Moving can really test you. Here I am amidst a sea of boxes, many I didn’t even know existed up there in the attic these past twelve years…they’ve been home to cobwebs and little stinkbugs…out of sight, out of mind.
As each one came slowly down from the attic, I couldn’t believe how much was up there. It like one of those clown cars where they keep coming out…over and over…box after box.
I peered inside…some were really just junk. Easy decision. Toss it. Simplify, simplify, simplify. After all, I’m the lady who writes about simplifying. Purge. Only take what’s necessary. I keep repeating these things.
And then, I slowly peel back the fraying cardboard box, the somewhat musty and dusty smell hits me, and it’s like I am swirling back in time...years and years, way back. Way before the days of mommy hood, even before adulthood. Boxes of memories. Pictures, letters, trinkets, things of the past (lots of times I’d rather forget…the high school box…the difficult years) start flooding my eyes. I don’t even know where to begin. I find my baby book, my 8th grade year book, pictures of loved ones long passed, notes, cards…it’s almost too much. I save that box for another time.
Then there’s the big Rubbermaid bin of my daughters elementary years. The time she learned to write her name, her first books, her first phonics lessons, her math, her Cubbies vest, her scribbles and scrabbles.
“Do we really need to take all of that stuff?” my husband asks. “No,” I think. “We do not need to hold onto these things. After all, I haven’t looked at them in years, and didn’t even know they were up there. “
But, as I unfold that tattered and worn paper, with her very first sentence written on it…the memories…the scared mom who didn’t want to homeschool…the little bucked tooth girl who I taught to read…and write…and do math…all the while, not knowing what the future would hold…and here I am in the future…knowing how it turned out. My past collides with my present. Memories flood my mind.
I start to dump the whole box into the garbage. Until, suddenly, I can’t. I just can’t. I start piling it all back into the Rubbermaid bin.
So, where do we draw the line on this simplicity stuff?I know some of it is just stuff…but it is also a living testimony that shows where we have been and what we have become.
It really is just “stuff.” Yet, it is very hard to part with. So, I make the decisions on what to keep and what to part with. Part of the past I don’t want to remember, but it is what made up this life God has given me. The memories of my high school years, the years I dated my husband, our wedding, early parenthood. It is all such a part of this wonderful life He has given.
So, I sit here torn. I know it is just “stuff” and just one more thing to move. It will probably end up back in an attic for many more years, home to more little stinkbugs and cobwebs…but it is part of the legacy I leave. I think about my future adult kids…is that the next time these boxes will even get opened…when they clean out my things…someday…will they look through these things and see the legacy someday? I decide to keep some of it. Yes, I know I am simplifying, but there are some things that I just can’t let go.
Then I smile, I see what my eighth grade English teacher wrote in my yearbook…“Keep Writing…” Hmmm, isn’t it funny how life turns out. I never expected to be still writing…and here I am. Then I laugh, as I read a story I wrote and in red it reads, “Watch your tenses.” Something I still struggle with today. Oh, the past has a funny way of showing up…I am thankful for these reminders of who I am and where I was.
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