#SoCS: Boxes, boxes, boxes!

This post is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday blog hop. Linda Hill posts a prompt every Friday; see https://lindaghill.com/2020/09/25/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-sept-26-2020/. This week’s prompt is “container.” Use the word “container” any way you’d like. Or think about a container of some kind and write about it. Enjoy!

I almost didn’t do a Stream of Consciousness Saturday post today, because I am super-busy. Then I looked at the prompt and had to write, because the prompt connects nicely to why I’m super-busy: I’m moving, and I’m supposed to be putting stuff in boxes. And, duh, boxes are containers.

I could wax metaphorical about how moving makes you put your whole life in containers or how going to a new place frees you from the metaphorical box you’ve built for yourself in the old place, but I don’t have the bandwidth to pull any of that off effectively. I will say, though, that I enjoy moving to new places, because relocating provides an opportunity for me to hit the reset button on my life. New place, new job, new house, new friends, new activities… I can rethink what I want in my life at this time and design my life in the new place accordingly. This move in particular feels like the beginning of a new chapter for my husband and me. Our son will live in a guest house on our new property, so he (and we) will have more independence. We won’t quite be empty-nesters, but it’s a step toward that. I’ll have less land to cultivate and take care of, which will be a challenge for an obsessive gardener like me but will also be liberating. No more finding someone to water while we’re on vacation (new yard will be small enough to put everything on drip irrigation with a timer). No more spending hours on weeding and watering and tidying up. I’ll still get to garden, but it can be more about fun and less about being a slave to outdoor chores 9 months out of the year.

As I age, I find my interests changing and want to prioritize my time differently. I’d like more time for writing and travel, which means I need to cut back on other, lower-priority tasks. I hope the new place will help me do that. I hope it will be the right container for the life I hope to build.

#SoCS: To be uncollared

This post is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday blog hop. Linda Hill posts a prompt every Friday; see https://lindaghill.com/2020/09/11/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-sept-12-2020/. This week’s prompt is “collar.” Use it as a verb, a noun, or metaphorically.

One of my first thoughts when seeing this week’s prompt was that a collar is a form of restraint. We put collars on dogs to restrain and control them. Police collar suspects. I suspect my mind went immediately to the idea of restraint, because I’m entering a new chapter of my life, and I want to be less restrained.

I’ve accepted a new position in a new city (Tucson, Arizona), and we’re in the process of selling our house, buying another, packing, and clearing out clutter. Moving to a new place and taking a new job are always opportunities to rethink what you want in life, to design a new life that meets your current needs. That’s what I’ve been thinking about lately.

We want our new place to have a separate space for our son, so he can continue transitioning to independent adulthood. I’m planning to—horrors—downsize my gardening so it’ll be easier for me to travel, and I can spend more time writing and relaxing instead of watering and weeding. And we’re going to downsize on the home front—at least a little bit—so we can spend less on a mortgage and more on travel and other experiences. In other words, we want to be less restrained.

I feel like I’ve spent most of my life with various restraints—family obligations, mostly, but also budget, pets, garden, too much stuff… you know, just like everybody else. But as I get older, I want less of that. I want to be untethered—or at least less tethered—so I can do more of what I want to do and less of what I have to do. This old dog wants to loosen her collar a little, maybe trade it for a lighter, less-restraining model. This old dog wants to be free.