So when you reach your mid fifties and you have a 56th birthday party, how should you celebrate. Well, planning to go away around the world for six months is one helluva gift. On the actual day I had a tea party with my four children and we larked around on at the tennis courts. But I digress as what I wanted to say was that setting off on a travel adventure when you are grown up and have a house requires additional planning other than just where do I go and when. What do you do with the house and more importantly two dogs. We had a cat but that moved next door a couple of years ago.
The house went up for rent last week and we had about 10 visits with hopefully a couple of those wanting a six month rental. So that will help with costs. It does mean that you have to clear out the draws and the cupboards. We also have a large loft and garage that need clearing. We have been in this house 10 years and thats means a lot of accumulated recent nostalgia tucked away in various nooks and crannies. . In addition we both brought the wreckage of previous memories collapsed into an assortment of boxes. I found a paper I wrote on leadership from probably 20 years ago. For a conference where I was debating the question 'Why do we need leadership? '.
Going travelling is a punctuation mark in our lives. Rachel has a new job and new ambitions. Fred has a big new school on the horizon. We have old stuff to clear out and maybe new things to gather from our travels. I have a stalled Art career to recover or maybe even discover as the first attempt was very hit and miss. Travelling gives us access to new experiences and a chance to consider new longer term goals. Who knows it might open up different choices.
As we prepare and clear the cupboards we find our past, my past exposed in all its glory and sadness. We become invaded by long ago stories and departure points that litter every bit of our journey to where we stand now.
I pulled out of my nostalgia cupboard display my old copy of Bukowski 'Notes of a Dirty Old man' (acquired in July 1982 - I use to date all my books back then). Inside the cover I found a rambling I had written and from I guess, given the dates, I was working as a psychiatric nurse.
...and these are the rules that we must obey to stay put in our boxes and we can't talk to 4am because you must sleep and a report lays on the table for people gather around to discuss your needs but only you and I know what they really are locked up inside of you on the outside an exterior so young and I see only sadness and we've witnessed your madness and converted you while I was never really sure...
I also found, as I cleared out old clothes, an 'Old Navy' casual top that I had bought when I did my first big overseas trip at the age of 18 around the USA and Canada. I recall buying several Old Navy items including some pumpkin motif boxer shorts, maybe when I was in New York.
S0, even if your not going travelling, clear out those cupboards and enjoy a trip down memory lane and use it as an opportunity to appraise the wonders of journeys taken and ask yourself, what if I accumulate another 10 years in these cupboards. What would I want that to tell me 10 years from now?
I retired about 5 years ago. I had been in the Mental health industry for my whole working life. I put my spare time into art, writing and photography with mixed success. I found that I had a great capacity to be idle and I would love to teach this to other people. The opportunity to spend this amount of time together as family in these modern times is rare. I will miss my older kids and Buddy and my close friends.