Given our very up-in-the-air state (graduated from seminary and in the midst of job search), this Friday Five from Sally is very apt indeed!
1. A big move is looming, name one thing that you could not possibly part with, it must be packed ?
I've learned that most everything is expendable, but I suspect the family photo albums would top the list of the "must haves."
2. Name one thing that you would gladly leave behind...
Oh, dear, where to begin? The ancient sofabed that is virtually impossible to open up anymore? The recliner that has somehow gotten torqued so that sitting in it for an extended period of time necessitates a trip to the chiropractor? No...wait...it's the cabinets and drawers in this seminary housing that are so old that all the shelves bow and none of the drawers remain closed. Hate. Them. Stupid kitchen.
3. How do you prepare for a move
I have become a list-maker in my later years, so I make vast quantities of lists. I also plan where everything will go in the new place, and pack our things to fit the new place, not the old. What that might mean is that not all kitchenware will be put in boxes labelled "kitchen," some might be labelled "pantry" or "basement storage." Having moved at least 18 times thus far in my life, I'm pretty good at organizing and moving. The other thing that is essential is the purge of all things that need to be thrown or donated or given to others. The thing that neither PH or I are good at is disposing of books. When we moved into the seminary housing, we had 150 boxes of books. When we leave this place, I expect it will be over 200. It's just very hard to get rid of books, emotionally and practically.
b. spiritually/ emotionally?
That process of purging the excess becomes a cathartic spiritual practice. Sorting through, deciding what is necessary and what is not...it's a good thing to do periodically. At Big Old Seminary we have something called the SPIRIT closet, run by the partners/spouses of seminarians. You can donate unwanted but serviceable clothing to it; you can take whatever you want that you find there.for free It's particularly a boon for the parents of children, who can find all sorts of useful clothing there as their children grow, but it's also helpful for the grown-ups. This year I gave much of the contents of my closet (mostly business clothing that I no longer can fit into) to the SPIRIT closet, and I expect that there are many folks who will have some excellent wardrobes as a result. It felt good, it felt cathartic, and it was reminiscent of the concept of "packing light for the journey."
4. What is the first thing you look for in a new place?
I'm presuming I already have found the church, since that's the thing that will drive my move. I need to find a good grocery store, a good bakery, a good coffee shop and lunch place, and a hardware store. Hard to tell which of these would come first; probably the hardware store, with the grocery store a very close second. Got to get a new broom and picture hangers, don't you know...
5. Do you settle in easily, or does it take time for you to find your feet in a new location?
I actually do settle in pretty easily. All those moves over all those years have made it possible even for introverted me to find people and places and things to connect to.
The bonus for today; a new opportunity has come up for you to spend 5 years in a new area, where would you go and why?
The fantasy position would be an Anglican church in Italy, ministering to expats of various sorts. I like working with people who are out of their comfort zones. I like good art and good music and good food. I speak some Italian and would love to improve my skills. Alas, most jobs like this go to elderly British clerics with plummy voices, not to middle-aged American women who sometimes laugh a little too loudly!