Last spring my mother in law had to move into a nursing home. She had lost her leg and as a result she now needs constant help. Before this happened she lived in a house all by herself so it was really hard for her to leave everything behind. We spent weeks driving back and forth collecting everything she wanted to keep: furniture, dishes and vases, glasses and table linens. My mother in law remembers when she bought all her things or who gave them to her which seems to give her comfort. She has a fairly big appartement in her nursing home, which is now pretty crammed with all her knick knacks. If we would have let her, she would even have put more things in there, but we told her that she needed space to move around with her wheelchair.

Now we are in a somewhat similar situation in which we have to leave a lot of things behind and I find myself to be very disconnected.We have a very beautiful house here in Germany, but somehow it never felt like home to me. Our kids have just moved out this summer to go to University in Bremen/ Germany and Utrecht/ Netherlands. I find it hard to rob the kids of their childhood home and I feel a bit guilty about that, but I do not feel sentimental about selling the house. In Zurich we will live in a smaller appartement with just a third of the space we have right now, but I do not mind. I feel strangely relieved.

We have accumulated so many stuff, we hardly ever used. There are very few personal items that are important to me. For example I would not want to miss my camera, but I don’t care about the furniture, the dishes or books. I have no trouble selling stuff or giving it to charity. I want to do things that I love, experience life, meet people. I never want my home to be filled with useless stuff again. In my years to come I don’t want to remember on which day I bought this cup or chair, I want to remember, what I did, what I saw and who I shared this experience with. I might have to give up my house or my things but my memories I can keep wherever I move.

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