Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Letting Go

I have to admit, I have a problem.

I have such a hard time letting go of my vintage treasures. I'll buy something and put it away thinking "I can make something amazing with this". And there it will sit - unused, just waiting for the day when I have the time and energy to do something amazing.

But sometimes life throws you a curve ball. After two and a half years of being a widow, I reconnected with the man I fell in love with almost 30 years ago. We started talking and then visiting and finally decided that we couldn't stand to be apart. We decided that the best thing was for me to move to the west coast and the rest, as they say, is history.

Getting ready to move was daunting. I finally had to face the fact that I had way too much stuff. I had boxes and cabinets packed with vintage magazines, maps, music, jewelry and purses. I had bought most of it with the intention of selling it online and I'd had some success (a bunch of 1950s magazine ads for Guinness beer had kept us in groceries for a month or two) but mostly it was just piling up.

It's amazing how making a new start will let you look at the things around you with fresh eyes. I realized that I was literally holding on to the past and I needed to start letting go. I was pretty brutal. I sold a huge amount of my craft supplies through Kijiji and sent bags and bags of stuff to our local thrift store. I got rid of at least three quarters of my purses. I threw away so much junk that the city garbage collectors wouldn't pick it up! I didn't get rid of everything - my son was remaining in the apartment so I was able to store a fair amount of the good stuff - but I made a lot of progress. Everything I got rid of took me closer to the future I wanted and I felt lighter with each decision.

I could only take the essentials when I moved. I was going from a two bedroom flat that had one entire room devoted to my stuff to a one bedroom apartment with next to no storage space. I was travelling across the country by plane and the most I could bring was four pieces of checked luggage (three rubbermaid bins and my suitcase), two carry-ons and the cat. Of course, one of those bins was full of my favourite vintage treasures and craft supplies - like I said, the essentials!

Since moving I've continued to collect but this time I promised myself I'd make a business out it and I think I've made a pretty good start with my Etsy store and on Ebay. I still can't resist the occasional purse but I have strict guidelines; I only collect box purses now (remind me to show you my new lime Lifesaver tin purse) and I've been really good about it.

Still, tucked into my collection of cigar boxes or sitting in my minuscule work area are those treasures that call to me to be creative. I've been here for over a year now - maybe it's time for me to finally try something amazing.

Stay tuned, when I do you'll be the first to know!