Sunday, June 10, 2012

Purging and packing...

This month is momentous for us on so many levels:
My husband Joe, a minister in the Holston Conference of The United Methodist Church, is set to become a District Superintendent in Cleveland, Tennessee. Because of that appointment, we are leaving a church and community we have loved for 17 years. I’ve never lived anywhere for this long. It breaks my heart to think of leaving, yet I know we are meant to go. God’s hand has been traced through every circumstance surrounding this move. We sold our house (didn’t even put it on the market because a friend bought it) on a Friday morning and closed on another house (in Cleveland, Tennessee) the same day!

For the first time, we will leave our daughter behind. The farthest we’ve ever lived apart was the 20 minute drive to UT’s campus when she was a freshman in college. Now we’ll be 90 minutes away. Of course, she is nearly 27 years old, has a husband, a job, and a life of her own...but it’s still weird to think about. And before long, she will likely make a move with her husband to a new city and a new life.

We’ll go from one church to 69 churches and 45 ministers and Joe will be a “pastor to the pastors” for the next several years. Alcoa First UMC is likely the last church where he will serve full-time. After this job, he’ll likely retire. (But he’ll never stop being a minister...he’ll find a little church and keep on going just like the Energizer Bunny.)

I have known since late January that we would be moving. I slowly began to develop a plan of action. Slowly is the key word here. I’ve been sorting items that need to go to our retirement home in Virginia and things that need to move to Cleveland with us. I’ve also found out that 17 years in the same house causes one to collect a lot of STUFF!

I have too much stuff. Thankfully, I don’t have so much stuff that I could be on an episode of “Hoarders!”

I have stuff that is still packed from our last move. I’m not sure why I still have that stuff! I’m not sure why I thought I needed that stuff! And since I’m not’s out of there!

I have stuff that belongs to our daughter that she might want to add to her pile of stuff.

I have stuff that belonged to my parents that I cannot bear to part with, so I’ll keep moving it with me till I die. Never have I seen a hearse pulling a U-Haul, so someone else will have to purge THAT stuff.

I read several things about “stuff” in the Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus...
stuff: noun
1 suede is tough stuff: material, fabric, cloth, textile; matter, substance.
2 first-aid stuff: items, articles, objects, goods, equipment; informal things, bits and pieces, odds and ends.
3 all my stuff is in the suitcase: belongings, (personal) possessions, effects, goods (and chattels), paraphernalia; informal gear, things.

How could that Thesaurus nail me so easily?!? It’s as if some one from Oxford came to my house and looked around...opening closets, drawers and cabinets! It’s uncanny!

And if something happened to my “stuff” I know I would survive. I’d probably be sad about it being gone, but I could live without my stuff.

I recently sold some antiques that I had purchased over the years. A friend asked me how I could have let one particular item go that I’d enjoyed so much. I told her that I have memories of it and it’s likely in a picture somewhere, but that it is just a thing. And it’s time for someone else to enjoy that thing.

There are other items that I cannot imagine letting go of...and they are just “things” too! But I believe I’m finding a balance here, and if I can keep the momentum going for the next week, I’m all set! The moving van arrives in 7 days!

My brother shared with me a quote he’d heard: “We endlessly define ourselves by what we keep and by what we throw away.”


"Houston, we have a problem..."

And always remember that if you have a pulse, you have a purpose. Make your life count!

1 comment:

  1. Oh,Beth.... I understand....completely....totally. Six Dingi. Moving to the other side of the world. Only 700 cubic feet of space in our container. Purge! Purge! I better get back to work! Kelli