It took a couple of hours to load up and a whopping 90 minutes to unload the moving truck, get my bedroom set-up and all the boxes upstairs for me to unload at my convenience. Let’s face it…no one likes to move, no one likes to help someone else move! Packing can be a cathartic experience, but the moment of truth presents itself all too quickly when it’s time to find room for all that stuff! Thank God for friends, family and a church community who is willing to be there…even when you’re moving!
My parents and I drove down to Southern California last Wednesday afternoon. In tow was my 3-yr-old nephew, Cyrus who thought it would be entertaining to grab my hand, twist my fingers in all different directions and laugh hysterically when I said, “Ouch! You’re hurting me!” In need of a break, I would remove my hand from his intense grip, only to be met with the most adorable, pouty face as he exclaimed, “No Aunt Kewie, I want to play wif you!” Who can say no to that? So after a grueling 30 minutes passed and there was no life left in my digits, I succumbed to bribing him with part of an apple fritter (so what if that tastes really good to me right now? A girl deserves a donut after having some taste bud trouble, right?) Afterall, isn’t that the role of an aunt…to persuade through the use of inanimate objects in order to receive the desired behavior? Anywho…I digress.
We spent the first night at my sister’s and then the next with my brother and his family. Even though we’d all been together for Christmas, it felt like the time went by much too quickly and when Friday morning arrived, we headed for Anaheim to collect my belongings.
The moving van was an adventure in itself. The manager at Budget, although sitting directly at the counter in the full line of sight of all customers just couldn’t be bothered to look away from her romance novel long enough to offer her assistance, so the task was left up to the mediocre clerk who acted as if answering questions would be the end of his existence. A quick walk around the truck presented with a lovely spray of gang tagging on the side. My father drove the truck to our first location and it took all of two seconds when I walked up to the door to smell that the cabin was wreaking of leftover cigarette toxins from the previous renter…despite the very clearly labeled sign in the office that promised a $250 fine for smoking in one of the Budget fleet. Not the best combination for a girl recovering from cancer and her father who suffers from severe asthma. Calls to both the manager and then customer service did nothing to alleviate my concerns and both representatives assured me that they didn’t really care about my discomfort nor the fact that there was graffiti sprawled across their company logo. They agreed that the fine for smoking only applied to their cars and not their trucks. They also admitted that there was nowhere in the reservation process that this was explained. I was directed to take it up with the manager when I returned my truck in Sacramento on Saturday. The return manager was incredible, although ironically he would have charged me $250 for the smell of smoke in the cabin had I not explained ahead of time the issue. He firmly follows the fine for smoking and disagreed with the other manager but said he couldn’t do anything about it on his end…that the compensation had to come from the original manager. Hello rabbit trail…may I chase you? Needless to say, after one final conversation to customer service, they credited my account $60 for my trouble. Not the world’s greatest accomplishment, but a small victory for truck renters everywhere!
Monday and Tuesday I spent clearing a few boxes, here and there, but it became obvious rather quickly that the number of things I still had left to find a home for just wasn’t realistic to the amount of space that remained. So that’s when it happened…Wednesday…”D-Day!” DE-CLUTTER DAY! I began ripping open boxes…and I sorted. I made a throw away pile, a give away pile and a no, I cannot get rid of that pile! I took a trip down memory lane as I came across mementos from my childhood…clippings of the articles I wrote for my high school paper, spirit buttons from Friday night football, a gavel I received for being Senior Class President…I collected 5 boxes worth of clothes and other items and donated them to my nearest thrift store.
While I still have a few boxes left to sort, last night I felt this overwhelming sense of calm, a sense of direction, a sense of clean…not physically because there was less junk in the house, but emotionally clean. This feeling that in the past 12 months, I have truly come full circle. Not only have I experienced the de-clutter of things in my life, but I’ve worked really hard at getting rid of the mental and emotional clutter that I had allowed myself to be paralyzed by…the things that kept me up worrying at night…the past choices that continued to haunt me…the regrets of pain I caused others…the wounds never quite healed. I am learning to forgive others and in the process I am learning how to forgive myself.
That’s when it struck me. D-Day. Deliverance Day.