Saturday, October 18, 2003


Watching a coworker prepare to relocate to the States reminds me of how daunting it felt when I prepared to move here...and how I really had to let go of my perfectionist tendencies once I had a plane ticket, because there are only so many hours in a day and one can only do what one can do. And I wasn't willing to make it a completely exhausting, unenjoyable process. I didn't want to leave the mainland feeling that I hadn't had ANY enjoyment or pleasure during my last couple of months there.

So about 6 weeks out I began methodically tackling what needed to be done, making sure to give myself time to go out to lunch, meet with friends, continue my regular walking jaunts around the neighborhood, see an occasional movie, cotinue to use my fabulous neighborhood library to support my reading habit, and generally enjoy my life as much as possible without my mate (who was already in the tropics). And somehow, it all got done. And I didn't waste a single moment worrying about what didn't get done, because I was ready to move on. And since I was using public transit, friends would offer me a lift (home or to the post office to ship boxes) and it gave us an opportunity to spend time together that we might not have made time for otherwise, which was nice.

I had a yard sale. Some friends and acquaintances came by the house to purchase some of the larger items ahead of time--and after the sale, I gave away select items to friends and donated whatever was left to a thrift store operated by Vietnam vets. And it made me feel good to know that there were a lot of items that had given me pleasure which were now giving others pleasure.

Maybe that's why I've never been that attached to STUFF. I like the idea of using my stuff while it suits me...and then putting it back into circulation, so to speak. It's the same reason I love libraries. I can reap enormous enjoyment from a book without owning it. If I check it out from the library, I get to add my "vibe" to that copy as others have done before me and then put it back into circulation for the next person to search it out or discover it accidentally.

There will always be more stuff. (I know THAT from experience!) The key for me is to be sufficiently tuned in to myself at any given moment to surround myself with only the stuff that's right for me...right now. Because that's an ever-changing, ever-evolving process. There can be great delight in sometimes reacquiring stuff I owned years or even decades before, because it can serve as a reminder of where my true authenticity lies. So I don't chastise myself for having gotten rid of it in the first place, only to buy the same or a similar version of it later. Instead I use that process as a reminder that change is good and sometimes we need to move away from something to realize whether or not it holds true value for us. And if that principle applies to people and relationships and geographic locations, then surely it also applies to stuff. We can use stuff as a directional finder to lead us to our authenticity.

Home may be where the heart is...I use stuff to lead me to where my true home is.