It’s true we’re a mobile society, but knowing that and living that are two different mind sets. Sometimes when you move on, you move on without old friends….literally and figuratively.
As Winston Churchill said, “There’s nothing wrong with change, if it’s in the right direction”.
My husband has the type of job that demands we relocate every couple of years. So we move around the country a lot. Every couple of years (or less) we seem to find ourselves packing back up and heading to another part of the country. The lessons we learned doing this are lessons we never forget. Downsizing was something I dreaded at first….but we’ve become good at it and now I see the beauty in it.
“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”
― Andy Warhol, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol
Technology has helped the changes tremendously…both in terms of downsizing and staying connected with those we’ve chosen to stay connected to. All of our media is on the computer, so there are no more shelves of CD’s to lug around and then find a suitable place to store them in a new place. There are no more books to break your back lugging them city to city looking for the next bookshelf to clutter up. All the pixar movies we collected for the grandkids are now streaming, so we don’t even own a DVD player anymore. Likewise, friendships that took a turn toward a toxic nature or just got “stale” get a clean break, but technology has allowed us to keep the friends and family we choose very well connected.
Making time to video chat with the good friends I chose to stay connected to has afforded me the luxury of maintaining a girlfriend network and not “pretend” I am married to my best friend….c’mon we all know men don’t know how to be girlfriends.
If I still lived in the same city as my kids, I doubt they would go to such great lengths to stay in touch and keep me connected to my grandchildren. For some reason I love the fact my son sends me a picture of his new running shoes with his intentions on an exercise plan or his latest creation in the kitchen. The kid pics are priceless! I text with my grandson (10 years old and I already know he’s a genius!) on a regular basis…we have “chats” we wouldn’t have if I were right there….yes, we stay well connected. He’s even using his own technology to keep me abreast of our newest granddaughter’s laugh.
So, as I sit here readying myself for our 9th move in less than 15 years, I find myself staring at my remaining cookbooks.
I find myself starring at my 1970 edition of the Better Homes & Garden Cookbook with the familiar red & white plaid cover and the yellowed pages that are littered with the stains of spilled ingredients. I’ve made a lot of bold choices in downsizing, but there are some things that seem sacred. Things like my Better Homes & Garden Cookbook, even though I don’t even use it anymore, it seemed like a historical piece I should let go of. I think this is the hardest part of relocating or downsizing again….when you’re really attached to something (like my cookbooks) or someone every time you downsize it feels like a “Sophie’s Choice” moment….which one do I save? As I stared at the tattered Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook, I knew I hadn’t opened that cookbook in years….I just felt like I should be loyal to this old friend….even though it wasn’t part of my real resource pool anymore… I have (had) friends like that too. Not part of my resource toolshed anymore, but the notion of throwing away, or not staying in touch seemed so harsh. But, friends, like recipes can become dated so fast. As I continue to stare at my BH & G friend, I started to laugh as I remembered buying a cookbook for my iPad based on TV’s Mad Men….so many of the recipes also in the BH & G cookbook, but repackaged in a hip new format it seemed like a good decision.
Years ago, we as young wives, would often get our recipes handed down from our mothers….the other housewives on the block….and, of course, the millions of clippings that came from our vigilant search in the local newspaper. Today, I have a dozen or more apps on my iPad for recipes, a bookshelf full of cookbooks (also only on my iPad) and a multitude of food blogs I like and subscribe to and Pinterest has become a “go to” source for something tried and true. Technology!
So, as I type in “Italian Meatloaf from Better Homes & Garden Cookbook” into the Google search engine, there it was, the 7th site down….This was old meatloaf I remember making as a very young wife. I guess I really can toss this tattered cookbook. I haven’t made it in 20 + years, but I needed to know it was there if I needed it….besides the meatloaf recipe I got off AllRecipes.com is WAY better.
So if I knew then what I know now… I would have put down a lot of heavy baggage I’ve been dragging around (literally and figuratively, again) most of my life. Technology and the willing the change makes it easy to hang on, or move on from old friends.
And oh yeah….home is where your dog thinks it is….
What have you hung onto?
Totally agree on getting rid of the baggage. I still have my Better Homes cookbook – two actually, one is mine and one came with hubby – I still keep it ’cause it reminds me of home. Traipsing around the country makes you decide what’s important to keep, and what can be let go whether cd’s (with ya there), books (yep, most of em), or friendships. What is truly important will always be a part of your life one way or another……