3 days until departure. A post about housekeeping: literal and otherwise

by Kim on May 18, 2012 · 36 comments

Housekeeping: literally

Things are crazy around here!

We’re packing boxes and tying up loose ends, making decisions about what to keep and what to give away, determining what we can’t let go of.

This photo does not do the chaos justice

Until we started packing up I just didn’t think we had much stuff. But when you’re aiming to own only what can fit in a backpack, it becomes apparent how much you really do have.  

On one hand, I want to pile it all into the corner and light it on fire, but on the other hand a part of me panics each time I put something new into the Goodwill pile.  What will you do when you come back? I ask myself.  The answer is: We’ll come back, we’ll get more stuff, we’ll figure it out.  

It’s hard to let go. Choosing what to hang on to and what to get rid of is a very emotional process and the decisions we’ve been making about what to keep and what to lose are not logical.

For instance, we got rid of my wedding dress but we’re keeping Brian’s childhood monkey. I recycled all of my work papers and business contacts but am shipping my old journals and poems back to Ohio. I donated all of my marathon medals to Goodwill, but I’m keeping the collection of baseball cards I’ve had since I was a girl.  We’re keeping photo albums, wedding pictures, and a few sentimental knickknacks but we won’t own a bed, a fork or (gasp!) a coffee maker. 

Everything goes but the monkey stays

Getting rid of everything feels pretty extreme.  But Brian and I ultimately decided that we wanted the freedom that comes with owning very little.  We wanted to end up here or there, to turn left or right, without worrying about where our stuff was.  Stuff.  It’s a dirty word to me these days.  

But as Brian said the other day, it isn’t getting rid of the stuff that is hard but the fear of losing the memories attached to the things.  We worry that, without the stuff, we might forget the past. This is probably where hoarders get in trouble, he said solemnly, and it made me laugh. 

So we keep sifting through our things, loading the car up and driving to Goodwill, handing over the past eight years of our life.  We hope that we will feel freedom, not loss, when all of this stuff is out of the way.  We’re banking on the fact that our memories will live on inside of us even after the stuff is gone. 

Housekeeping: otherwise

I want to address a few things before we take this show on the road, some So Many Places housekeeping details, if you will.

Detail 1

Some of you have asked if I will keep updating the blog once we are traveling.  The answer is definitely yes!  I started this blog dreaming of the day when I could write about our experiences moving through the world.  Documenting the process of getting to the starting line has been a powerful thing, but it has always been my intention to write about our journey as we travel.  There’s no way I’d stop now, we’re just getting to the good stuff. 

Detail 2

I have tried (and failed) to keep to a posting schedule of Sunday and Wednesday (did you notice)?  I would like to post more often and hope to eventually figure out a schedule that allows me to tell the stories I want to tell without bombarding your inbox every day.  Until I nail this schedule down, posts might be a little erratic and more frequent than they have been in the past.  

Detail 3

If you don’t already, make sure to follow the So Many Places Facebook page (click here to do so).  Don’t miss out on lots of pictures and real-time status updates. 

Detail 4

Finally, I want to let you know once again how blessed I feel to have you, my community of readers, to support and encourage us on this journey.  It has always seemed that just when I need it, one of you reaches out to tell me that you look forward to reading the blog, or that it has given you courage to follow your own dreams, or even that you are simply cheering for us, and those words have always been the fuel that I need to keep going.  Getting out the door, it is as much a product of your support as it is our own doing. Thank you.