Letting Go of Attachments


I have discovered lately (as if I didn’t know this already !) that I get deeply, and I mean DEEPLY, attached to things, places, and people.  I get so attached that when the time comes to let go, I resist it with all of my might.  The past few weeks have made me even more aware that the time has come for me to address this attachment issue with myself.  I need to teach myself HOW to LET GO when it is necessary.

The first step that I’m taking is to address the issue of a new car.  T has been on my case for over two years to get a new vehicle.  I drive a big SUV gas guzzler.  I have a commute to work, and it gets expensive.  It’s an unnecessary expense.   I’m the only one in that big car most of the time.  We no longer haul a bunch of kids around.  There is a problem with the transmission.  It is stuck in four-wheel drive at all times now.  I’m missing some weather-stripping along one window (driver’s side) so that means I get rained on and wet.  But hey, that all depends on the weather!

I promised T a long time ago (years now) that I would look for a new car.  I had one all picked out.  I brought T to take a look prior to making the purchase, and the dealer stopped speaking directly to me.  I’m sure you ladies out there know what I mean.  He talked to my husband about the car.  I was no longer the person making the purchase.  I was offended by the salesperson’s condescending manner, so that nixed the deal.  I continued to drive my beloved Trooper.  I told T that I really wanted to see her turn over 100K miles.  That was about 20K miles ago now.

The time has finally come.   It’s time to retire the old girl, and it is about ready to kill me.  I have a new car all picked out, and I’m actually kind of excited about it.  It’s small and sporty, and it will be fun to drive.   Still, I will miss my old Trooper.

We have been sorting through the rest of my parents’ possessions these past couple of weeks.  The stuff from Mom’s apartment has already been sold at an auction last weekend.  We have gone through everything in the attic of the house and all of the main level rooms.  All we have left now is the basement and my dad’s office.  I’ve had to go through the pile of things I had intended on keeping three times now.  Each time I have been able to whittle a few more things out of the keeper pile. I am hanging onto much less than I had originally intended.  Knowing that someday my children will be stuck with what I keep has helped me let go of many items.  As soon as we’re done with this sorting, hopefully within the next week or so, the auctioneer will come take everything out of the house, and we’ll be left with a blank slate.

T is excited.  He wants to be able to  get in the house and start making improvements.  He’s ready to start painting and ripping up carpet.  Mostly, he’s excited by the thought of a rental income.  It really will help to offset the monstrous tuition payments we make each month.  The thought of a renter in that house does NOT excite me.  I can feel myself resisting it already.  I can’t imagine SOMEONE ELSE living in that house.  The screening process is going to be rigorous, which T tells me may be illegal.  Obviously, this will have to be the next issue that I tackle.

I tried to sell T on the idea of a “beach house.”  We could decorate it in fun colors, use festive fabrics, and buy funky kitchenware and utensils.  We could create a retreat, and it would only be a mile away from home.  Yeah…and it’s not on a beach.  He looked at me like I was crazy, so it looks like I have no choice but to adjust to the idea of renters living there.

There have been so many changes, too many changes.  I have been dragging my feet and hanging on with both hands to all of the things that I have loved in the past.  It’s time to pry my gasping little fingers off, take a deep breath, and face the future with a smile.  There ARE things to smile about.  I have several work conferences coming up, and I’m looking forward to seeing some old friends.  Em and I will be going on our annual “chick trip” to Chicago in a week or so.  This year, we will be celebrating her 18th birthday!  Best of all, though, T has finally relented and agreed to let me get a puppy.  The girls and I are excited beyond belief.  I’m going to wait for a couple of months for the weather to warm up, but I can’t wait to have a addition to our family.

The picture below is certainly going to date me, but this image keeps running through my mind.  I love the sense of freedom, anticipation, exhilaration, exuberance, and promise.  Those are the things that should define our lives, looking with anticipation to the next day and the next, not clinging to the past.

“When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”

~ Alexander Graham Bell

2 thoughts on “Letting Go of Attachments

  1. I understand attachments and letting go–it’s a tough life lesson that keeps testing us.

    My sister and I divided up our mother’s things after she died. As the years passed, we were able to let go of more and more. Some of the letting go I regret, but I am at the place where I have to think about what I am leaving behind for my children. Life is a journey, life is a process.

    A new puppy will be good for you! Pets are a wonderful way to transition.

  2. I too am terrible about letting things go (I can see how suprised you are). The family home that my mother sold in 2005? I still dream about it, can’t talk about it, couldn’t drive past it until a year ago. My mom died five years ago, and I still have most of her stuff packed in boxes. I can’t bear to unpack them. I know how much she would scold me for this too, as she kept so very little. She even sold her wedding dress. And I can’t help but imagine how much pleasure Kelsea will have going through generations of accumulated stuff. (OK, maybe NOT.)

    But I am learning lessons about transience and permanence and where important things live. Important things live in hearts, not things. If they are important enough, you will not need the thing to remind you and to remember.

    And SO thrilled about the puppy!! Any particular kind in mind?

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