What motivates you?
My husband mentioned the other day that the hardest part of moving my parents to their new home and getting the previous placed cleaned out was getting everyone motivated to help. I contend the hardest part was deciding where to start! Both are true to some extent. The task seemed overwhelming at first becausethere were 2+ generations of family stuff, stuff that someone was going to get to someday, hobbies both current and long abandoned, generations of photographs from the non-digital age, and the age when each family member had their own camera, old school projects, report cards, etc that Mom could never throw away, and mementos from milestones in each person’s life.
How do you decide what to keep, what to throw away, what should be sold, what should move to the new place, and what should go to the family genealogist?
So many of my friends are going through this or have gone through this in the last few years. Some will be going through it in the next few. All have similar thoughts and feelings –
· First, having to admit that our parents are not the same as they were when we were in our 20s and 30s. And then having to admit that we are not the same as we were in our 20s and 30s!
· Second, looking at the stuff that needs to be gone through, maybe waiting for parents to ask for help so we don’t infringe on their personal space. Maybe waiting for someone to just tell us what needs to be done. Maybe secretly hoping something like Rumpelstiltskin and his elves will take care of it.
· Third, realizing that someone needs to take charge, make decisions, brothers and sisters need to be contacted for help, and a plan needs to be put into action.
Eventually the stuff needs to be sorted, sold, donated, passed on, or thrown away.
I have had the privilege of being able to go through some of this with my siblings and my Dad. Watching my brother’s excitement as something that had been impossible for the majority of our lives becomes not only possible but complete! Watching my dad’s face light up as we uncovered some of his father’s tools, or were able to take a ride on trails that had long ago grown over and had recently been reopened or just seeing the spaces he had built cleaned and organized!
I hope that we are not only reminiscing about the past, but also creating some really great memories as we complete this transition period. One of the realizations I have come to recently was that which my husband brought to my attention – and as I think about it, it was something that cannot be sold, donated or thrown away. Apparently something that Mom and Dad handed down to me is the ability to formulate a plan and create the motivation when a deadline is fast approaching with seemingly insurmountable odds of accomplishment!