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Day 29: Unpacking boxes only to discover new emotional baggage

Updated: Dec 21, 2021


Not sure what inspired me to finally unpack the remaining boxes from the office.  Maybe it’s because tomorrow is day 30 which means I’ll have spent one month retired.  I like the symbolism in being fully settled — or at least unpacked — in the first 30 days.  I’m pretty sure that I still have emotional unpacking to do but having things physically unboxed and put away feels good.

To be honest, I was hoping that those boxes were what was keeping me from spending time in the basement.  Since returning from vacation, I’m back to my usual spot…sitting at the dining room table with my computer open.  The point of rearranging the basement — for the 100th time — was to reclaim it as my space (Day 15) so I could write at my desk.  I thought I’d finally nailed the set up…that I’d be comfortable spending time down there.

It took about three hours to unpack, go through everything, rearrange, and put it all where I wanted it.  During that time, most of it was spent in the office and I didn’t feel wigged out.  I didn’t feel like I’d see husband #2 rounding the corner any minute.  I didn’t feel any remnants of that time…but still, there’s something down there that I’m not quite in sync with yet.

I’ve thought about smudging it — lots of time — but haven’t gotten around to it.  Makes me think that the issue isn’t old memories or negative energy hanging around so much as it’s something that I’m bringing into the room.

About six months before I retired I developed an obsession with tiny houses. There’s something about having only what you need that I find intriguing…refreshing…liberating.  I tested the waters on my vacation staying in a bona fide tiny house in Key West.  It was perfection!  I know it was only for a week but I found myself dreaming of everything I could get rid of in exchange for the essentials to live a comfortable life.  When you stop and think about it, you really don’t need that much.

Then I returned home.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my house.  It’s got such a welcoming vibe…lots of natural light…lovely hard wood floors.  To be honest, I fell in love with it because it had a “vacation getaway vibe”.  It felt a house I’d rent on a trip and I half expected to see mountains off the back deck.  There’s something refreshing waking up in a home that leaves you feeling like you just might be on vacation.  But it’s big.  It’s basically four floors of tiny houses. Hrmmmmm….maybe that’s it.

The basement doesn’t just represent husband #2.  It’s bigger than that.  It’s more than a failed marriage.  It’s excess.  The basement is an extra room that I have to force myself to spend time in because there’s no reason to go down there except to flip a breaker in the utility closet or clean Puzzle’s liter box.

Other than that, I have everything I need available to me in the other rooms.  I don’t need the basement, no different than I didn’t need the husband that spent all his time down there.  It’s guilt.  It feels excessive…unnecessary.  It reminds me of a life I lived that didn’t feel authentic.

Somehow, over the next 30 days, I’m going to find a way to let this go.  I’m going to figure out how to unpack and unburden myself of this guilt without selling and buying a tiny house.  (At least not yet.)  

I’m not sure how, but this isn’t the first time I’ve accomplished something that I had no idea how I’d tackle.  My career being one consecutive unplanned victory after another followed by a successful early retirement (so far…knock on wood).  

So yet again, I find myself unpacking boxes only to discover new emotional baggage.   But that’s the point right?  That’s growth.


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