The Things I Left Behind

I’ve just moved to a new town.

In a last minute decision I decided to leave my ipod speakers at my parents house.  I have my radio, my computer, headphones for my ipod – how many ways of listening to music does a person need?  I have not missed them.  When I wake up I listen to the Today Programme on the radio, and the other times I am in my bedroom I am either reading (and not listening to anything) or writing (on computer so using computer speakers, or concentrating too hard to listen to music.  The only time I use my ipod is when I’m out running, in which case headphones are a more appropriate choice.

I also choose not to bring my wall calendar (I know, small victories, but I’m new to this game).  I’ve torn the pages out of my calendar and stuck them to the wall so you can see several months at a time, and things that are coming up months in advance.  But I’ve decided it’s probably time to curb my excessive looking to and planning for the future.  Seeing time spread out like that wasn’t doing me any favours since I know that I ought to live more in the present moment.   Besides, one of it’s functions was to cover up the holes in the wall – something that I don’t have to worry about here.  In fact I’m enjoying the clean white space.  Yesterday I did write up the Escapists Manifesto and prop it up on my desk but apart from a stack of satsumas it is the only thing on there at the moment (typing is done on my laptop, sat in my bed).

Considering how full to bursting my wardrobe used to be, I haven’t brought many clothes.  I found myself surprised this morning when I open my wardrobe to find 3 skirts, 3 dresses, and only half a dozen tops and sweaters.  It has dramatically reduced my morning ah-what-should-I-wear panic.  I used to try on loads of different outfits before settling for something.  I can’t do this any more and it has saved me a lot of time and pointless anxiety.

When it started raining on my fluffy boots today I did start to wish I had brought my Doc Martin’s with me.  I started to worry about when I was going to go to my parent’s house and pick them up, ah! anxiety when-is-my-next-free-weekend-it-better-not-rain-again-before-then.  I had to really remind myself that I had my walking boots with me, which are comfy and waterproof.  It doesn’t matter if they aren’t as fashionable, I will cope.  I need to stop feeling anxious about what I look like and planning outfits in my head.  It will be okay to wear walking boots with a skirt.  Nobody is going to die.

One thing that I could have done with bringing is my passport.  I forgot that you need to show it for a CRB check (only about the tenth one I’ve had to fill out…) and now it’s going to have to be posted to me.

On the other hand, my special mug turns out to be not that special.  I can drink tea out of anything and my landlady’s mugs are more than okay.  That will teach me to be so possessive over certain objects.

I didn’t bring any of my massive collection of crafty things, and have found that it is quite a relief not to be thinking ‘I ought to be making jewellery’.  I think I must put myself under some pressure to create things because I view it as more worthwhile than watching TV or reading.  But we all need time to slob out.  While it’s nice to be surrounded my pretty things –  boxes of fabric, jars of beads, bags of wool, drawers full of pens and paint – it does lead to some needless anxiety (“ah, I really ought to make something with that”).

However, all my junk does still reside in my old bedroom.  So I will have to go back and sort it out at some point, once I have lived without it long enough to work out what is important and what isn’t.  I want to avoid keeping things because “they might come in handy one day” but on the other hand don’t want to be too rash in chucking anything away in case I regret it.  In the meantime I shall continue to ignore it.


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