When my husband approached me about applying for a job that would require selling our home and moving out of the area, I immediately embraced the idea. It felt time to shake life up. We had been in the same town for a decade. I was unhappy with my job, and he was unhappy with his. He landed the position, we began searching for a new house, and surprisingly I became nostalgic for yesterday and uncertain of tomorrow.
Nine months later surrounded by boxes in our new home, I was a changed person. Always focused on the literal move, I never anticipated the rewarding mental journey I was taking. As we pack everything into boxes, we sorted through our lives and let go in order to move on.
Since then, I have moved on from so much: asparagus beds and strawberry patches we nurtured for years, sunsets that were a part of our evening ritual, spontaneous happy hours with friends, co-workers who were second sisters, and childhood memorabilia unloaded at the dump.
Letting go of things I took for granted as “mine” has made me acutely aware of the temporary nature of everything that comprises my day-to-day. The home, land, and views we moved from were never ours; we just borrowed them for a fraction in time. The house we moved into will be enjoyed until the next life stage pushes us onward; someday another family will be warmed by its charm. The plants we cultivate will follow a lifecycle independent of our own; the incidentals we collect will one day clutter homes of younger generations; and the routines we grow accustom to and the characters that play them out will eventually be replaced. I’ve become less attached yet more fulfilled by my surroundings than ever before.
I believe life’s key to finding peace in every step is respecting the temporariness of all that makes up our time on earth, including that time itself. This insight provides for me a meaningful method of prioritizing people, experiences, and possessions I allow into my days and has taught me what living in the moment really means. While still adjusting to my new surroundings and at times missing the old, I’m lifted by a deeper knowledge of what enriches me.
In the end, it matters not that we have the right furniture, a big house, or a dream property. It matters instead that we are of strong mind and body with wisdom to count our blessings and courage to recognize when to move on regardless of inevitable uncertainties.
Just as rainbows fade, hummingbirds dive and dart away, or shooting stars vanish in an instant, the fleeting nature of everything that touches our lives is a positive influence worth paying attention to. The fact that everything comes to an end must be embraced not denied for it guides us, keeps us grounded, focuses our minds, and ultimately gives us grace and dignity to make life’s final move.
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