This is a story to which a lot of us can relate as baby boomers. Namely, the pain of downsizing. Sure, it’s supposed to uncomplicated our lives, but as Dian Parrotta writes from Falls Church, Virginia, it also complicates our emotions.
Throwing out the many boxes of memorabilia up in the attic was one hard part of downscaling for this boomer.
Downsizing from a large home to a smaller home can bring a host of emotions of guilt and sadness. There were at least ten boxes of loose photos, kids’ school papers, reports, vacation mementoes that could not be given away to my two sons since they both live in Europe and like to keep what they own in one single suitcase.
So the other I took three of those 30-gallon Heavy Duty Brown Lawn and Refuse Bags up into the attic and emptied some boxes without looking and threw the contents into the garden bags and tossed them into the outside garbage bins. There is just not enough space to take everything with me and I had to let go, and did, but not without guilt.
The many accumulated items each held significant value to me, kept throughout the years so I could pass them on to my two sons later in their life but I was told they had no room for them and they could not store them for the long term. That left me feeling so hopeless.
That next morning, I got up early and could not help but go back to the garbage bins and take out those garden bags that I had thrown out and went through and looked at each item. I saved only a few paper mementoes and scanned them and immediately texted them to my sons. They both enjoyed them, including a poem my younger son wrote while he was in the third grade and it is titled Spring Time and it reads:
He responded that he remembers writing the poem and mentioned the name of his third-grade teacher, Ms. Schillig. He went on and said, “Now Ms. Lewis was a character!”
It killed me to think I could have thrown out this poem, knowing how much it brought back memories for him.
Years earlier, I had scanned many of the items that were stored in the attic but there were so many that I stopped posting on Facebook and stopped making files, feeling I was being more of a corny nuisance than anything.
But now, I felt like I was in a state of mourning. I’ve heard it can take months to feel better and I guess the one thing that did help me was knowing that when I do move, I will be able to enter into the next phrase of my life with a suitcase or two.
There is also a great satisfaction that I will have left most of my donations to others. I know that will help bring me happiness.