Reflections on Pandemic Liminal Space, Between Past and Future

Between What Was & What Will Be...

It’s been over a year since the COVID-19 pandemic hit us. We’ve all experienced things we couldn’t have imagined. For those who have lost family members or friends or suffered from the virus themselves, it has been devastating. For all of us, life-changing.

As we are moving out of the pandemic – I sincerely hope slowly and carefully – the insights of the past months are important to capture and use. There is value now as we formulate post-pandemic life, and in the future as we look back. Imagine 10 or 20 years from now, reading what you write now. And those who come after us will have a treasure we left behind.

I have a journal entry for each of the weeks since the end of March 2020 and using that as a base, I have written a short ebook. Besides looking back, I recorded questions and things to consider as I move forward. An important element of my particular story is that I also made a cross-country move, from Tennessee to California, during the year. Within the book you can also access a free journal that I designed just for this period of time as we progress.

I invite you to check out my Kindle book here: http://carolbrusegar.com/between-what-was-what-will-be  It will take you directly to Amazon.com. The book is just $0.99. If you are not a Kindle user, a PDF version for download is available on Gumroad for the same price: BWWAWWB on Gumroad

Here’s a more complete description:

Between What WAS and What WILL BE reflects on my experiences during the initial year of the COVID-19 pandemic which included a cross-country move. I share the insights and struggles of the months leading up to and following the actual physical transplant of my life from Tennessee to California. And I reflect on the decade I spent in Tennessee: experiences, insights, and connections to the past.

During the process I experienced:

+ Letting go of possessions

+ Transitioning relationships

+ Leaving and settling with great restrictions

+ Putting my experiences into a larger context

+ Considering what I want to be different in the future

I hope it will inspire you to embrace big endeavors regardless of the situation. May you take the opportunity of this unique time in our common history to reflect and create a post-pandemic life based on what you have experienced and learned.

 

 

When Leaving Things Behind Provides Unexpected Gifts

moving

Photo by HiveBoxx on Unsplash

Moving is a momentous event in almost everyone’s life. It may be to another part of the town or city, to another part of the state, or another state – near or far. Regardless, it is stressful. And the question of what particular THINGS mean to us is inevitably raised. We are always leaving things behind.

The value of the THINGS is joined in the struggle with other attitudes about using and reusing rather than disposing, of waste, etc. What we learned as children about all this is deep in our psyches. Given these factors, it’s no wonder we struggle with these decisions when on a tight timeline and stress is at a high level.

In my recent move from Nashville, Tennessee to Southern California, I went through all of this. I wrote about some aspects of it here: https://carolbrusegar.com/personal-liminal-space-a-cross-county-move-in-the-space-between/

Now that I have arrived, although what I shipped has not, I look at the process of leaving things behind  with a sense of wonder and gratitude. In unexpected ways possessions that didn’t go with me have been welcomed and will be enjoyed by a wide range of people. Some of them I knew, some I had just met and some were handed on to people I don’t know at all. I had not expected the re-connections and new acquaintances made in this process to be so pleasant and meaningful.

Things That Were Left Behind

A piano that had been used for practice by my daughter and by me in my role of church musician in past years, but which had not been used for quite some time, went to friends of mine. They had just decided they wanted to get a piano so that the partner newly retired – who had played in performance groups extensively in the past – could play. Their excitement soothed my conflicted thoughts about releasing this gift from my mother and warmed my heart.

A desk and matching file cabinet that I used extensively in the past couple of years but just didn’t fit into the truck went to a young teacher now teaching virtually. He had no desk and was making due with a table and subsequent crooks in his neck and shoulders. His joy in having a serviceable desk was palpable. He also took an elliptical that had been in my garage since I moved in – something I never used and he was glad to have.

This same teacher notified a couple with two sons learning virtually but without actual desks about my two additional desks. When they arrived to pick them up, she brought me a gift – a candle and and infinity scarf – in gratitude for the gift of the desks. I had a collection of crochet and latch hook projects my mother had made laying out at the time, and she was very interested in them. I had taken photos of them and was ready to let them go but didn’t know where or to whom. I offered her any items she would like and she took them all, saying she and her family would enjoy and use them. In a subsequent text she assured me she would take good care of them. She has invited me to visit their home and enjoy some Egyptian food when I visit back in Nashville.

A small white wicker nightstand was a treasure to someone I previously attended church with. Her first baby is due in January and she had been unable to find a similar item of the right size because things are backordered and out of stock these days.

Two file cabinets and a nightstand to be assembled were claimed by young people in the neighborhood looking for such items.

I learned in this process that entertainment centers aren’t in much demand these days! This was a tough one. I finally found a friend with a large enough vehicle to deliver it to a resale place, and his employee who came along to help was eyeing the piece with great interest. I asked if he wanted it and he affirmed that he did. So it went to a family connected to a friend.

I sold a nearly-new bunk bed to a couple who turned out to live just a couple of blocks away and are just beginning to serve as foster parents. The bed will be for them – children in difficult situations needing a caring space, caring people and a cozy bed.

And finally, a buffet that belonged to my parents for many years. It was not up to being shipped again and I determined I could let it go. A friend who needs more storage for materials for her home sewing  business (currently focused on beautiful face masks) was delighted to get it and pledged to take special care of it as a family treasure. She generously gave me five of her beautiful masks as a thank you for the buffet.

Beyond these meaningful re-homed items, a friend who is a genius re-distributer moved out additional miscellaneous items and got them to people who needed and appreciated them. They went to individuals and to a resale store. Knowing that so many of my things will be used by others is a great feeling.

Leaving things behind provided emotional and psychic rewards.  Sharing with others minimized the sadness of letting go of things I had used and enjoyed and even things with special meaning. I am grateful for these gifts in the midst of a busy and stressful time leading into the beginning of a new era of my life.