Learning To Let Go and Move On

I’ve been down with the flu, then bronchitis and generally out of sorts for over a month. Three antibiotics, two inhalers and weeks of bed rest. Seriously sick. I’ve popped into a few blogs to try and stay in touch, but frankly, it’s been tough.


Unfortunately I was also too sick to go finish the packing and move out of our house on Vancouver Island.
The process still happened without me. It had to because the house was sold. I just wasn’t part of it.
A friend wisely observed that a lung infection was a pretty clear message (from my body) to stay away from the very emotional house-closing. I was having second and third and fourth thoughts about selling that house…but it was done and there was no going back.
I loved walking my dogs at Rathtreaver Beach and knew I’d never do it again.

Very from Vancouver Island


We’d been up in November to sell most of what we didn’t want, and start some of the packing…but there was still a lot of work to do.
The weather was lousy and gray, but it reminded me of the Blustery days days we’d spent settled before a roaring fire, content to read and listen to the storms.


Luckily, my son offered to fly up and help my husband get us out of there.

Sadly, neither one had a clue what they were doing.


There are no labels or indication of contents, on any of the boxes. The writing that is on some of the boxes, was from our last move… and has no correlation to what’s in them this time. Several boxes came from the supermarket and don’t have tops. When they opened the truck I just stood there. In shock.


It looked like was a junk heap crammed into the back of a Uhaul. I had to laugh when I saw they’d left the sheets on the mattresses! Trust me, I had to. At least they rolled up my Persian carpets.

True confession here? I’m a bit of a total neurotic about how things should be done…and this didn’t even come close to my vision.

And so, this is where I learn to roll with the punches and let go of what I can not change.

Everything has now gone into storage until we decide what we’re going to do with ourselves and where we want to live.

I am grateful they didn’t arbitrarily decide to toss things I may have wanted, but my work is cut out for me when we decide to settle somewhere.


My favorite days, by far, were spent here on my deck chair. I never tired of the changing view. It was like sitting in front of a giant movie screen. There was always something interesting to see.

And now that I’ve taken this trip down memory lane, I’m sad all over again.

Time to rise to the occasion and remember why we did this. It was time. I can’t really say why it was…I just knew it was time to move on to a new adventure.

I will never skip getting my annual flu shot again. Never.


  1. My dear … what a beautiful and poignant post … I absolutely believe in mind, heart , body interrelationship. I hope your health is recovering … as well as your heart.

    Much Love dear friend.

  2. Oh, my goodness! I am so sorry to hear you have been so ill! And how awful to have to move while you are sick. Don’t worry about the unpacking, just focus on getting well! You poor thing!! You are really going through a lot right now. Hang in there!

    The Glam Pad

  3. Jennifer dear-oh I am so feeling this with you. First, I’ve been under the weather myself and am just starting to catch up. Your home and view were incredible. I loved seeing your post again of how you spent your days in that beautiful spot. I know that looking at it now makes you sad. Over time I think those lovely photos will bring sparkling memories back. That’s how I felt when my mom sold our family place at Lake Tahoe. I am so grateful that I have photos of the beauty. As for unpacking….well-it’s like you really are ‘there’ with the move, it just came to you in a truck. It’s so hard to let go of control. When your energy is back you will tackle that and make sense of it all. I am excited to hear about your next adventures. So happy I discovered your blog!
    Hope you are feeling tip top again!
    xx, Heather

    1. Thank you Heather. I hope you are totally recovered from the stresses f the holidays. You had quite a scare there!! Those memories of my days relaxing in the deck are precious. It really was the most amazing place. Interestingly, Lake Tahoe has been bantered about as a possibility. It’s close to my darling grandson and has beautiful scenery. But I also like Carmel, Napa, Santa Barbara, Maui…the talks continue. So happy to have found yours too. Looking forward to meeting you one day soon. xoxo

  4. vintagefrenchchic says:

    I love how you manage to keep you humor in tact despite being in the depths of despair! Poor thing…please get better fast. Selling your vacation home was a brave thing to do and I think you are going to be pleasantly surprised by what adventures await you.

    I am pretty sure I would have witnessed the same moving results if it had been left to my husband and son-in-law. What a headache. Kind of funny though. : )

    1. If I can find the humor in things, I survive them much better. Especially stuff like this. It’s that or cry 🙂

  5. I have moved many times, and the times it was abroad I was advised tol eave the house when the professional packers did it as I would be very upset. That was good advice. Get well soon.

  6. Jennifer, this post takes my breath away!! Seven years ago, I moved from a perfectly wonderful home, to my current little “bolt hole”. I still don’t know why. I think I felt my home was defining me, and there was so much more of me to discover. Like you, my body gave out. Cellulitis turned ugly, antibiotics, doctors, etc. Its not easy to change! Thank goodness for a couple of friends. Actually, I purged almost everything I had accumulated over the course of eleven years, and I sometimes wish I hadn’t! My daughter was ten years old at the time, and when the dust settled, I spent a month in bed, wondering who I was, drinking hot chocolate with my little girl. Its the people we have to love who define us. Get well soon!!!

    1. Oh Cynthia, that must have been so traumatic!! I’ve made rash changes many times, and lived to regret my choices. Thank heavens for dear friends!! I’ve purged my belongings once before and did regret giving away some of it, so I was pretty careful this time. We just got rid of duplicates, since I didn’t want two of everything. Sentimental things were carefully packed. Glad your doing so much better. Your Alice is a darling. xo

  7. Coulda shoulda woulda says:

    Gosh I do hope you feel better now?? It is terrible and must have been stressful to be passive against such a move. I must admit the sheets still on the bed made me laugh!! Ps they say once you have flu shits then you pretty much have to keep it up annually or the one year you don’t then you get sick. So please take care Jennifer and happy new year

    1. Very true. The flu shits, although I’m sure you meant shots. I am feeling better, but still on the inhalers. If they’ve made me more prone to the flu, it’s a further incentive to keep getting them. No going back now! HNY to you too! xoxo

    2. Coulda shoulda woulda says:

      Shit I meant shots!! Hehe but another tip is if you have radiators then put damp towels with about thirty drops of tea tree oil to cleanse the air. But also try and replenish your probiotics in your system if you have taken antibiotics.

  8. Mary Mesheau says:

    Hope you get feeling much better as the days go on. It would be exceptionally difficult to deal with a major move and the sorting that goes with that when you feel well without having to contend with strong emotions and not feeling physically up to the demands. I find that if I am a part of the change it is easier but you didn’t get to do the last bit which would leave me feeling the loss more. Having your health back will allow you to look to what exciting things lie ahead!

  9. I am so sorry you have been ill. I can’t imagine letting go and allowing someone else to pack up my belongings. I suppose with the opening of each box you will be greeted with a surprise. Breathe and enjoy! Feel better soon…

  10. Marcia Pilar says:

    I understand EACH and EVERY single word you shared here, Jennifer. When we moved in Dec of 2012, I practically packed our entire house by myself but went ahead and left my husband, son, and daughter behind to move us. Even with all my organization, it was crazy to say the least. The way they loaded those neatly stacked and marked boxes and the chaos as they arrived in our new house…eeeee. That said, as you’ve read at my blog, I am still recovering from the effects of transition. It is amazing what stress will do to the body, but don’t kick yourself for not taking the flu shot, it would have probably impaired your body even more so. This is simply your body’s way of getting rid of toxins that are built up by the stress, AND you’ll build immunity.
    Be at peace, friend. Life has a way of bringing us all kinds of good things through change.
    PS-I had a photograph almost identical to that last one, a sunrise on the last day we lived in our house of 23 years. The sun will continue to rise and set wherever we go. We just have to look for it.

    1. Thank you. Marcia!! I have always coordinated our moving, and this just feels so discombobulated!! It takes so long for a new place to feel like “home”.

  11. Oh Jennifer, lovely post.. hope you’re well by now, and have started to sort through your unmarked boxes.. its going to be a long while I’m certain till you’re straight again.. but here’s hoping soon.. strength.. and cheer coming to you .. sometimes these things happen to teach us a lesson in life.. i’m a control freak as well.. there’s only one way.. and that’s my way.. so this was a lesson for me as well.. x just go with the flow of it! hugs j

    1. Thanks so much. Being deathly ill was the only thing that could have pried my death grip off the controls of this move. xo

  12. You poor thing! That sounds just awful. Oh I related to your packing mess, that is my life too if I leave my family to their own devices. I want things done a certain way and when they’re not it makes me nuts. The sheets on the mattress lol! I think it would be worth asking if they packed any fridge food in those boxes! We sold two houses that I loved over the years, neither was grand but both in the beautiful mountains and it was hard parting with places we had such wonderful memories. Hang in there and hope you feel better soon.

    1. Oh no. I hadn’t thought of the food:-(. That wouldn’t surprise me in the least. Thanks, I’m getting there.

  13. Moving and the flu are ghastly enough independent of one another. Will send you a healing prayer. I’ve moved too many times in the last few years and while I hate it (HATE IT!), it has created some interesting opportunities. I wish you lots of adventure (the good kind) and joy going forward and I look forward to reading about it all!

    1. There are things I love about moving, but most I dislike. Thanks for your well wished! I have my eyes peeled for great opportunities.

  14. fmcgmccllc says:

    What a beautiful view. I am so sorry to hear about the illness, besides getting the flu shots now a few years ago I also got the pneumonia shot. Makes me feel better to know I have some protection.

  15. Hope you are feeling better very soon! So sorry to hear you have been so ill, you have had so much to deal with this past month. Wishing you a happy, healthy 2014!

  16. Oh boy what with your health at a low ebb, saying goodbye to a home and seeing the sheets still on the mattress – how did you manage not to fall apart? I would have been fit to be tied.
    Are fly shots the norm over there? Here, they are just for the vulnerable and those over 80.

    1. That’s a misspelled flu shot!

  17. Hello there, another one here who thought you were closing your blog. Best wishes to you as you beat the flu and then make a start on those boxes!

  18. You have a brand new planner, the “baggage” has been put in storage for now, we just need to get you well. In the mean time, you can begin to plan for your next adventure/adventures. Some people say “lean into it”, I like the saying “grab it by the balls” 🙂 I am truly excited to see what you and your hubs come up with…nothing like making new memories!

  19. YOu wereNOT meant to go back……..lets look at it that way!So sorry, you have been so sick…..I too got a viral infection for three weeks or so.NOT FUN.
    MEN………..truly a different breed.BUT THEY DID THE TASK!
    Now,I hope your not moving far away???You cannot. You have that GRANDBABY to cherish and ME to meet!

    1. But of course. Let’s “do lunch” very soon! I want to hear more about your fabulous trips.

  20. I am sorry that you have been so sick. Hope that you can rest up and beat this bug.
    Like Adrienne I thought you were saying goodbye to blogging and although it must be very sad to say goodby to your home I am relieved that you are not saying farewell to blogging.
    There is a new adventure awaiting….it will be fun to explore your options.
    Hope that you will share your thoughts with us when you have recovered from this nasty bug.
    (Last year I was sidelined with pneumonia and it took me several months to get over it so don’t rush too much you need to heal)

    1. You certainly know the subject of life transitions so well, Leslie. I followed closely as you sold your beloved boat, which was a lifestyle, then navigated retirement. I suppose most of us are in this same stage, or close to it. Fun and encouraging to share it with friends. xo

  21. oh jennifer boy do i feel for you. it’s amazing the toll our stuff takes on us isn’t it? it’s just stuff but sometimes it really does seem to control us right? ugh.

    i’ve never had a flu shot so i don’t know what to say about that. i hope you are feeling better soon and take care my friend. x

  22. I feel, feel, feel your mixed emotions. And wow – what a beautiful, peaceful, natural setting. And if you’re like me, it’s the memories associated with a place. Home sweet home, where is that, exactly? And how painful it is to tether the ties. Being so sick certainly doesn’t help. Do you remember being in school and holding out through all the studies, cramming, memorizing, taking final exams and then falling apart, sick – AFTER you were finished? I know my body, probably all of ours, holds on till we get through it – and then falls apart, exhausted when it’s passed. Lucky you have/had strapping, helping men to finish the job – albeit not how you would have done it. And you’re right. It’s done. All you can do is laugh and work your way through the unpacking. Happy new trails to you – but rest until you’re ready. One day at a time. One day at a time.

  23. Hi Jennifer, My heart goes out to you. So much on your plate and to be ill on top of everything would push me over the edge. When we over-do and have too much on our plates .. our bodies fight back. It’s been so busy for you and lots of emotional swings with the sale of the house.

    I can relate to you as my husband and I are soon to downsize. The thought of selling and moving from my home gives me an anxiety attack. We are in the “looking at options” phase and will probably choose to stay in the neighborhood, and renovate/add-on to a rental we’ve had that’s 2 miles away. This way we’d be close to friends and the trails we walk with our dogs. Deep breath and know that where you settle will end up being perfect;) Wishing you a speedy recovery! xxleslie

    1. Thank you Leslie. Your option to stay near friends and favorite spots seems perfect!! Amazing how the body “protects” us. Even while it lets us down. xo

  24. Wow, it sounds like it has been such a tumultuous and stressful time for you – sorry to hear you have been feeling so ill! I hope you are feeling better now. Well, it is done, and I do recall your previous post where you had talked about moving on to a new adventure. It is always sad saying goodbye to one stage of your life but you have so much to look forward to. Onwards and upwards!

    1. Thanks Louise!! Yes, it was time. Husband isn’t quite sure he agrees with me, but I’m always right :-D. Oy!

  25. Oh dear! Well, at least after the culling you did, you’re quite sure that everything in those boxes is worth hanging on to and eventually sorting through — and what fun you’ll have as you rediscover old favourites (we once had most of our “stuff” in storage for over a year — and when we got it to our new home, we found that we could have pruned much more severely). Sounds as if you’re on the mend now and will soon move past the lingering sense of loss into your new adventures — although I know you’ll always treasure those memories of the island. . .

  26. I was in a bit of a panic that you were saying “goodbye” to all of us! Phew!
    You poor dear. I am so sorry you’ve had such a rough last few months. This flu going around scared me enough to get vaccinated last week. I will do them annually from now on, as well.
    The Vancouver area is one of my favorite places in North America – a magical place with such natural beauty. I love it there and would feel sad to leave, too. My guess is you will visit often when your heart desires and that whatever adventures are in your future will be grand.
    Please take extra good care of yourself and don’t give another thought to your belongings until you’re fit to deal with them. Read, nap, watch Downton Abbey, if that’s your thing, and drink lots of nice teas until you’re better.

    1. Thank you Adrienne. I’ve been recording the Downton Abbey’s because I haven’t been able to stay up that late:-). Even with napping during the day!

  27. I hope you’re feeling 100% better soon. On to new beginnings and new memories 🙂

  28. Oh I’m so sorry you’ve been so sick! I think you were very smart not to go, the stress and the work could have put you in hospital. I had to laugh when I saw the truck, my husband and son would pack up the same way. The lack of labels is unfortunate but don’t worry about it for now, it can all wait until you decide what to do with it.
    It sounds like it was a beautiful spot so of course it’s a hard goodbye, that only means you created good memories there… which you get to keep!
    Rest up and then rest some more, I hope you get well soon.

    1. Thanks Dani. Good advice about resting some more. I think I stayed sick because I kept pushing myself when I thought I could!

  29. Oh Jennifer – I feel for you! It was hard enough to move, but not being there for the final packing must have indeed been torturous! I am more and more convinced that there is a cycle to things in life and that there is something equally great, but different, awaiting you! But dear god! No labelling of boxes? a pox on them!

    We sent the kids for flu shots last week – it has been a bad winter!

    1. Interesting how our countries view that so differently!

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