out that I’ve had.
What struck me yesterday more than anything yesterday was exactly how lucky I have been in my life. I have developed a tendency to focus on the negative every so often, but the process of organising everything highlighted the hundreds of achievements and experiences I’ve and how many fantastic people I have met along the way. When things are down, I’ll remind myself of this and realise how much I have to be thankful for… and with everything that I am going to take to the charity shops today, I hope that others will be able to use these things to create wonderful memories of their own.