I’ve decided there are two kinds of people, those who are always ready to move on to the next experience, and those who hang on until they’ve squeezed every drop of happiness from the last one.
So much for generalizations.
Like most of us, I fall between these poles, but I do admit to being closer to the second. Moving between our two homes is the perfect example. A rare day goes by when I don’t realize how lucky we are to have these two beloved places to call home. Florida, which is the home of my childhood and my husband’s, too. Chautauqua, NY, which is the home of our hearts. Because I love them both so much I cling to the one where I am at the moment, wringing every memory from it until it’s absolutely time to leave. This year is no exception.
During a recent breakfast with friends we learned that Sam has a list for leaving he created to shut down his cottage each fall. He graciously shared it with us, and now Michael is busily checking off items so we’ll be all ready to leave on our appointed date. I might add that Michael sets the standard for being ready to move on. He’s usually ready for anything new at a moment’s notice. The list for leaving will give him something to do while he waits.
Sam’s list got me thinking, though. Isn’t there more to moving on than simply washing the trash cans and setting my oven to self-clean? Don’t I need to do something more than figure out what to pack and what to leave behind?
So here’s another list for leaving, a different kind of list to ponder. Like Sam’s list, this one is meant to share, because at some time and in some way we all move on to the next adventure, whether we want to or not. A new relationship. A new challenge. A new place.
Take your time. You may be heading to something different, but considering where you’ve been will make the journey more fruitful.
- Before you move forward, take a long look backward. What was your best moment in the place you have been?
- What was your worst and what did you learn?
- What will you do differently next time you inhabit this space–this or a similar relationship, or a challenge similar to this one?
- What will you do exactly the same way?
- Have you thanked the people who made this adventure special?
- Have you found loving ways to stand up to the people who have made this time difficult, hopefully ways that will help you both grow?
- Have you said prayers of gratitude in whatever way you choose to pray?
- Have you now set the past far enough behind that you can move forward without regrets?
- Have you chosen memories to treasure for the rest of your life?
I’ll be considering my own list for leaving in the next weeks. Are you moving on, as well?