Last Wednesday we packed up a Uhaul truck with every belonging we own and headed to our temporary digs in the mountains.
The DIY experience was awful, and at one point I declared that loading a crammed moving truck on a hot summer day was right up there next to having chemotherapy; two experiences I pray that I will never have to endure again. Dramatic but true.
So through our unrelenting day of schlepping, I had a lot of time to silently ponder a lot about life. With each cardboard box or lamp or piece of furniture I carried to Mike, I started really questioning why we have so much STUFF. After all, I'm famously known as the purging queen among my friends, and they'd all agree I have very few sentimental cells in my body, and yet I found that we still had so. much. stuff.
To add to my growing thoughts, the very same day we began filling the truck, was also the same day our youngest son hit the road again to a new job awaiting him in Portland Oregon, and the contrast of our moving experiences was not lost on me. As we began our early morning plan of attack, I watched Eric casually load (1) backpack, (1) box of winter clothes, (1) case of top notch wine and (1) fishing vest with rod into the trunk of his borrowed Grandmother's Camry. 23 years old and that was it.
Yes, Mike and I have about 25 more years on this planet to accumulate things we value, but watching his carefree, lightweight ease was really noticeable and enviable. As we stood in the kitchen and said our temporary goodbyes, there was one last shelf with some of his souvenir beer mugs I'd hope he would take, sparing me from packing.
"Hey, here are your mugs from when you lived in Colorado, do you want them?"
(Thoughtfully eyeing them)
"Nah, I'm good. I don't need them."
The rest of the day, I thought about that brief interaction. If he doesn't need his beer mugs that he happily acquired during his 4 years in college, then do we truly, honestly need over half of the items stacked outside a giant box truck, waiting to be unloaded into an expensive storage unit, which will then need to be reloaded onto a truck, driven to who knows where, hauled into a new house, unpacked and then crammed into a cabinet somewhere?
[Next: part two - which will include all of my helpful moving tips]