July - August 2012 - Gratitude & Moving
First I want to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who helped to celebrate my Tenth Anniversary. My heart is filled with gratitude for the lovely cards and notes in the memory book I was given at the Cotton Club event. If you haven’t had a chance to add your comments, the book will remain in the lounge. I was also completely surprised by the gift of a beautiful watercolor of the Suzanne Patterson Building painted by my best friend. It is now hanging in a place of honor. I love that it includes people coming to the Center.
I repeat what I said that night: our success is the result of a magical mix of vision, creativity and willing implementation, involving board, staff and all of you who are volunteers, teachers, and program participants. My heart is filled with gratitude to be a part of this amazing organization.
At the same time that we have been reflecting on 10 years of change at PSRC, I am navigating change at home. Our younger son graduated from high school, heading off to college in August. We are moving from the house we’ve lived in for 18 years into one nearby that we’ve been renovating for the next stage of our lives. Certainly my work has informed decisions to find something on one floor, small enough to be comfortable for two, but large enough for young adults to return home.
This brings my attention to the issues of downsizing and organizing. It is amazing how much can be accumulated in 18 years (or 25 or 40 or 60 you will tell me), and we haven’t even taken on the family heirlooms.
I started in the attic. Years of financial documents went to shredding, using the document retention guide we created in 2008 (put document retention into search on the PSRC website, or go to director’s message April 2008).* Children’s art was photographed and children’s toys were donated (except a few favorites). Then I stalled out when I found my childhood memory box, re-reading old journals, scrapbooks and report cards. I finally decided I haven’t looked at them in 40 years, and I rather prefer the memories in my head to the material evidence. I don’t think my kids need to read about my adolescent angst. I continue to struggle with the household items that one of the boys might need for their next home, but a lot has gone to the local thrift stores. Several books have been sold on Amazon, sold to the Book Exchange, and donated to the library. The bunk bed was sold on Craig’s list, and other things through the George School Want Ads. I can already envision a yard sale next year with the things that don’t fit.
I am using advice that I read about downsizing a few years ago. Many treasures (like kid’s art) can be digitized by photographing or scanning. Often it is sufficient to keep one piece of memorabilia, not all the items you have collected or inherited. Ask yourself if an item really has value to you. I’m surprised at the number of things I’ve uncovered where I don’t remember any longer where it came from, while others evoke strong memories. It may also be helpful to have someone else evaluate what to keep. I know it’s a lot easier for me to question things Scott has elected to move than my own boxes! There are moving professionals who can help, one of whom will be at Plan for the Future Day October 20.
The next challenge is organizing in the new space. I am a big advocate for open shelves and clear plastic bins with lids that can be stacked, and keeping only the things that are used regularly in our living space to keep it open and uncluttered (no tripping hazards).
This week we picked lettuce and snap peas from our new garden, which assured me that we can make this new space our home. We are helping our sons understand that “home” is more about the people who are important to you than a physical location, while acknowledging that it is hard to leave the only home you’ve known.
*We hear rumor of a local shredding event in September, and will let you know when we hear a date.
Susan W Hoskins LCSW
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No One Ages Well Alone
Help at Home
November 2016 Family Caregiving
October 2016 Annual Report
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Is Your Home Age- Friendly?
May 2016 Director's Message Part 2 - We Need Your Help
May 2016 - Part 1 - Going Solo
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February 2016 - PSRC's Strategic Plan
January 2016 - Hope
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July - August 2012 - Gratitude & Moving
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July - August 2011; Ageism
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Am I Old?
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