Sorting Out Your Life
My husband and I are both very creative in our own individual ways. We have been fortunate to have enough space to each have what we call a studio (a room that would normally serve as a bedroom) dedicated to our creative endeavors. In Norman’s case, this involves art work in a variety of media (watercolor, pastels, sculpture, drawing), photography, music, digital space, and a myriad of other things that pop into his head. He’s pretty amazing that way. My focus is more crafty (not really considered art and I concur so as not to offend the artist) — sewing, jewelry making, knitting, needlepoint, embroidery — that sort of thing. I’m also the resident secretary and bookkeeper so my roll-top desk and its contents are of the utmost importance. They occupy my studio as well. I love my personal space which I know is a luxury, but it has become cram-packed with a lot of stuff over the past 12 years. So, in the process of moving, it’s definitely time to streamline. Sorting and organizing for the next faze of my life is a welcome challenge.
What’s so important about sorting out when you know you will have even more space in your next home? It gives you direction. What do you really want to do with your time now that you are retired and have so many options? If you don’t give this question serious consideration, you will just be inclined to keep everything and then you will flounder.
Your wardrobe requires the same attention. As you get older, you really need to revamp your style every so often — about every five years. The items hanging in your closet might still fit, but are they really you? While you don’t have to start dressing like the proverbial “little old lady” (actually never!), you need to think about the image you project. You certainly don’t want to look ridiculous though you will notice that many older women do. I observe many women my age in one of two categories — frumpy “I don’t care what I look like. I just want to be comfortable” and “no way am I giving up those youthful styles”. Neither one of these approaches works as far as I’m concerned. At this age, it’s time for classic — think Lauren Bacall, Katherine Hepburn. You can still have so much fun with this. Enjoy the place you have earned in this life and the wisdom you have achieved. Flaunt it in fact! You will only get this one chance.
Sorting out your stuff equates to sorting out your life. How cool is that? You get to figure out and plan the next new you. If you’re clever enough, you can even guide your husband in that direction too. Norman has been very cooperative so far. While we are anxious to get this moving show on the road, at the same time we are conscious of the fact that we need to do it right. That means really thinking about what’s making the cut for the moving van. In some cases, we have already purchased new items that we know will serve us better on the other end.
So ask yourself, what do I need to make me tick? Do I really need to hold on to all these old things from the past — knick knacks, family photos, old ideas I never got around to bringing to fruition or is it time to let go? I realize this may be really difficult for some but you would be surprised how liberating it is once you get rolling. It’s really exciting to think about a new future chapter. You can do this even if you aren’t moving anywhere.
In the past, I would have been able to pack up a whole house in a week. In a pinch, I could still do so. But truly, what’s the rush? I can only spend a few hours a day making thoughtful choices about what goes in each box and that’s what I’m doing. The rest of the time, I’m trying to enjoy my new retirement life and get healthy — a “task” which I am pleased to say seems to be progressing really well.