Many of the best things about growing older are based around the friendships we accumulate along the way. Good friends we know we can rely upon. Who we can turn to at short notice. And who always make us feel happy, comfortable and warm. Losing an old friend like that is always a shock – even if, as in this case, it is merely a much loved old jacket.
It’s true to say Trev likes to hold onto things. This is, after all, a chap who still has his Muffin The Mule Club Membership Card.
But even by his standards, this jacket has been with us a very long time. Who knew Ralph Lauren did big sizes? We certainly didn’t when we found it on sale in the US. But it was love at first sight and the raspberry coloured jacket has lived with us happily ever after. It certainly likes to travel. Indeed for the past 25 years there it is, enjoying pride of place in every one of our holiday snaps. It really should have its own website!
But last weekend, the unthinkable happened. Trev’s much loved but faded old friend was finally moved on to the big Recycling Bin in the sky. We raised a glass together, said a few words about what a good mate it had been, and wondered why it was so hard to see the jacket go. After all, letting go of the familiar is not like getting rid of memories. Memories will always be there. Perhaps whatever it is – a job, a life stage, a relationship or even a jacket – really moving on can only begin when we recognise the time is right.
People often believe that ‘hanging on in there’ is a sign of great strength. But sometimes, isn’t it better to know when to let go – and then get on and do it?
Once the jacket had finally left the premises, I asked Trev for his reflections on letting it go. Here’s what he said:
“The renewal process means letting go of things and starting to do new things. Such is the case with my much loved old red jacket. It has run its course. It is no longer the me I want to be. It’s time to move on and let go. You don’t always see this yourself. It often takes someone close to you to give you a nudge in the right direction”.