It was one of those quiet moments where you don't feel the sharpness of the pain until later. I have a dear friend in my life who volunteers at least five hours a week to help us clean and manage our house (Amazing!) She and I were going through an over stuffed bookcase and came to a shelf of gardening books. I realized that while our yard is lovely due to regular visits from yard care professionals and co-vegetable gardening with another family, my days as a gardener are behind me. It is probably at least two years since I had opened any of these books. It was time to find new homes for most of them. By the end of our sorting I plan to only keep three of them.
On a later shelf, I came to the last of my professional editing books. A few years back I parted with my science editing library. These remaining books were a set of style manuals and a few favorite books on the art of writing. Again I realized it was at least 3 years, if not more, since I had looked at them. It felt like they were from another life. Time for them to go.
I am trying to squarely face the losses in my life while also simplifying what is around me to make life as easy as possible to live. It was relatively easy to put the books in the 'go' pile. It is a much harder thing to accept that the roles of editor and gardener are no longer on my life resume.