To-Do List #44: Move All My Stuff Out Of My Parent's House - CHECK!

Hello fun crate of awesome-ness!
I finally checked off #44 from my To-Do List.  I got all my stuff out of my parent's house.  And it only took 13 years.

Granted, they took care of the decision making for me by choosing to move across the country.  But, its still exciting to know that all my stuff is now in ONE location.  No more nomadic wandering around the Earth, I have put down roots.  I have established a real, adult-like life for myself.  And I brought all my crap with me!

The only downside is that now I am even further away from #21: keep a minimal wardrobe/house.  We hung up the pictures in the living room tonight and I immediately thought 'ugh, there's too much stuff on the walls!'.  If I want to "decorate", I'll probably have to get over that.  

The other issue, which isn't necessarily a downside, is what to do with all the stuff that I want...but I don't really want.  Like my high school yearbooks.  Sure, I want them, I just don't want to store them.  Which is why they have been hiding in my parent's house for well over a decade.  What to do with these semi-treasured but totally annoying and bulky heirlooms?  Will I eventually part with them after now shipping everything across the Pacific?  Will I hold onto it to avoid dealing with how frustrating that question is to answer?  Only time - and storage space - will tell.  


Donʻt Compare Yourself to These Photos - EVER

I came across an article today about how Sharon Stone (55) opted not to undergo plastic surgery.  She touts the virtues of aging gracefully and the certain sex appeal only nature can provide.  Umm...except then I realize the photo caption was supposed to be her.  I did a triple take because the "girl" on the cover looks about 15 years old...but it is in some way an image that began as Sharon Stone.  The photo and article in New You magazine is beyond ironic - its painful.

It sickens me to know that we compare ourselves to pictures that are so clearly doctored and tampered with, assuming quite naturally that they are a completely benign 'little slice of life'.  And we look to these unattainable images for inspiration or even aspiration! 

Thumbs up for the message Sharon is sending about aging with dignity.  But thumbs down to the caption being placed under an image of a 55 year old woman with not a gray hair in sight, not one wrinkle on her face and teeth so white and straight they [insert joke about my sheltered upbringing here].  This is NOT what a 55 year old woman looks like.  Ever.

I love this Pinterest board because she does a great job of pointing out, from a technical perspective, why these images are so ridiculous and draws attention to just how damaging they can be.  Let's make sure to keep a realistic perspective on what we look at in the media and take these celebrity proclamations with a grain of salt.       


Saying Goodbye to My Childhood Home

From 5 years old, I have lived in the same house on the corner.  It had evolved over the years, as the living creature that is a home will often do, but it remains stoic to me - a place I can always return to.  After 30 years my parents have finally decided to leave the Northwest for good, house included.  Our recent trip was primarily centered around packing and cleaning. 

On our final morning I woke up bright and early while the house was still quiet.  It didn't really hit me until that moment.  This was the last time I would look at Ashworth Avenue from the inside of this house.  These halls, windows, patio, etc. would never again be part of my family.  My children will happily eat ice cream on a porch, but it won't be this same brick one where I stood and took a picture on my first day of school.  I don't know if I would describe the feeling as sad, so much as strange.  

I'm happy for my parents, overjoyed really, and I know that we can all be at home in Wisconsin, too.  However, some small part of me, a part I must have missed while weaning myself off the sentimentality associated with physical objects, longs for things like my childhood home to never change.  


Summer Time in the Northwest

The weather was uncannily beautiful, the fun was non-stop, the goodbyes were casual, and now our 5 week summer in the mainland has come to an end.

Though all these pictures are of Mr A's family, the majority of my trip was spent helping my parents prepare for a cross-country move.  Their first move in 30 years.  It's finally time to say sayonara to my childhood home.  I've spent the last few years starving off any sentimental feelings I have for physical possessions - however, standing in "my room" on that last morning was tough.  Strange.  The anxious feeling of staring over the brink.  I will never be inside that house again.  Arrg.  It's just weird.

I was happy to come home, exhausted and desperately needing a vacation from my vacation.  Less than 24 hours later I am back at work, questioning everything about my life.  And I do mean everything.  How will we cope with all these upcoming changes?  What do I want to do for work next year?  How am I going to get that book published?

I'm glad that we still have a little sniff of summer left.  Gives me time to prep and reflect and enter the new year (since it seems I will forever live by the academic calendar) with fresh eyes.  Thanks for a gorgeous time, Great Northwest and all your inhabitants.  We'll be back again soon!