“There’s a trick to the ‘graceful exit.’ It begins with the vision to recognize when a job, a life stage, or a relationship is over — and let it go” – Ellen Goodman
There is more to the quote than that, but I particularly liked this portion. This past weekend was about letting go in more ways than one.
I have been scurrying around packing, donating clothing, selling the few pieces of furniture I had here, shipping books home, donating dishes and kitchen utensils, and it got to the point where I just sort of wanted to give it all away. Except that I would then have nothing to wear and nothing to drink. I decided to keep clothing and coffee (and laptop and camera).
When I started the a/v project I accepted that I could not complete it before my time here was over. So, although I am intrigued, consumed and exhausted by this project I worked to get it to a manageable point for the next archivist. I labeled, arranged, inventoried, took copious working notes and developed an a/v management plan. I’ll spend the last few days cleaning up loose ends and finalizing the ‘to do’ list. I trust that the collection will survive without me. I let go.
As for California, this is home. Someday Cal and I will settle down and retire together. But, for now I am so excited to be playing working with collections that, as I’ve said before, I will go where the collections (and job) take me. It’s not easy, but I’ll let go.
It is hard to let go of stuff sometimes. I had a few yard sales before I left AZ, but was unable to let go of my books. I bond with my books. As I pack to leave here, I find myself unable to let go of a coat rack I made from a redwood gate. I haven’t quite bonded with it, but it represents my time here, my crafty work and recycled living. Is it too much to keep a memento?
The job, the life stage and the California relationship are over. The dishes, the clothes, the food and the appliances sold and donated; I let go. The archive will be here long after I’m gone; I let go. I’ve made good friends here, those I will not let go.