Am I the only person who thought this week’s topic was about Fifty Shades of Grey?
Well then, in the new light in which I am thinking about the ties that bind, I’m reminded of the many times I moved. Five times in the 1990’s. During that time I had to leave a lot of stuff behind and not accumulate more stuff. This taught me, quite plainly, that while I liked my things, and while I liked nice things, I had truly come to appreciate their place and value. Which was, not much.
I’m not attached to any objects so much so that it would devastate me to lose them. I have beautiful pieces that belonged to my grandmothers.
I have incredible pottery made by my children.
I have stacks of photo albums filled with vacation pictures and pictures from random escapades with friends and family.
I have treasured framed photos, old and new.
Even my books. I love books, especially now that I have many author friends (like Dame Dana) and many of my books are signed.
But if I didn’t have the stuff—I’d still have the friends, the family, the memories. I love to look at my stuff. I like knowing it’s there. But take it all away and I’d be just fine.
The truth is, people bind me. No pun intended. I live in a town that is neither a gastronomic nor cultural mecca. The closest bookstore is 30 minutes away. There’s no mall. There is nothing resembling anything social for a 48 year old single mom within a 30 mile radius. It’s accessible to Chicago (the bright spot) but accessible means 50 minutes on the train. It’s a town that I’ve dubbed “a great place to raise children” because that’s the truth. And it looks really pretty at Christmas, even to this Jewish mother.
So why do I stay? It’s not because I raised my kids in this house. I’m not attached to the house, although I love it. I’d love something smaller. Mostly, I’d love something without what were once charming “original bathrooms.”
Yet, I am bound to this town and this house because of my kids. They’re both attending college in the Midwest, one will start in September and be two hours north. The other is 4 hours East.
I’m also willingly bound to this town by 14 years of friendships and a sense of community.
Clearly, I know their place and value, as well.
I do think about the day I can go somewhere new with a smattering of familiar and comforting belongings. And at that time, if I’m lucky, I’ll get all tied up in the next part of my life. Hopefully I’ll be somewhere bound for fun and adventure with family and friends, old and new.