Stepping back


Sometimes taking a few steps back from the routines of our lives provides an opportunity to see a different perspective. Take, for instance, “how I spent my summer vacation.”*

As you probably know, we’ve been engaged for the better part of the last three months in going through every single thing we owned in order to send much of it away and to box the rest of it up.

We then spent a week packing that fraction into a truck and driving with it some 2500 miles, after which we pulled everything out of the truck, carried it into an apartment, piling it up as best we could. We then began the process of unpacking everything from the boxes, bins and bags, and trying to find ways to pack it all into drawers, cupboards, shelves and closets.


I anticipate that this last step will keep us occupied for some time, despite the fact that we got rid of much more than we brought with us.

When described in these terms, doesn’t it feel like there’s something a little absurd about all the boxing up and packing and unpacking and unboxing?

I guess one mildly interesting feature is the bilateral symmetry of it all. But make no mistake: there will be no symmetrical counterpart to the “getting rid of” stage. We will not be going out and shopping for things to replace everything we gave away or sold. In fact, as much as I was determined that we would not pack and transport things we were ambivalent about, once we get everything unpacked, we may find that we’ll have another round of pink slips to deliver.

That’s probably not going to happen right away, though. I have absolutely had it with the slave-to-my-stuff routine. I’m inclined to close the door on it all and go for a bike ride. I guess I can be glad that the bikes were among the things to make the cut.


*You may have had to write a September school essay with that subject in some bygone era. For my part, the word “vacation” has never been less applicable to any period of my entire life. If you want to look back over it, try sorting on steroids, changing the rules, point and call, collages and blackmail, and no place to go.

[Images: yours truly and El Guapo]

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