It has been a pretty full on week down here in New Zealand. For those not aware, we were hit with some pretty intense weather which brought flooding, damage and homelessness to many people around the country. It was only my daughter and I here at home during the worst of the weather, and although we were affected with limited phone reception, no power at times and a few mornings when I was unable to get to work due to landslips and flooding in my area, we did not suffer in any way as much as many poor folks who had flash floods gushing through their homes.
That said, we did experience some flooding downstairs, meaning that the flooring that my husband had spent his entire summer holidays laying in the large rumpus area was ruined, along with rugs and numerous boxes of books, photographs and artwork (mainly mine) that were stored in the garage. The past few days have consisted of mopping, salvaging what could be saved and throwing out what was ruined, and an industrial dehumidifier has taken up residence while insurance companies determine our next steps.
The enforced purging of our damaged goods however brought up a whole lot of mixed emotions, as some of the boxes revealed drawings that I had created years ago, drawings that represented significant emotions or events at the time. As well, there were old photographs and artwork that had hung in our children’s bedrooms when they were young. Some items were placed aside to try drying out, but most were beyond repair and discarded. Each item however was held and considered for some time before a decision was made on its future – unless of course it disintegrated into a pile of wet mush and made the decision for me – I don’t recall reading about that particular alternative in any popular Japanese methods of organising!
It was an equally painful yet liberating exercise sorting through the sodden boxes and it made me realise yet again how it is such a fine line between remembering and honouring one’s past and being bound in obligation to one’s past. Objects, places and even people sometimes need to be considered, reflected upon and let go of. They may have held significance in your past, but if they now only add clutter, burden and heaviness to your life – with no possibility of ever changing – it may be the time to finally let them go, along with the expectation, the judgement and the negativity you feel from either their presence or their memory if you no longer physically see them.
I don’t know about you, but I feel that whenever I begin to grow and move into any new seasons in my life, there is a letting go of things of the past. Sometimes it may only be a letting go of my own negative emotions, other times, it may be more. This recent experience with the storms and the aftermath of flood damage has reminded me that I am once more in a season of change and growth. This time, I have decided to embrace the “letting go” that has already begun and I know that there is more to come.
I’d love to hear if anyone else has consciously faced times of “letting go” in their lives?
Thank you for sharing your story with us Cat, im so sorry for the loss of your memorabilia & treasured items plus your home contents.
As you stated its not always easy to let go of things!
I on the other hand decided once i was leaving South Africa in December 2015 to sell up and give away everything i owned to my brother.
I now am trying to re-establish myself and build a new life in NZ.
All I own is 3 x Suitcases and the dream that I can rebuild a safe and peaceful life for myself in NZ.
After 1 year in NZ in hindsight, I often wonder if this was just an idealistic dream as restarting again in your fifties alone is really not as easy as I Thought!
By grace and faith I still am determined to make my dreams a reality! <3
I’m sorry for the disaster that struck your home, and others in your area. I, too am one to purge at mid-life. I lost my job, house and car at age 56. And now at nearly 60 years of age, I am starting to re-build my life. It ain’t easy! Sometimes I miss my old life, and other times I feel light as a feather! I went from living with my husband in a 4,000 square foot home, to living by myself (my choice) in a 700 square foot apartment! I literally had to start ALL over in every aspect of my life. I’m slowly re-building what was lost. Starting over in the 2nd half of your life is not for the weak!
Thanks for letting me vent! I’ll be following along with you on your journey!
Comments are closed.