Six Pairs of Shoes

ShoesWhen I posted I was down to six pairs of shoes on Facebook. A friend quipped, “ I’m having a slight panic attack just looking at this. I think the last time I had fewer than 10 pairs of shoes, I was 6.” In all actuality, I cannot remember the last time I traveled anywhere, except maybe for one night, when I had less than six pairs of shoes. Downsizing to six pairs of shoes is a bit shocking. Let’s see, there are the dressy patent Birkenstocks–are there dressy Birkenstocks? Ask my youngest, he will tell you I have a weakness for shoes, oh and purses. It must be said, I am doing better downsizing with the purses, I am down to two!

Our youngest has said little about this move although we are sure he has things to say. He’s been very quiet and if I had to guess, I would say he thinks we have lost our minds. But, he will be encouraging because he loves us and he wants us to be happy. Our daughter, she was truly shocked but happy for us. Our oldest does not know yet because we have to let him know by mail. It takes a while for regular mail, especially since we are so used to immediate gratification by instant message, text, social media, and the like. To actually wait for a letter, that takes some doing!

For the kids, all this selling the houses, cars, downsizing, and moving out of the country must be scary. Remembering when my parents sold our childhood home, I felt rootless. It was strange not having someplace to call home and my parents stayed in the country! It really was okay and we made more memories. When Mike and I married we started making our own family memories and many family gatherings occurred at our house, much like they did when I was a child. The natural cycle of things, only we will be flying back from Belize or the kids and grandchildren, as well as extended family and friends will be coming down for visits.

This whole process of downsizing has been truly challenging. We have laughed and cried as we have gone through our belongings and made the decision to sell almost everything. Divesting ourselves of property and belongings, the trappings commonly referred to as proof of our life and are anchors to the life we lead. You know, furniture, clothes, knick knacks, bric-a-brac, photo albums, and the like. Each item seems essential and the emotional attachment to these things makes it very difficult to say goodbye.

As I said, when Mike retired we sold our home immediately. We didn’t think it would sell that quickly. Actually, we had only contacted an agent to tell us what we needed to do to get it ready. He said everything looked good except for the property line between that parcel and another we also owned (and listed at the same time). We set about fixing the issue and sold the house the same day. Yes, I write much about this event as it seems to be the dime on which the walk were taking through life turned.

Funny, when we moved to the apartment we decided it would be a great time to downsize. The apartment being completely furnished meant we could have walked away from all our personal belongings and settled easily. Oh yes, we downsized! However, substantial emotional attachment and fear kept us firmly grounded in our “things.” Mike made countless trips to the apartment bringing loads of things we thought we needed. Actually, if I am truly honest, they were things I thought I could not live without. Mike has never really been attached to things, except for pictures and our fridge magnet collection. Ten short weeks later we would be seeking to sell or give away bicycles, cars, art, household items, bookcases, and more. Those things we thought were necessary we were giving up.

You might be wondering what we kept. The obvious, clothing and other personal belongings. We kept a few actual pictures and shipped them to our new home. We kept the fridge magnet collection. Alone, it pretty much tells the story of our lives. All told, it came down to four medium sized suitcases, and six boxes we shipped. We also kept the five dogs!

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