Clinton Seniors' Centre sign, 2017. Photo credit: Barbara Roden

Rockin’ and Talkin’ With the Clinton Seniors’ Association

Travel light and try not to gather too much is a good rule to live by

“Two sounds of Autumn are unmistakable: the hurrying rustle of crisp leaves blown along the street by a gusty wind, and then the gabble of a flock of mighty geese.”

Hal Borland

It was exciting for me during the first fall, and during falls thereafter, when I could hear, but barely see, the flocks of Sandhill cranes high overhead flying south. What a thrill!

Oh, fall! There are so many reasons to love this season. Where do I begin? The weather is just about perfect; it makes it absolutely ideal to enjoy a walk and take in the beautiful landscape the Cariboo has to offer, of yellows and golds and oranges against a dark green background of evergreens and a brilliant blue sky.

November 2021 will be memorable for many Clinton seniors who are moving to the new Clinton Creek Estates. It is so exciting, exhausting, anticipated, stressful, and so many more adjectives that can be used to describe this event. There will be mixed feelings for every new resident. That is to be expected. Downsizing to a smaller space is not easy, but can be very positive.

When deciding what to take to your new location, be ruthless. Take only items and clothes that fit your current lifestyle.

It’s difficult for elderly people to make such a big change, because they aged in a time where thrift and “make do” were high on the list. Throwing away good, useful things did not come easily to our parents and grandparents, or even to some of us. Who among us saved string, buttons, and other such good things?

If you want to keep more than you’ll have the space for, and will have to rent a storage locker, think hard about that decision. Do you want this enough to pay to store it? Can you afford to store it? Are you keeping it for someone else or for yourself? When will you see it again or use it again?

There comes a time when you have to give up the role of “keeper of everything”. Do you still have things that belong to your children or friends? Give them back their belongings and let them take on the decisions about where it will go.

You really have to know if everything you want to take will fit in to your place. I have a cousin who took so many items from his parents’ house that his own place ended up looking like a furniture store, and a crowded one at that.

Unless it’s an exceptionally valued treasure, think of it as just material stuff. You may find someone in your life who will treasure and enjoy the item as much as you do, but that’s not generally the case. Don’t attach expectations to such items, such as expecting to see it prominently displayed in their home.

Donate as much as you can to charity; there are organizations that would benefit from your generosity. Have a yard sale. Sell items online. You’ll not usually get what you think it’s worth or what you paid for it, but you might end up with a little cash. Free items at your curb have a way of disappearing fairly quickly. Somebody needs that good item, only you didn’t know who the somebody was to give it to.

You might want to take a photo of a favourite item that is going to a new home. Enjoy the memories associated with the item and appreciate the role it played in your life.

Just a word about photo albums and framed pictures. If you are keeping them for future generations, find the time to put identifying information such as names, dates, etc. on the back of the pictures, otherwise they are virtually useless and of little interest to the ones who inherit them.

Keep only the things that you will use every day. The freedom that comes with downsizing is unbelievable. Life becomes much easier and very stress-free. With fewer things to care for you will have more time to enjoy life and your hobbies. You will not be leaving someone else to deal with all the things you have accumulated over the years. You will enjoy the items you choose to keep in your space because they are treasures to you and bring you pleasure, and you will have room to display them properly.

New rule to live by: travel light and try hard not to gather too much going forward. It’s a liberating feeling!

The next regular meeting of the Clinton Seniors’ Association is Nov. 18 at 1 p.m. at the Clinton Seniors’ Centre, 217 Smith Avenue, followed by the Annual General Meeting.

There are no member birthdays to celebrate in November.

“How beautiful the leaves grow old. How full of light and colour are their last days.”

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