Question: How do you eat an elephant?
Answer: One bite at a time.
It’s a lot to do, clearing a flat, sorting through the evidence and history of two long lives, finding new homes for everything. It’s emotionally challenging and physically exhausting. The initial prospect felt overwhelming.
A month ago it was a daunting prospect, especially with the pressure we were under form the hospital to move my dad out to the care home (hence the reason for clearing and selling the flat). I was so stressed, struggling with the enormity of the emotional responsibility as well as the time and physical implications.
Then a work colleague, a woman with her own very difficult family circumstances to deal with, gave me the advice at the beginning about this elephant I was facing.
And she was right. I needed to follow the recommendations I give my own patients: to prioritise what is important, break the task down into manageable chunks, and pace myself. I needed to slow down. In fact, I needed to stop the hamster wheel I was on and step off for a moment to plan what to do bit by bit.
And it worked.
Now the flat is only waiting for a professional coat of paint and carpet clean. We’re leaving the main pieces of furniture to give an idea of proportion to prospective buyers so those can wait for removal once the sale has gone through. It even had its first viewing yesterday.
The elephant is shrinking.
(Yes, I know it’s not an elephant but this stone dinosaur by North and South Lakes in the Catskill mountains gave me that same sense of enormity – and I do love this photo, courtesy of my lovely husband)