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Hanging On 

"Change is good." This is something I've heard many times in my life. But in these situations, more often than not, the "change" in question involves losing something or giving something up — otherwise we would not have to be reminded of the "goodness" that awaits us at the other end of said transitional period.

This month in "Smart Designs" (page 6), homeowner John Fernandez talks about bringing a different focus to his new condo by thinning his collection of European antiques in favor of a more contemporary look: "I thought it would be difficult to let go of some of those things, but I found it very cathartic."

Now, because he is an interior designer who frequently helps his clients edit their furnishings and because he was looking back on a purging process he had already come through, I made a real effort to suspend my disbelief and consider the idea of having a positive attitude while letting go of things to which you have grown attached.

But in truth, I am simply not that kind of person. The last time I moved, I had to have two friends coach me — goad me — into throwing things out. And though I acquiesced to most of their decisions, when they went home at the end of the day, I secretly went back and fished out a few things I wasn't quite ready to let go of. And it is with a mixture of pride and shame that I admit to being inordinately pleased with myself when, shortly after the move, a visitor to my new place admired one of the rescued items — the vindication of a pack rat.

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