This week's agenda includes us officially saying goodbye to our house for an indefinite amount of time. Yes, we own our house here in Southern California, but we are not tied emotionally to it, and so, we will rent it out and come back in a year or three or never.
It's quite a weird feeling, really, to be moving out of a house and selling all of our belongings. Excepting for what will fit in our car, we have decided to sell it or give it away rather than get a storage unit to hold it indefinitely.
We've moved countless times before, but it's been just a shifting of things from one place to another. Only when you have to actually rid yourself of everything do you realize what a boatload of crap you have.
I was thinking about our ability to part with things. To some, maybe even most, personal belongings can represent a social status, a memory or a part of life we'd like to hang on to, or just a vulnerability when you walk in a store. Some people are really good at sifting through memorabilia and knowing what to keep or not keep. Some are not.
We've sorted our things into three piles. One pile: things I don't need. The second pile: Things we will take with us. The last: things Tyler or I or the kids will want to hold in our hands again one day (to be stored... somewhere). We ended up with two boxes we will keep. In one, my old baby clothes, Tyler's small childhood knicknacks and schoolwork, My scrapbooks and albums. In the other, a few tiny newborn outfits, their birthfamily gifts and memories, homemade blankets and schoolwork and art projects.
Tonight as I was hefting these two boxes off the floor and onto a shelf, I thought how amazing it is that both physical obects and intangible memories can trigger such nostalgic feelings of "home". To some, a home means a physical place where you reside and stay, and to others, a home means being with the ones you love.
Hopefully parting with most of our physical things will be rewarding. It certainly was this past year, but even then I knew all our stuff was here waiting. I personally look forward to a period of time, however long it may be, where I can concentrate again on what memories we are making rather than what stuff we are collecting. I want to try out, one more time- the theory that a home is not a house, where you store and collect things, make it look pretty, work to make it pleasing to your guests. A home is where your memories are being created, where your family is.
What do you think, friends... do you think a home is a place, the people you love, or somewhere in between?
A beautiful session in the woods of Oslo, Norway.