There’s nothing like moving into a smaller home to challenge one’s ability to skim off the excessive possessions.
Of course, this is not to lessen experiences of people leaving their homes due to civil strife and natural disasters.
Moving during a pandemic provides enough limitations and extra costs – even within the same community.
I recently had to make difficult decisions: I had been holding on to nicnacs, family portraits, letters, Christmas cards from years gone by and artwork my children made many years ago. I had to get tough with my sentimental leanings and those “what if” situations where we would need extra dishes, linens, towels and sleeping bags. It’s not like we can accommodate house guests or invite people over for dinner any time soon.
I embrace and cherish my journals and albums tracing the family activities through good times and bad. To me, these are important memoirs, accounts, photos documenting the children’s growth, the reunion with my oldest child, meeting his wife and my beautiful grandchildren.
What about the doodles and whimsical sketches I made to keep my sanity during the quiet evenings of the many COVID-19 stay at home orders in 2020 and 2021? I like to think they will also have historical value some day. The people at the Ottawa Archives may think so too. I wouldn’t want to be the entry level Archivist who has to sort through and categorize thousands of boxes. We can be sure that by now, most Archives will accept digital copies of memorable documents and pandemic artefacts.
At what point do you justify paying monthly rent for a storage unit?
How much effort are you able to put into getting useful items to local charities?
How much are you willing to pay for a service that will take your junk away, and promise at best effort to redirect useful items to charity?
How many wine boxes does it take to pack your beloved books and other delicate items? How many bottles of wine would you buy in exchange for the Wine Shop staff putting boxes aside for you on a bi-weekly basis? How many of those bottles do you consume or gift to others who are helping you in the process?
When can I unpack my books and place them on the limited bookcases in our new home? Am I willing to make some difficult choices? Haven’t we been through this before?
How long until I decide to move again? Will I have unpacked all of the boxes or piled some into a cramped corner?
Nine months into this COVID-19 pandemic and we’re hanging on relatively well here in Eastern Ontario.
Most of the people I know have been abiding by the advice of public health officials with wearing masks, distancing and keeping within small social bubbles.
I am fortunate to still have the work from home option. The cat (aka The Home Office Supervisor) tolerates my constant presence, is enjoying frequent tummy rubs on the couch and “comb comb” sessions in her window box. She’s like photogenic putty afterwards.
Some days the best you can do is go through the motions while staying healthy and safe. Most days you say a little prayer of thanks, gratitude that you have shelter, food, health and social connections. Thank you, Internet and the good ole telephone line.
My youngest Millennial came to stay with me for the winter. I am relieved that I get to see one of my adult children on a regular basis but am reliving memories of habits from his earlier years. It could be worse.
Since I was encountering disappointment and frustration with the working life, I was relieved when I started a much-needed vacation week. I survived another anniversary of my life altering experience at the hands of my now ex-spouse. I see it as traumatic and liberating in that our children were finally free of his controlling, stifling grip.
Practising art therapy and allowing in happy thoughts, I decided to let loose my inner child that week, to express and create art. I also read one of my favourite novels again.
I pulled out a Koi compact watercolour kit that my daughter gifted me five years ago. I remember attempting to do flower paintings once a month but that inspiration wilted after three.
I felt pleased with my rough watercolour copy of Starry Night by one of my favourite, misunderstood artists.
Being a fan of the Golden Ratio, I made a few magic marker and water colour versions of the Fibonacci Spiral.
I did a watercolour version of The Tree of Life, one of my favourite objects in mythology and spirituality.
My stage of life could be represented by the squawking, flapping ninny in the upper left – or the tired-out old bird dropping what may be seeds of wisdom. Who knows where they will fall and eventually sprout?
That Monet “bridge over lily pond” attempt is taking longer than anticipated. I hope I can finish it before the end of vacation weekend. I want to finish writing Christmas cards and put up our wee artificial tree.
It’s good to have plans for the short term and long term. I look forward to finishing that part-time college program by the end of 2022. Not sure what I can to with that diploma but at least the courses are keeping my mind busy and allowing for social connections with classmates if only online these days.
As usual, I refrained from Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping sprees, cringing still at the abuse of our natural resources and persistent use of plastic in toys and other consumer goods. There is nothing outstanding that I need. My children are old enough to appreciate money as gifts so they can buy the things they need, they want – or to pay off bills.
I may lead a quiet and boring life but I’m just happy to be alive and to know that those in my sacred circle of loved ones are too.
Thank you for dropping by. What have you been doing to keep safe and mentally sound during this pandemic?