Join Our Mailing List
I spent the past week moving. Please, if I ever say I want to move again, just shoot me and put me in a box. What was I thinking? Well, I was thinking that it would be nice to live in a bright, shiny new place with high ceilings, white plantation shutters, and a deck off of the master bedroom, that’s what I was thinking.
What I wasn’t thinking was how much hard labor would be involved. In fact, after suffering charley horses and muscle spasms for the past three nights, I’m sure giving birth would be preferable to moving, and much less painful!
For some reason I still can’t explain, I never seem to factor in my age and the fact I’ve had breast cancer twice, when it comes to agreeing to do stupid physical things. I want to be one of those women who runs marathons or climbs mountains after recovering. I seem to be much better at making mountains out of molehills, which is sort of where this story is leading.
At what point do I truly learn to trust that things will work out? I think part of my problem is that I’m old enough to know that things always do work out, but not always the way I would like. And I’d bet any woman who has been diagnosed with breast cancer can say the same thing. Up until the moment I heard the words ‘you have breast cancer’ I was a very trusting person. I trusted that things would work out because they always had. In my previously perfect world, when I went to the doctor with a lump, ache or question, I got the answer I wanted. The lump was nothing, the ache would go away, and the question had such a great answer I would sometimes give a sigh of relief. Not so funny how things change, huh?
Anyway, let’s get back to the story at hand.
Even I knew I didn’t want to move things that have been packed in a garage for four years, so I decided it was high time for (horror of horrors) a garage sale. If only you could just sell the garage! I was in my late 20s the last time I did this. Back then I was selling macramé plant hangers, albums I didn’t want, candles made with sand, and clothing that no longer fit me. Fast forward 30 years and I’m amazed to see that I have a box with macramé plant hangers, albums I can no longer play, what used to be sand candles (the sand has long since vanished, leaving behind some pretty disgusting blobs of wax) – and clothing that no longer fits me. Imagine my surprise!
Sure, I did have some lawn equipment, wine glasses, a hot dog cooker, and the purple cowboy boots I’d only worn once because they gave me blisters. I loved those boots, and I was sure someone else would too.
So, on the first day of the sale people flocked around offering me 50 cents for this and a dollar for that. I had decided early on I wasn’t going to worry about the money; I just wanted to get rid of everything so I didn’t have to carry one more box to the truck.
I sold my purple cowboy boots. Yippee! I sold a tie dyed outfit from the late 70s. Yahoo! Someone bought my vintage dresses. Someone else had to have the canvas gazebo we had just purchased two months ago. I didn’t even cringe when they offered to pay 1/3 of what it cost. It weighed a ton, so truth be told; I probably would have paid them just to take it.
By the end of the day three of our five tables were empty. The clothes were dwindling and the books were disappearing. I’d gotten over letting my jaw drop when someone wanted me to reduce an item marked at a quarter. After all, we are in a recession. My misgivings about holding a sale seemed so unfounded. I just knew everything would be gone the following day.
What was gone were the customers. I got up bright eyed and bushy tailed on Sunday morning. Okay, okay, my tail was bushy and so was my hair, have you ever tried to find where you put your brush when you’re in the midst of a move? At 7:00 am I was ready. At 8:00 am I was ready. By 9:00 am I was ready to cry. All I could see were tables filled with stuff I didn’t have the energy or ability to move. I could see my picture in the local paper getting caught trying to dump it all behind the neighborhood supermarket.
I knew the books could be donated to Friends of the Library, and the clothing could be given to the local women’s shelter. In my heart of hearts, that felt even better than making money selling everything. But what in heaven’s name was I going to do with everything else?
At just about the moment I began to feel a super sized panic attack approaching, my husband drove past the house in the U-Haul truck and said ‘I found something that is really going to excite you!’ I hoped he had somehow managed to befriend Colin Ferrell. (I know, I know!) When I looked up the street I saw a man pushing a huge dumpster in my direction. I realized there should be a new category for sexiest man alive. It’s a man pushing a dumpster when you’ve got tons of stuff you need to throw away (or maybe it’s the husband who found the guy – I’ll leave that up to you!)
I think everyone was pretty surprised when I burst into tears. That’s how tired (and grateful) I was. Even in that moment I realized all of my worrying and fretting had done nothing but upset me. Does a guy with a dumpster always materialize? No. Of course not. Or he might materialize in the midst of a fancy dinner party, and that just wouldn’t be the same.
I feel that his showing up when he did was a message I really needed to embrace (and remember). I cannot control what is going to happen, and all of the worrying in the world will not change that, so at the very least I need to trust that things will work out the way they are supposed to.
And speaking of trust. Anyone want a couple of old Doobie Brothers albums? I’m sure they are going to be worth a fortune one of these days.