Letting go of things

08 September 2022
Luciana and her dog Eva
Luciana and her dog Eva - Luciana Podschun

Luciana Podschun describes her summer during the heatwave and how she has found a new place to live.

This summer has been one of the warmest on record in the UK. The heat affects us all in different ways, some look happier, healthier and more relaxed, while others will just moan regardless of the weather. Summer is my favourite time to hang out with friends, have parties, barbecues, and picnics or go for hikes to a remote beach. There is also the more mundane and practical side of summer, where people choose to make use of the energy the sun brings us and the extra sunlight hours to move houses and pack and unpack. This was my case this summer. In summary, I love summer, especially as I come from a tropical country.

COVID-19 has impacted many people’s lives in a variety of ways, some of them unexpected, such as how it has changed the housing market and in particular the home rental market. There is a shortage of rental stock, with the offer dropping dramatically. I felt this myself, and our situation was made even more difficult as we have our dog. Eva is an 8-year-old border collie whom I brought from Brazil almost 2 years ago. Eva is very well trained, and we consider her part of the family. We were forced to move house, and we had 4 months to find a new place that accepted pets. It was a very stressful period, trying to find a place that met many requirements, such as being close to town, having easy access to public transport, being close enough for my youngest to go either walking or cycling to the school and, most important of all, accepting our dog. Finding it was almost like a nightmare. I was tired of hearing ‘I’m afraid it doesn’t accept dogs’. No matter how hard we tried, the answer was ‘no’. The clock was ticking, and we were running out of time. In the end, we’ve managed to find a new house, when though it was a much smaller one than we lived in before.

The entire moving experience has been very stressful, and, although I have been loving the warmth, the extreme heat has made it much worse. Unfortunately, the hot weather is not so welcoming for us ostomates. The heat and humidity make it uncomfortable, especially since I have to wear a hernia support belt or even just manage to keep the baseplate in place. I found it necessary to change the base plate daily, something that I don’t have to do during any other season. However, one of the big recent challenges for me has been the downsizing of the house and having to declutter. Selecting items to give away or sell on Facebook Marketplace has been challenging. It has been a process of self evaluation and really deciding what is important for me and my family. We chose our current rental home based on the acceptance of our pet, so everything that we give away has been relatively valued against Eva. She is a member of our family, after all. In the end, the decluttering process has been good, and we have been able to get rid of many things that we really did not need but that other people could reuse. What really matters is our family and loved ones; material possessions don’t mean much in comparison.

Going through this move, the stress, the heat and the anxiety of not finding a place for my family and our dog has made me appreciate even more the things that really matter in life. I value the experiences I share much more than any object I own. It has emphasised the importance of making new memories with loved ones—and that I don’t always need to find ways to hold on to objects from the past. Life is short, and the world that we live in remains a wonderful place, so, regardless of the situation, we must always keep our sight into the future and make the best out of every day.

Luciana Podschun

Consultant Editor