I've spent the past two and a half days packing up my life. But I've been purging more than packing -- between giving things away, selling furniture, and throwing out stuff that I've never needed -- I've cleared out most of my apartment. It's been a wee bit emotional, but I'll get to that later. Let's start with the good stuff:
In an attempt to downsize, I went through all my files, keeping only those necessary (I had cell phone statements from 2000!! OY!). I filled up my laundry basket with papers to shred . . . but I barely made a dent in it when the shredder DIED on me!!!! Now, both of my parents have had their identity stolen, so I wanted to do my mother proud and make sure that there would be no identifying documents heading off to the trash bin. BUT HOW COULD I??? WITHOUT MY TRUSTY SHREDDER?!?!?! Hmmm. Think Deb. You're an OT . . . it's your job to problem solve. Hmm. AH HA! I know, I'll burn them! So, I went outside with a roasting pan, my laundry basket of paperwork and a big box of matches. But it was a rainy, windy day. Nothing but a whole lot of smoke. Hmm. Plan B. OOOh, I've got it . . . I have a fireplace that I've NEVER used!!
So, I set the roasting pan in the fireplace (because I wanted to keep the mess to a minimum) and lit a match. There was such a beautifully roaring fire! Except . . . wait a minute!! The room is filling up with smoke . . . WHAT'S GOING ON?!?! That's when I noticed that the trap door to the chimney was closed! (I know, so much more than a pretty face!) Problem resolved.
I am now paperless . . . but have a huge mess on my hands to clean up before Tuesday night! OY! Go figure. But at least I can sleep tonight knowing that my identity has been reduced to ashes (lots and LOTS of ashes).
But packing up your life is a bit emotional. I came across some memories from college . . . allowed myself a few minutes to reminisce, and then added them to a bag bound for the dumpster. Why? Because as much as I loved going to see Les Miserables on Broadway, I don't need to schlep the ticket stub all the way to Niger. Or stash it in a box bound for my parents' attic. No. That's ridiculous. I've given over half of my clothing to Goodwill . . . but I figure, really by doing that I'm just saving on shipping costs. I'm so out of style, no one will buy those clothes anyway, and by the time I get to Niger they will be on a freighter bound for the Galmi Market. So really, that was a strategic move. I wonder if that will work for my kitchen aid? Hmm. Probably not.
I've found all sorts of treasures . . . a 39 cents stamp! I remember those days!! And I finally cashed in my coke-bank full of pennies (it was a Christmas present when I was six or seven, I think, and I've been putting in my spare pennies since. It was only half full, but again, I'm not schlepping it anymore!!). Guess how much it was worth . . . $76.05!! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!! IN PENNIES!!! HA! Too bad it wasn't quarters . . . or those liberty dollars! Or better yet, British Pounds . . . but I'll take $76.05 . . . not too bad for doing nothing but dropping in stray pennies.
But this purging process has been good. It continues to solidify this process. It's helping to keep the goal in mind. Which is ultimately Heaven. And I have to say, at this point, I'm very thankful that I can't take any of it with me . . . this may sound selfish, but then someone else gets to pack it all up! Jesus was on to something when He said "Sell your possessions and give to the poor, then come, follow Me." He knew how to live without stuff. In fact, He didn't even carry around His own pillow (I just had a mental picture of Jesus wearing one of those travel neck pillows in an airport . . . where do I get these things?!?). I'm getting ready to move to the poorest nation on the planet . . . a place where the neighborhood is made out mud . . . and I'm worried about which box to pack my red curtains in. What, I can't live without my red curtains? No I could. But I really like them. And red makes me happy. So, I'm packing up my red curtains and at the end of the month I will ship them to Florida where they will nest in a container bound for Niger. My curtains will most likely get to Galmi before I do. Hopefully they will get a good start on learning Hausa so that when I'm sleeping they can whisper to me (OH MY!! THE PACKING IS GETTING TO ME! I NEED SOME SLEEP!).