It has been a while since my last post and I am going to blame life getting in the way. I am sure everyone knows what that is like, especially around the holidays.
Recently, I have been asked to pack someone else's stuff- my husband's stuff to be exact, while he enjoys the comfort of his new apartment, new girlfriend and her two small children. This amazingly enough is not something I would consider able to put me in the holiday spirit, but that being said, it does add a perspective on “gift giving” and the new year.
The end of a year, the end of a friendship and the beginning of the end of a marriage; this, like the holidays, includes wrapping things, placing things in boxes and sending them off to an expectant and, possibly, cautiously appreciative recipient. Some things given may be a surprise, some expected and some a disappointment, but all received with a similar anticipation of a small child holding his/her breath waiting for Santa’s presents under the tree.
Separating households is very similar to joining them. It includes looking at things each of you (or both of you together) own and possibly cherish, then determining what to keep and what to give away. It also gives way to these items bringing forth their own memories which drown the diligent worker bee in thoughts of the past, reminders of what could have been and anticipation (and some fear) of the future. It also causes a delay in the task at hand, which can be a welcomed form of serial procrastination.
Pictures come down off the walls, photo albums lose some of their resident photos, books and trinkets of a previous life are removed from shelves leaving only their shadows behind. Each item finds its way into boxes headed to a never-never world that matters not to you, as long as you do not think of it too much. Items that you knew the other regarded with disdain are carefully included amongst some of the most cherished- for balance, of course. Some slight satisfaction is gained, but only slight. There is no need to damage anything, the damage to the nested life and household is more than enough; and, even though everything is in its place, neat and tidy, the storms that raged can still be felt as if the fires have yet to be snuffed.
This “gift-giving” or relocating of "stuff" that is from a different life with two different people includes, on the brighter side, the gift of a new life, new friends and new beginnings. I hope each brings its own surprises, more pleasant than not, much laughter, only tears of joy and the ability to breathe deeply in my newly opened spaces. I hope in the future when I review this holiday season it will be seen as a liberating, strengthening experience. Even if it is not, at least I have got a jump on my spring cleaning.