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Fresh start

Categories: Fighting the Stereotype


I’m in San Diego, helping him move.

Like any move, it’s a spectacular pain in the ass. He’s downsizing, from a 1200 sq. ft. Craftsman bungalow to a teeny-tiny beach cottage two blocks from the ocean. He’s had to sell or give away at least 3/4 of everything he owns so far to make this move happen, and he’s not done yet.

I’ve never seen him happier.

His son, who’s 7, has been amazing about letting go of all of the toys he no longer plays with. He’s excited that he and his dad will be so close to the Pacific. Now they can walk to the grocery store or to the ice cream shop. There won’t be much room for toys—for either of them—but the quieter life in Ocean Beach is a new start that they’re both looking forward to.

I have never been so motivated.

Back in Massachusetts, my Great House Purge has been a year and a half in the making. The back porch is piled high with objects that are no longer needed and cease to have meaning. The girls have been dragging old toys and clothes out of the deep, dark recesses of their closets and from under their beds, into the narrow upstairs hallway. The front porch is a staging area for an old boxspring, a large piece of Ikea art with broken glass, and the hutch of an early 1900s floor-to-ceiling cabinet.

I’d once thought a yard sale was the way to go. But now it no longer seems worth the planning and effort. There are charities who will come to your door and pick up unwanted items, and local companies who make a living from cleaning out old houses and salvaging whatever they can find.

I need a new start more than I need pocket money from a yard sale. It’s long overdue. I look forward to a day when I can move away from Massachusetts, start over somewhere new. Visiting here—listening to the waves crashing two blocks away, hearing the wild parrots in the trees, putting glassware and dishes into clean cabinets—I can’t help but sigh. It’s a wonderful thing, a new beginning. I won’t be leaving Massachusetts any time soon, but I’m inspired to let go of what we don’t need and to start over right where we are, as much as we can.

When was your last fresh start?

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2 comments so far...

  • My last fresh start was when I lost my house to foreclosure and had to move into a tiny apartment. It sounds awful, but it was amazing.

    Meghan  |  April 9th, 2012 at 6:46 pm

  • My last fresh start was October 30, 2010. My husband and I had separated the month before and my daughter and I moved into a smaller house. It’s a funky little place, with no doors (totally wheelchair accessible, and doors take up floor space) on the closets or cabinets. I absolutely adore it. Ex and I split the possessions from our 20+ year marriage, and I only kept what I truly LOVE. Makes for eclectic decorating sometimes, lol, but I wouldn’t trade for anything we have. There have been times since when I’ve had daydreams about getting rid of almost everything else and living in a yurt or something. LOL

    kim  |  April 15th, 2012 at 4:56 pm