I'm typing as Thomas is packing boxes. It WAS peaceful in here, 'til the tape gun was needed.
Our life here is now in boxes. The movers come on Wednesday, so we are trying to get as much packed up to send with them as possible. Since our new digs will be furnished, we really don't need to take much in the way of stuff- a few pieces of artwork, some throw pillows, blankets, photos and knickknacks to make it feel homey (though we're really not sure what the decor will be in the new place.) I've always loved to display my treasures and photos, so it's been very difficult for me to edit what to take and what to leave. (Thomas is a minimalist... he would just as soon I take nothing and get new stuff over there. But Ikea can only do so much in the way of personalization.)
It's also been hard for me to see our memories stuck in a box and shoved up in the attic. This process has been a constant stream of, "Remember when we did this... got this piece... took this photo...?" Most of the memories have been good, some a little less so but worth remembering nevertheless. Lots of life changes being packed up...
I would venture to say I have some pack-rat tendencies (SHUT UP, Thomas), and I have been trying very hard over the years to NOT keep stuff I don't need, even if I think it might come in handy someday... it rarely does and mostly ends up taking up space, and I forget I even have it. But they always have a time and place associated with them, an event or a person. Y'all, it's HARD for an historian to throw stuff away! I've come across things I've inherited from grandparents and other family members, and have to force myself to not pack them. Some of it has gone to my parents house for safekeeping, some I have really had to reassess if they were actually important to said relative in the first place (pack rats inherit those tendencies, we can't help ourselves.) It has always been fascinating for me to visit someplace historical and see artifacts of peoples' lives... realistically, I KNOW our crap isn't important enough to be preserved, but I keep thinking the next generation is bound to have a few people like me who might find it interesting. But given that this stuff isn't electronic or available online, I fear we are a dying breed.
We went to East Texas this weekend to see my family, and my sister and I spent most of yesterday driving around, hitting the "bucket list" spots where we spent time as kids. It was fun to see how places had changed; or, rather, how we had. Locations that had seemed HUGE when we were little are now average sized, or even rather small. Again, lots of memories, good and bad but worth remembering.
I'm so used to seeing my family frequently. If I'm honest, this is the thing I am worried the most about. The missing of the people. I know we've now got Skype and Facebook and emails and no excuse to not stay in touch, but hugs from nieces and nephews and parents and sisters... those are irreplaceable and I will miss them the most. I saw my grandparents for the last time 'til summer, and I worry a little that maybe it was the last time. As much as I hate to admit it, we're all getting older and health isn't great for everyone all the time. And, as we Roberts well know, SHIT HAPPENS. Life rarely goes as planned. I AM really super excited about this opportunity for us to really step outside our bubble, but I am also scared to leave the ones I love the most and step outside our bubble. (Hey, I warned you this would be cheap therapy for me.) I've always been an easy drive from my family and could get there quickly when I needed them. Now the process will be slightly more complicated... My youngest sister just moved to Chicago- big step for her, and big encouragement for me. If she can do it, I can. Poor Thomas- he's been super supportive as I've cried, and he didn't send me a single "When will you be back?" text yesterday- he knew I needed the sister time. Which is why it's so hard for me to get rid of stuff- I know it's just stuff, but it's associated with people I love and thus can't be JUST stuff. (See, I did have a point to make after all.)
Family, I love you. Jimmy and Marty and Andrea and Abbey and Chad and Audrey and Lilly and Liam and Wanda and Marvin and Gene and Martha and Sean and Sam and Heather, I love you.
(Friends, you get a separate post later. I can't do it now, I'm already leaking from the eyes. Baby steps. You are important too- you're the family I chose.)