F Simple and Serene Living: OUT WITH THE OLD AND IN WITH THE NEW 09 10
Monday, May 1, 2017

OUT WITH THE OLD AND IN WITH THE NEW

It took me four weeks, but I have finally finished clearing out my sister's life. Last week the junk man came, the cleaners did a spit and polish, and the piano mover picked up the piano to move to my daughter's house. 


Actually it wasn't just 40+ years worth of my sister's life, it was also dismantling over 60 years of my family. 

I found so many things from my childhood, and in a box in the garage there were all of the family photos that my mom hadn't told me were missing. 


Those four weeks were not only physically exhausting, they were also emotionally draining. It was a time for releasing the old. 

Of course I saved the photos and other things that I considered important, and my daughters left after their weekend here with a van full of furniture and some important memories. 


My mom and I will go through the photos. She will take what she wants and I will remove the rest from their frames. My sister has said she doesn't want any of her old photos, but there may come a time when she will want to see them and I will have them in a folder for her.

Dismantling my family caused me to think about what I want in the future. As many of you know I have been very conflicted, and I still am. I do know that I want a fresh new future. I may not be able to just pack a suitcase and walk away from my past like my sister did, but I want changes. 


I plan to look at how I allowed other people and circumstances to control my life, and I am going to take a real look at my options. 

Soul searching is going to be in my immediate future, and I will share it with you because I know that many of you are going through some of the same things. 

Maybe 66 isn't as old as I thought. Maybe it is the prime of my life.
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23 comments:

  1. I know how hard it is to go through all the possessions and everything that goes with that. I had to clear out my brother's house when he died last year, then my father died, and most recently my mother moved into assisted living. I am the one who has to go through everything and figure it all out. It's tough. Good luck to you, Laura, as you do your soul searching.

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  2. I have been there and done that, Laura. Good luck to you as you make choices and move forward. I hope that you found some things that will bless your heart and make you look back on your childhood with fondness. xo Diana

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    1. Thanks, Diana. I have found some things that bless my heart.

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  3. Would love to hear the fresh options you look at.

    (I'm still a little stunned that your sister expected you to pack up her life ... but I guess we had a more fraught version when my middle sister moved to her daughter. Families!)

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    1. I am so happy it is behind me, Diana. Why is it that families always expect so much form one person?

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  4. Yes, please! I want to hear what you decide as I am 66 also! What to do with the rest of my life?!? Thanks for sharing!

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    1. It is hard to decide, Ellen and when we are economically challenged it makes it even harder.

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  5. You've really had to take care of a lot. I'm glad you've saved all the photos but I know you are weary of going through everything. We do what we have to do...but so many times it's hard and takes it's toll on us. Sending you lots of hugs my friend.

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    1. Thank you. I have spent a few days trying to rest a bit, although resting might be not quite true. I am happy to have saved the photos.

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  6. I know how hard it is to go through things and make decisions on what to do with it all. Some things of my mother's I ended up regretting for many years not keeping. But I'm finding out that now that they were just "things" and I didn't really need them after all. All the best to you as you ponder all of your options!

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    1. I have started to let more "things" go. If no one else in the family wants them and I don't have room for them I am selling or donating them.

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  7. So proud of you for taking care of all this. I'm still dealing with lots of family treasures that 'no one wants'. Such hard decisions and as long as my Mom is alive they will be kept. I am also trying to figure out my life at age 66! I've lost your email and want to keep in touch. Hugs!

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    1. I let my mom decide what she wanted and whatever the rest of the family doesn't want is going. I am ready for a fresh start and it doesn't include lots of baggage. :)

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    2. It is too easy to get caught up in things I've realized and let them weigh us down. Ready to change that also! Hugs!

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  8. You have a lot of other "sisters" out here who share your situation and conflicts. At 67, I'm right there with you and we have put off moving to somewhere we would love to be due to parents in their 90's in a retirement home nearby. Stay or go is always on our minds. So tired of not living the life I want! Will be following along to see where life takes you.

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    1. It is so nice to know that I am not alone, although I hate that others are going through this. I admit that I feel angry that I have been left with the responsibility of my mother while my siblings are getting on with their lives. I'm tired of not living the life I want too.

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  9. I know you want to move closer to family, and if that's what's in your heart, then you should do it. But I also fear you might miss what you have there. But whatever your decision, I look forward to watching your journey.
    Brenda

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    1. Thanks, Brenda. I have lived too much of my life through fear of the unknown. I am going to work now on myself and my income so that i will have more options.

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  10. I too have seemed to go where circumstances take me and haven't seemed to end up where I REALLY WANTED TO BE! and I too lug around many boxes of "stuff" that are memories and sentiments of days gone by. Just don't know when or how to let them go as your sister did! I'll be anxiously listening to your soul searching as I'm doing the same thing. Marilyn

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    1. Marilyn, I wish I knew why some of us feel so much more responsibility than others do. I am tired of lugging around all of the baggage. I am ready to let it go.

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  11. It is so difficult to go through people's things. I know that some in the family want to just light a match to it. Then there are others who have sentimental attachments to everything. It's so hard. But I do think that once we've expended all the energy it takes to do the task, there is definitely a burden lifted. It sounds like you're really ready to move forward, Laura. Good for you.

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  12. That was such an act of selflessness to take that on. It sounds like a mix of feelings. In so many ways, getting older is wonderful but for me thinking that things like family will never be the same is kind of sad. I hope you're able to find your way in the letting go part as you mentioned in the above comment. I have been one to "keep things together" with my siblings now that my parents are gone but I'm now letting go of that and hoping that some of the others will work a little at it. What wonderful photos of your life. Thank you for sharing. Best wishes as you move ahead in your decision making.

    Tamara <3

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