Saturday, April 24, 2010

Packing Is Such Sweet Sorrow

Packing has preoccupied a good bit of my time and attention in recent days, much to my dismay. As any of you who have performed such labors recently already know, it is not something that someone would recommend to a friend (or even an enemy that one wishes to take pity on). And as I bend you ear (eye actually) with complaints on the process, understand that it is only a one bedroom apartment that I am attempting to deal with here, not a residence of any size.

This is one of those labors that should be taken on with the regularity of the appearance of Haley's Comet, and I have done it far too often in recent years. I moved in Ohio from Columbus to Medina (and back to Columbus again), Columbus to LaGrange, GA, LaGrange to Toledo, and now Toledo to Kansas City; and all this in the time that has passed since the turning of the millennium. 

Oddly enough, even with all of the practice that I have been getting, I find that I get no better at the process; and each succeeding effort becomes no easier than the last. It's not the physical effort required that's all that onerous however, but the mental and emotional effort that one can find difficult. Moving forces us to deal with the fact that no matter how hard we try, we still manage to accumulate far too many "things" in our lives and that some day they must be dealt with. We are likewise compelled when the time comes to move them, to decide how important each of them is to us. 

Packing them therefore makes us look back far too closely at our lives and our past, reliving a memory with each item picked up to be carefully wrapped or set aside. Each sorting selection of what to take and what to leave behind makes us consider all of the other choices that we have made in our lives. (It also makes us wonder how we could have accumulated so much crap in such a short period, but that's a posting for another day.) 

You can therefore understand the painful nature of the process I'm talking about. Memory is in fact a minefield planted with beautiful flowers that we wander in at our peril. It's fun to savor the view and the aroma of the blooms, but we never know when a misstep will reap us a reward that we neither looked for nor wanted (along with the addition of a scar or two). Even the happiest and most poignant of our memories can carry a painful price. 

As for choices, I can't say that say that the ones I have made in life have always been the best, either for myself or for those around me. Reliving them in this process does nothing to change or improve them, and often only seeks to remind us how little we learn from history (especially our own). Packing for a move however, does not allow us the luxury of avoiding such memories and choices (something that many would say I have become pretty good at over the years)

The process inevitably involves deadlines that cannot be avoided and will not be postponed. It is a time that proves once again that the only constant in life is change, and that our only real choice in life is to move forward (often blindly) to whatever future might await us. And it is with this terrible realization that I perform the labors of packing up my life and belongings yet again, coping as best I can with the sweet sorrow of these memories that must inevitably come with the process.


Roland Hansen said...

My good amigo, Tim,

I feel your pain. It is never easy. I have had the same experiences of moving residences from time to time throughout my many years. I also go through a different yet somewhat similar process twice yearly as I move between my summer Toledo, Ohio abode and my winter Mesa, Arizona abode.

None-the-less, I do wish to thank you for the memories of our camaraderie that will accompany me where I may travel. I wish you well my friend. God speed.

Hooda Thunkit (Dave Zawodny) said...


Having only moved a couple of miles once, I cannot fathom what you are going through so all that I can say was what I've said before my friend, Via cad Dios; and may your journey be uneventful.

Goodbye my Mi Amigo, until we meet again.

The rides already seem to be lonelier. . .

May you find an abundance of new friends in your new home.

:-( :-)

Tim Higgins said...

Gracias mi Amigos ...

Hooda Thunkit (Dave Zawodny) said...

Amigo Tim,

Bet you couldn't tell that I was under the influence of pain meds for that last message ;-)

Via con Dios...