Moving. When it comes to stressful situations, there’s no doubt moving tops the leaderboard. It’s a mental, physical and an emotional energy suck. It’s up there with starting a new job or getting divorced. I should know, I’ve done both so why not add moving to the equation. I’m pretty sure one of the reasons moving is so unpleasant has to do with the fact we spend our entire lives collecting shit and then get stuck trying to figure out what to do with it. Over the last several weeks I’ve been trying to figure out the unpolished predicament of moving. Do I purge it or pack it?
As I moved no pun intended from room to room attempting to tackle the torturous task, I couldn’t help but to think what an asshole I was for having collected so much shit. It was becoming the theme to my move.
Did I really need to keep four thousand chopsticks every time we ordered Japanese food over the last ten years? No. I didn’t. I’m an asshole.
Did I really need to keep nine thousand tupperware containers with ill-fitted lids or no lids at all over the last ten years? Nope. I’m an asshole.
What in the world possessed me to keep over a decade of bills, receipts, financial statements and other miscellaneous documents? How did it not occur to me to throw that shit out sooner? Oh wait, I know why; because I’m an asshole!
Saving the countless school projects and pictures and let’s just call it what it really is, okay? THE ENDLESS AMOUNT OF CRAP my kids have brought home since they were zero years old is grounds for next level asshole status. I seriously must have been a Grade A hoarder in a previous life for even thinking it was normal to hang on to everything. As I sat on the floor in my office buried up to my eyeballs in pre-school unpolishedness, I found my kids’ first alphabet books. You know, the ones where each page has a letter on it, and your child writes the letter over and over and over in an attempt to master their newly found penmanship skills. As I flipped through the book, it was clear the letter A stood for non other than, yup you guessed it, asshole!
Guess what else turned up in random night table drawers, bathroom cabinets and even old jewelry boxes? Teeth. Saving dozens of baby teeth in Ziplocks is disgusting. And creepy. And disgusting! Was I saving them for a rainy day? Did I think I’d make a necklace out of my kids’ DNA? I have no words for my unpolished thought process other than I’m an asshole. Suffice to say, the teeth didn’t get packed. They got purged!
Throughout the purge it or pack it process, I converted my ping pong table into an outlet store for what conceivably could have been the love child if Home Goods impregnated the fifth floor of Bloomingdale’s housewares department. I packed two vases and the eighty other ones went to the unpolished purge table. I packed one set of candle sticks and the other nine hundred got purged. Out of the two thousand three hundred and twelve platters and bowls my asshole self had to have, two thousand three hundred and ten of them didn’t get packed. They got unpolishedly purged. Big time unpolishedly purged. My asshole days are over! Donating the purge items to those in need was by far my unpolished pleasure!
Can we discuss for one second the physical ramifications moving has on your body? From head to toe, my entire body is in agony. Think I’m being dramatic? You try packing or purging your entire life by yourself and let me know how your body feels. If I have to drag another piece of broken furniture to the bottom of my driveway it will be too soon. Bleeding fingers and throbbing feet aside, my lower back will never be the same.
Packing and purging for the move was a mixed bag of unpolishedness. Physically it was a drain, but the emotional toll of taking pause to revisit the memories of the good, the bad and the ugly was even more draining. In order to get where you’re going, sometimes you have to look back at where you’ve been. Moving was a forced recap of the choices and decisions I have made in my life.
While the act of purging it all became more and more cathartic with each black garbage bag I kicked to the curb, there were also some sentimental items which led to a questionable grey area in the purge it or pack it predicament. Most notably, what was I supposed to do with all my wedding stuff? The album, the ketubah, the left over cream colored yarmulkes that have been sitting in the same bag for the last fourteen years along with my worn only once pair of shoes and my beautiful veils? Standing in my now half emptied out closet, I instinctively grabbed the short duster veil and the extra long veil with the Swarovski crystals and tried it on. I stared at myself in the mirror and remembered vividly every detail of my wedding day. I recapped it all in my head; down to how outrageously stunning the chuppah was, how elegant the room looked and how delicious the cake tasted. I remembered how happy I was that day and how our friends and family were equally overjoyed. I stood frozen in time but rather than what could have easily been the perfect moment to go down the dark unpolished rabbit hole of shoulda, coulda, woulda’s I instead embraced it head on. In order to get where you’re going, sometimes you have to look back at where you’ve been. I knew with one hundred percent clarity I was not the same woman today as I was fourteen years ago but as I took the veils off I also knew those memories were ones you don’t just trash. Those memories gave me my children and those memories should be packed up not purged out. Though it’s highly unlikely I’ll ever read the fine print on my ketubah or watch the video again, the wedding stuff inclusive of my dress, got sealed to be stored away both figuratively and literally.
Moving is a lot like childbirth. It’s scary and overwhelming and you’re not really sure what you’re getting into but you have no choice other than to grin and bear it. While you’re going through it you fear it will never end and it’s unpolishedly painful. But then it’s over and somehow it’s miraculously behind you. You don’t even remember how you did it but you know you did and that’s a great feeling.
JUST TO LET YOU KNOW…. Moving by definition means change and change can be incredibly challenging. But it can also be incredibly rewarding. Moving closes the door to one chapter and undoubtedly opens a freshly painted front door to so much more. Different doesn’t have to be bad. Different can be good and when it comes to wanting a little more good in your life….. well, there’s no predicament there!