Moving Sucks, part 1: Throwing Things Out

It took us far longer to move out of our house in Palo Alto that my beloved husband thought. He's an optimist, so that's not surprising. But it took even longer than I thought it would take.

The thing that took the most time was getting rid of stuff. Partly there were the emotional issues associated with getting rid of things. Just about everything that left our house felt like a failure: "Oh yeah, I was going to make that airplane model, but I never got around to it. Oh yeah, I was going to repair that soap dispenser but never got around to it. Gosh, I really liked going to the batting cages, but I don't think my repetitive strain injury is ever going to be better enough that I'll feel comfortable taking this bat to the cages again."

A friend told me that I had the wrong attitude. He said, "You need to look at everything and marvel at how full and rich is that you didn't need to do whatever that thing represents. You never finished that model because you were busy working on marriage. You never repaired the soap dispenser because you have the financial resources that you could get a new one."

It's also hard for me to throw things away because of the guilt of consumption. When my garbage can is only half-full on garbage day, I can feel good that I am living relatively lightly on the earth, but when I have bags and bags of trash, that illusion is shattered.

As a result, I -- we -- worked very hard to distribute our worldly possessions. We tried very hard not to just take things to the dump.

Ducky Sherwood