Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Changing Life (4)

I must try not to be too self-indulgent and post too much about our retirement news (!) but a number of things have already struck in the transition, in particular about my library.

Downsizing is rarely easy but I confess how hard it has been to give away books. I have always loved having books around and for years have enjoyed collecting and reading an ever-growing library. In the past, large rooms for studies and offices have positively encouraged hoarding!  Since coming to seminary I have been treated to a constant stream of publisher's donations,  sometimes for endorsements, which have jostled alongside new books purchased for particular preaching foci.  However, last year I began the painful process of thinning out books and I have since given away over a thousand books.   I will greatly exceed that target by the time I have finished. In fact, my future limited shelving space in Cambridge means that over 90% of my library will go.  Oh, it has been painful saying goodbye to so many volumes which had become friends. 

And saying goodbye sometimes comes with cruel reality checks as I realize I cannot possibly read all that I once hoped to delive into.  For example, I have collected books on particular subjects that I was going to dive into,  that I even imagined that I could write books about, but I now realize time is running out! I remember an athletic deacon in my first church saying that he had suddenly realized that certain things would never happen for him, like playing cricket for England. I remember being amused, but then realizing he was being serious.  (I appreciate US friends would not likely take this seriously anyway!)   Yes, what once seemed limitless pastures are now ring-fenced.  I am grateful that I shall still be able to graze but I can see a fence.

Enough of my ruminations. Thanks for reading - I know many of my peers feel similar downsizing strains, don't you? 

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