18 March 2009

in balance. again.

part of me being who i am, is that i am flexible; but over the years, i've learned to prefer order to chaos. i'm not rigid, but i do set order to my environment. i've never really been a clutter-bug; love things of beauty, and really love them to have a practical function as well. part of my not dealing well with clutter, is cuz of the dust and allergens that tend to settle and collect over knick-knacks and things.

another reason i'm not big on amassing possessions is cuz i've moved. alot. i stopped counting at fifty moves when i was in my twenties. i've lived here, on the farm, in mississippi, the longest i've lived in any one place. at seven years, that's a major record. i've no plans to leave this area, and do plan one more move. that's from my lil place on the farm just north of starkville, to my jerry's home west of town in a small community called "longview".

another reason that part of my view of stuff being stuff, and not exactly vital, is cuz my family's home (which at the time had been my deceased maternal grandmother's, up in pennsylvania) had a fire. the house suffered severe damage, and most of the contents had to be discarded. the water and smoke damage made most all items unsalvagable. this included very sentimental old items that cannot be replaced. that's when i really grasped that stuff is stuff, even precious stuff. and not essential to living life.

i realize that's my view on things, and not necessarily other folks'. and that's all well and good. cuz i have my space and i can keep my own place the way that i like. in the last seven years, i've probably amassed more than i realize, and so the moving process will be an excellent chance for me to winnow down. i probably won't have much to do, as i tend to go thru my records and my belongings on a fairly regular basis and chuck things when i can be sure that there is no longer any reason to keep the paid receipts for bills and all the medical records of how much of what portion of which drugs were paid by which agency and party.

my jerry'd recently asked me if i would have any regrets moving into his place. and that would be no. i will feel odd moving from my place as it is the only home that was mine. even as a child, it was my parents' home. this small place on the farm, is mine. it's my solace, my peace, my home. it contains my things, arranged in a restive soothing way, which others have enjoyed visiting when they are in need of calming. so no, there is no regret moving into his place; so much as there is a twinge of leaving my comfort zone, my home. my only home that has been mine.

i explained this to my jerry and then, i explained some hesitations and reservations i have regarding his home. i know that he was in the coast guard and his family moved often and lived in numerous places; but this current place of his was his childrens' last childhood home. while it's true that they are all adults with homes of their own, i have no doubt that they do have attachments of sorts to the house my jerry now lives in. and i'm sensitive to that, so i repeatedly asked for assurances and reassurances that any changes that occured simultaneously with my presence were okey and not transgressions of me violating boundaries.

another reason that i expressed concern is because this had been the home of his late wife. so even tho he has sold many things, discarded &/or donated lots, and given his children quite a bit; the house contains tons of collections, collectables, and such. we'd talked about making this our home, a place that both of us find comforting, that both of us find soothing, and a place we want to spend time in. my jerry has been very reassuring to everyone; and i've been encouraged and supported as we've made some changes. i've gained some confidence, as he's explained what the significance is of various items, and whether an item is important and will be kept as it is treasured. i've learned which items to save, which to set aside for the massive yardsale, and which goes where to whom and such.

his late wife is very much a presence in his life, in our lives, and in this home. as well she should be. she was his wife. she was his partner, his love, the mother of his children, his friend, his world for many years. they grew into their lives together, becoming adults, and raising their children to become adults. that does not change with her death.

i never knew her. but i feel i am learning to know her now. not just because my jerry is the same man thru those years, but because your stuff can tell stories and volumes about you. my jerry shares stories of his life, and she was a huge part of his life, so i learn lots of her as well. i am becoming more and more acquainted with their children, and grandchildren, and those people are individuals, yes; but they were shaped by her hands and her life and her stories and her views. so in that way too, i'm learning who she was.

she will remain an important presence and that is quite welcome. i'm careful to be respectful when i'm handling her things, her stuff, her creations, her crafts, her quilts, her afghans, her precious important sentimentals. i also am prepared for the varied reactions as the children witness some changes, in both jerry's life, and in the house, and in what is becoming our home. i have a great amount of compassion for the gut-wrenching reactions that some have. i've been with jerry as he reminicses and sorts thru those intensely evocative emotional memories.

as empathetic as i am for others, including my jerry; i myself am moving into a new life, fraught with many changes for myself. and i've only just realized that i've been so outwardly focused, so intent on making sure that i smooth things over, and create as small ripples as possible, that i've been totally missing my own inward state of affairs. and that is not good.

just as honoring his late wife, the children's mother can coexist with my own presence; so can i remain outwardly aware of others' feelings and emotional states, and still tend and nurture my own. i lost sight of that. i forgot that i am important to myself.

so thanks for hanging in with me thru all this explanation as i am regaining my balance and shifting my priorities. i appreciate you and your support. your understanding and encouragement as i move thru this change in my own life has been and will continue to be treasured. thank you so very much.

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