Two months ago, on February 1, 2012, it felt like it was the first day of the rest of my life; a cliché but an accurate sentiment of how I felt on that day. It was the first day that I was completely unemployed (in a paid position) for the first time in nine years. While the decision to close my business of nine years and offer my notice to a small paid position at my church was both saddening and uplifting at the same time, the physical steps that were required to execute that plan were gut wrenching and frightening.
Back in May of 2011 I made the painful decision to close my beloved Swedish antique importing business. The process of going public with that decision, liquidating the merchandise, and taking care of all of the administrative loose ends was humbling, emotionally exhausting, and freeing all at the same time. But in February, nearly nine months later, I closed that chapter, resigned from the position at the church, and found myself standing at the gateway to an exciting and new existence.
While completely unexciting but entirely satisfying, the first month was spent organizing the home and life I have created over the past 47 years, 13 of which have been spent in the same house. That’s nearly 28% of my life lived in the same house…not a long time by some standards but an eternity by others. It is 13 years of acquiring, collecting, and storing. Thirteen years that have included the many stages of my daughter’s lives (pre-school, soccer teams, music lessons, art classes…) and 13 years of additions to my husband’s tool collection (sigh!).
Organization of this magnitude required more than one month, and included countless trips to the re-sale shops, to the local Catholic Charities organization for our ‘donations’, the recycling center, and yes even the community dump. The transformation within our home has been symbolic of the transformation going on inside of me at the same time. It has been freeing.