The most difficult part of downsizing is sorting and deciding what to keep and what to do with what I don’t. The process has been a painful one in many ways, but it has also been a very freeing one. Starting is the most difficult part of any process, so God gave me a three-week window in which to work. While the girls were away, I had the freedom to work through my past as I packed. I needed time to remember, sort, and let God help me pack for my move.
As I’ve packed, the smallest objects have triggered my biggest memories and led me down the path to my past. I’ve downsized several times in the last thirteen years, but I’ve never had a move like this before. I’ve gotten rid of things I didn’t want or need before, but I’m giving away things I love and didn’t imagine I could ever leave behind this time. My heart grew along with the piles that formed as I sorted my past with my present and future in mind.
Technology helps immensely, and that’s been a big lesson in my moving forward. Simplifying became my mantra, so I made the decision to move into the 21st century in regard to music, movies, books, and photos. That was not an easy decision for me, but it was one that opened up a great deal of space. While the kids were away, I uploaded over six hundred photos so I didn’t have to decide which ones to hang on the walls of my new apartment. I plan to display them all on my television screen. I gave my CD’s, DVD’s, and both players to the girls because I don’t plan to use them anymore.
The most beautiful side effect of sorting is seeing the joy others find in my treasures. That has been especially true with my books. The museum in town was happy to get my old books, and several wonderful young teachers are treasuring my old classroom treasures. I was deeply touched when I listened to one of them telling me how much she loved going through the student writing I gave her. My students loved to read each other’s work and the writing of their parents. Now, her students will be able to read the work of their parents and their grandparents. That makes my heart happy!!
I don’t have a sordid past, but with God’s help, I do have a sorted past. That has been the beautiful blessing of the Lenten season this year. I go into Lent with an agenda, but God always has a different plan in mind for my heart. I usually go with mine and suffer through the season; but occasionally, I let go of my plans, go with God’s, and find the transformation He has in mind for me.
Sorting my past has made this move amazing. I finally understand that purging must come before packing, and that’s lightened my load in an amazing way. There’s nothing sweeter than the peace that comes from knowing I am moving in the right direction without my old baggage, and knowing my treasures are in good hands. I know that with all of my heart this morning 🙂