I’m not sure how it happened, my decision to make Florida my permanent home. Wasn’t intended to be this way. But then, again, we know that there are detours in one’s life. So here I am, preparing to move things from my New Jersey apartment.
Getting psyched to face this daunting task, I’ve been reading “Moving On: Creating Your House of Belonging with Simple Abundance” by Sarah Ban Breathnach. From a distance here in Florida, I’ve walked through the apartment in my mind, made a spreadsheet of glassware and china and books and artwork and furniture and mirrors and clothing and linens and framed photos and lamps. The truth is, I’ve lived without all of it since January 24, 2014. The truth also is that there is only so much room here in my Florida home. Is it possible to be practical?
The spreadsheet lists look like this: love it, like it, keep it, give it, sell it, toss it. Also, every “how-to” article recommends that one never, ever, ever rent a storage unit. So it is past time to empty the cartons holed up along Route 17: the notebooks, the speeches, the loose papers, the irreplaceable cards received from special people with hand-written notes, the Mass cards and tributes, the small remembrances that are the mosaic of my life. This is where it gets emotional and weepy.
Sara says that the “house of belonging expands to become your intimate surrounding, the very feeling of safety, joy, and contentment that you experience in your own home. An earthly home that charms, delights, enchants, embraces, sustains, and inspires you is part of the Spirit’s blueprint for your happiness. Not just a dwelling place, but a soul shelter. A house where you belong. The story of your heart is just beginning.”
And so it is. As I begin this next chapter, it is sweetened by the invitation of Greater Bergen Community Action to be an Honoree at their Lois A. Braithwaite Community Advocacy Awards Spring Gala on April 6th. A reunion and a re-connecting with friends and colleagues, who, along with my family, especially my daughter, Sue-Ellen, will be reason to leave part of my heart always in New Jersey.
Joan M. Wright