I wonder how you are all doing now that it is almost the end of the year. My blogging ground to a halt when I started the Art of Individuation course which I had hoped to give you some more feedback by now. In the last week of the course our plans for moving crystalized when Derek finally received his British citizenship. We made the decision to move to Scotland. There seemed be no pause between the course and the plans for moving on. My apologies for not writing earlier; and thank you to those of you who have reached out to me on Instagram to tell me you have missed me. I have missed you too, all of you.
To recap our plan is to move to Scotland by mid-year 2022. In order to do this we are readying our main house (which we are currently living in) for renting and our accommodation on the same property (which we have been using as Derek’s office but is designed as a two bedroom flat). It probably seems crazy to do both at once and I don’t think we realized how much work was involved. Once the main house is ready we plan to move into the flat for six months and rent out the main house. This means down-scaling our possessions in order to live a simpler and more minimalist lifestyle. By mid-year 2022 we plan to make our final move to Scotland and we will rent out our flat as well.
In short we are renovating our house we are living in while also renovating the flat; this is going on while I sort, throw out and pare down so that we will fit into the flat. I am also still recycling and cooking healthy meals so that we stay healthy and at our best. We have been very busy since October and in some ways it feels like we are running in all directions catching straws, or juggling too many balls at once. By now we are 80 % ready to move into our flat and both of us are sick since last week and unable to do very much which is frustrating but also feels like a compulsory pause.
I have probably experienced the whole gamut of emotions in the last while, much like being on a roller-coaster, each week experiencing frustration, anger, gratefulness, joy, delight, satisfaction, worry, etc. I am grateful for the solid, grounded and compassionate relationship Derek and I have. We have invested time and effort in building and maintaining this relationship and it has proven to be strong enough to weather the recent emotional storms. I think it is important to stay in touch with my feelings and to own them. In this way I take full responsibility for my feelings and actions. I think it is healthier to be aware of how and what I am feeling so that I can consider what is impacting me or how I am impacting others.
What I want to touch on today is the feeling of sadness. Sadness is the relative to grief. They often spring from loss. Loss can be anything spanning from disappointment right through to losing a job, home or loved one.
I will share two little scenarios trigger my sadness:
As I drive home from doing my groceries I travel past a vlei (lake) and realize how much I love hearing the water birds calling, seeing ripples on the water and the reeds bend in the summer breeze. This is my home forever in my heart. It is part of my life and I am sad to be letting go of it.
Another is, as I wake up with the birds singing and squawking I can identify, the Robin, the Olive thrush, white eyes, guinea fowl, Egyptian geese, doves, crows, sparrows and finches. I am in the company of a colony of creatures and I feel grateful to be awake. It is the way I embrace the new day. In this way I commune with God. This is one of the things that keeps me steady. I know that when I finally move to Scotland there will be new sounds and new birds to wake up to. This will be the joy of meeting new experiences but there is also a sadness of leaving old ones behind.
Saying goodbye to collected objects
I am a collector of note and mostly I collect things that have memories attached to them. I love the people in my life and nature so I have collected special hats and bags from great aunts, stones from interesting walks and trips, shells from picnics with special people, pressed leaves (my own, my mother’s and my grandmother’s) from forest walk through the years, unfinished artworks that I am always intending to finish, intentions of reading books of interest sitting on my shelves, unspoken dreams and desires embedded in objects I hang onto. I have had to decide what to let go of and what to keep and in the deciding I have faced many occasions, relationships and undeveloped dreams and desires and realize they are always there in my heart whether I keep a memento or not. I will always have the memories but the objects don’t ultimately make me who I am; I am separate from the objects. In letting go I have had to own the sadness of regret and disappointment or sadness in missing the special people; even sometimes there may be anger at the loss. Even although there is an excitement at the freshness and newness of life as I face all the many possibilities and opportunities of meeting all the adventure that the life ahead offers there is still the sadness and loss of the life I leave behind.
I believe we all are in this situation by greeting the new day and saying good bye to the old yet it doesn’t feel as dramatic or sad because we don’t allow ourselves to let go of the recent past and move on to a new beginning each day. Moving locations forces one to face it but if we live each day as if it is our newest and our last day we might all live more intentionally.
Having gone through 85% of my possessions I feel like I have faced myself and have had to ask some serious questions:
- does this object embody what who I am and what I believe today?
- Do I still have the same dreams and desires as I once did?
- Do I still to write the same stories as I once did?
I have to admit that I have changed a lot. And seeing my life in objects I once collected is like looking at a photo album and seeing my younger self in disbelief and asking “did I really look like that”. I am happy with who I am now and where I am headed. I hope that you too may one day have time to reflect upon your life, it is a satisfying feeling even if there is sadness in letting go.
I would love to hear any of your experiences you have had in this regard.