Seasons to Things

One of the issues with my simplicity journey was guilt. The money, time, etc. tied up in things I considered getting rid of provided plenty of guilt to me. From what I can discern, this is a common feeling folks experience.

By no means was I prescient of this, but hindsight has provided the clarity to this issue. There is a season of things.

I wrote about this a couple weeks ago. The baseball cards that consumed me in my youth are no longer a thing for me today. Neither is the live music archive I collected or the library, Toastmasters pursuits, QuestScouts, etc. are all no longer front and center for me.

Nor are relationships with college friends, or teachers from other buildings I worked in, or the Cape May crew, etc. People come and go (Talking of Michelangelo . . . ha!).

At some point I think I considered it squandered time and resources to let these things and people go. The reality is that there is a season for all this.

I liken it to a teacher.

Think of a teacher. I may extol a certain teacher I had, but that teacher was in my life for a year. Maybe two. The importance of that relationship to me was limited. It may have taught me life lessons (I am thinking of you, Ducky), but that relationship was merely a couple years of my life.

14 June 2022

These things and people served me, but it’s not an ongoing relationship. A coloring book when I was four was special, but here at 57 is no longer needed. Is it callous to liken a person in the same way? I think not.

Friends in the dorm when I was 18 were wonderful, but we all grew up, went our own ways, and forged a life that is not anchored in that dorm room. That time is over.

A simple life is not found by holding onto all this. Sure, if there were occasion to meet up with the college crowd, or my childhood friends, etc. it would be pleasant to reunite to reminisce. But it is not something/someone that/who is likely to re-anchor in my current life.

David Somers comes to mind. My best friend from childhood is someone I have not seen in 30 years. If we were able to hang one day and reminisce, that would be great. But I am under no illusions that we will forge an ongoing relationship that will influence my day-to-day. The season for that friendship is over.

I do still have three friends that have persisted over time, but even those have morphed. We once interacted daily as dormmates. Then it became roommates. Then we went off in different directions. We do occasionally reunite. We keep the friendship alive a couple times a year, but these check-ins just demonstrate that the relationship is different these days. The season of being roommates is over. That is fine. We are 57-year old men; we don’t need to be each other’s roommates these days.

So, it isn’t callous. Things should be even easier to recognize that the season comes and goes. As a veteran teacher, I am preparing for the time when I cut ties with y teaching stuff. Already, I no longer have the bags to transport the things between work and home. I no longer keep teacher supplies at my home. My teaching season is almost over and so is my relationship with all the things associated with it. So too with all the people I work with. These people I see daily during the academic year will no longer be daily interactions.

It is all A-okay. Invoking Dr. Seuss (although he didn’t really say this):

Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.

Rather, I look forward to the next round of stuff/relationships. Just tomorrow, my daughter will become an adult. Odd, today she’s a child; 24 hours from now she’ll be an adult. Tomorrow, my relationship with my daughter will change. We will go from child-parent where she has to come to my place on schedule to child-parent peers. This new stage will no longer be directorial but grounded in commonalities. I look forward to this time.

Eventually, even that relationship will change. She may marry, have a career, and drop a grandchild. Those actions will once again change the relationship. As her seasons change, so will our relationship. It’s all good. It’s all exciting. It’s all temporary.

Again, I did not have this idea when I began my journey. This has revealed itself since I arrived at maximum efficiency. My thinking is being aware of this keeps the guilt associated with the removing of things/people and pursuing a simple life at bay.

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