December 2021 check-in

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.  

Our plans.

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.  

My feelings

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.

Take care

34 thoughts on “December 2021 check-in

  1. Any new adventure is always tinged with sadness because it necessitates letting go of so many parts of life that bring us a sense of peace and joy, and which are filled with meaningful memories that have become a very central part of who we are. I have moved countries a few times now so what you share here resonates with me. As you sift and discard, it can often feel as if part of ourselves is being ripped out, and torn away from us. However, as you say, the memories will always remain in our hearts, and will always be a part of us.

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  2. Dear Morag, it is just so lovely to hear from you now! I am impressed with your 85%; soon it will be 100% and you will adapt to a new life, a new outlook too! The prospect is exciting but like any adventure there is always an amount of doubt. My own experience of relocating is of course different, but it brings with it a new energy, perhaps even a new purpose! I look forward to your Scottish posts later next year (and possibly even meeting you) but for now I wish you a happy, healthy Christmas and New Year! I hope to publish one more post this year, if I can find the right words, but, for now, my good wishes to you and Derek, and to your Scottish homecoming! 🤗🌹🙋‍♂️

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    • Oh Ashley, thank you so much for your encouragement and wishes. I do hope that we will meet you and your wife sometime when we move! Wishing you a wonderful Christmas celebration and all the best for the New Year. Take care 💐🤗🙋‍♀️

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  3. This is a sentimental post written direct from the heart. Shifting is really an emotional issue, Morag. I can understand the pain and sadness. I have also relocated several times in my life, and every time I used to cry last day in the vacant house. But you are moving to Scotland. It’s much more difficult. It’s difficult to say goodbye, but there is always a new beginning waiting for you. I hope and believe that a person like you with a golden heart will have a far better satisfactory life over there. All the best wishes for Merry Christmas and New Year 2022. 😊💐💖🙏

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  4. Ah, it’s great to hear from you again Morag. I was thinking about you recently … wondering how you were doing with the sorting and packing. Because we also had to go through the process of minimalism, I know how overwhelming this can be – so many emotions in one day 🙂. But it seems you’re perfectly ok (just as I expected) and I have so much respect for you renovating two homes at once!
    Hope you’re taking a break over Christmas and just enjoy this special time. Take care, Corna 🌸.

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  5. Lovely, heartfelt post….I so very much resonate with what you have written….I have much decluttering to do yet…. Letting go of pieces of who I’ve been and stepping (sometimes quite reluctantly) into who I am and who I may yet be… Letting go of attachments along the way…. Appreciating each moment more as I say goodbye to the previous one. I am right there beside you…♥️

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    | | | Dear Morag,I am pleased to receive the good news of your impending move to Scotland.  All the necessary details are divinely being orchestrated, so rejoice in this season of Christmas. One thing the good Lord has taught me during this year is about the emotion of sadness which you speak about.  I now understand that sadness does not come from God, but from the evil one, who wants to use sadness to stifle the Holy Spirit within us. Yes, I can imagine all that you and your beloved spouse will have to let go when making this oceanic transition to Scotland, there you will rediscover new flora, wildlife and your ancestry which will welcome you home.  Plus, after settling in your new abode, I bet you will have much to write about on your blog, and I will gladly wait to read all about your new adventures.  The past of life is dead when it holds the worst memories, but the past memories of life in South Africa surely will become a springboard for courage to explore your new Scottish environment.  New birds will come chirping at your window. p.s.:  We will start a new writing class on March 9th, if you will have the time to join us, I hope. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2022!sincerely, yourscribeforlovepatricia |

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  7. It Is very hard to let go of special collected objects. I appreciate your wisdom that we are indeed separate from the objects, and the memories are separate as well. Still, even though it’s rational it sometimes doesn’t make it easier on an emotional level…
    Good luck with the renovations and the big move.
    I think 2022 will bring a lot of beautiful adventures for you!!

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  8. I know you have been through a lot of your possessions and memories. I have done the same to some degree. But as you already know there is a loss but that loss will be replaced by new parts of your life. Please continue to share your feelings either here or by Journaling. You have much to teach others about life changes. Thank you for sharing.

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  9. Very best of luck with preparing for your move and adopting a philosophic and spiritual approach — finding strength from nature and God and having an open heart to embrace changes, new opportunities and new people has always helped me with my moves. Happy Christmas to you and yours! xxx

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  10. So good to see you on here again!!! 💞 I imagine that is a lot to be going through, the process of getting rid of old things and preparing for the new. (I also hope you both feel better soon!) I totally agree that we should all live each day intentionally. I’ll be doing some cleaning soon myself and getting rid of things I no longer use; it’s really a refreshing process! Best of luck!! 🌟 And I’m sure you’ll always carry the current place you live in your heart with you when you make the trek to Scotland next year. 💜

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    • Thank you so much. Today is the day of handing over to the tenants. We feel ready but we have a lot of work to do in our little abode. Still lots to throw out so you can imagine its a little like organized chaos at the moment. 🙋‍♀️

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  11. Oh Morag, my heart breaks for you. All I can say is, truly sit in this time of grief, loss and sadness. Just like happiness, do not skimp on these emotions. Fully embrace them, live them, love them. One day, you’ll walk beyond this sadness, but only if you truly allow yourself to grieve. It’ll be painful now, but you’ll be clear in the end. 💖💔💖

    I too had a tough season, and my blogging also fell off in the last quarter of 2021. It happens so don’t beat yourself up. I hope your renos are almost done. Enjoy your new space.

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