Major life changes like retirement and relocation mean letting go of the past. Sometimes that isn’t easy to do. Sometimes we cling to things because we aren’t ready to accept that those things are part of a previous life and are no longer needed.
When Mr. MT Nest and I lived in south Florida, we celebrated St. Patrick’s Day each year by hosting a party. We invited friends and neighbors and each year the party seemed to grow larger. We would begin making plans for the party in January and would mail the invitations the day after Valentines Day.
We rented tables and chairs and set them up around the pool. (March is actually a great time to host an outdoor party in south Florida.) The bar was set up in a corner of the patio. The buffet table in the dining room held chafing dishes filled with the traditional Irish American fare of corned beef, cabbage, and boiled potatoes. Of course, there was also a variety of appetizers, accompaniments, and desserts. The year when the guest list reached its zenith, I prepared 10 corned beef briskets. 30 pounds of potatoes, and 7 large cabbages.
Over the years that we hosted this annual event, our guests would often bring thematic gifts, and so our collection of St. Patrick’s Day “stuff” grew. I made sure to incorporate the gifts we received into the party decor the following year. Many of the items were a bit on the tacky side, but our party decor was light-hearted and humorous. The party was a casual affair and the entire house was festooned in green, leprechauns, and shamrocks. By the time we began to prepare for our move to North Carolina, our St. Patrick’s Day stash had swelled to 6 bins full.
I downsized to one large and two small bins which came with us to North Carolina. Although I was able to pair down the items we’d accumulated, at that time I wasn’t ready to let go of all the momentos of our St. Patrick’s Day Party heyday. Today, I finally was ready to let go. I realize that it wasn’t the actual items I was so attached to, but rather what they represented about leaving our former life that I wasn’t ready to accept. Now, I am.
I am keeping a few decorative items, some dishes and serving pieces, a few tea towels, and some table linens. All the items I am keeping will fit into one small storage bin and will be used each year going forward. The rest was donated. I hope the items that I donated will find their way to someone who can truly enjoy using them as much as I did throughout all those years of hosting our St. Patrick’s Day parties.