With our need for security in South Africa, we have a crazy number of keys and bulky remotes on our key rings.
Too big to even fit nicely into a handbag.
Here’s what my home key ring looked like a few weeks ago.
A remote for the security alarm
A remote for the electric gate
A small key for the electric gate (in case there is no electricity)
Small keys for security gates on the outside of doors
Keys for entry doors to the house
Keys for my storage unit
Then there are keys for the building I work in.
Different key ring.
I have come to see during this time of transition, that for me at least, keys and remotes have come to represent responsibilities, and our obsession with security.
But more importantly, my gradual key shedding metaphorically represents my dwindling responsibilities as I tie up life here.
The shedding process
My first “shedding” experience was 12 days ago. I handed over the keys to my colleague for her house. I felt a sense of freedom that was unexpected. Lightness, both literally and metaphorically!
I was no longer responsible for her home, for being on the end of the phone for security alarm issues, for the gate (which broke twice during my stay in her house), for the domestic servants who had to be let in and out, for her tenant in the garden flat, etc, etc.
“Welcome home”, I said, “here are your keys”, ceremoniously placing them into her open hand.
Saying secretly to myself “thank goodness”.
A massive weight lifted off my shoulders in that moment. I felt like I could breathe. I underestimated the stress and responsibility that comes with looking after someone’s home and their precious possessions for a whole year.
My key ring was down to a car key and 2 keys for my lockup.
My massive work bunch, on my South African lanyard, are still with me for another 8 days. I am looking forward to handing these over to my boss on the day I leave.
Sometime next week my lockup will be professionally packed up and put into storage. I will have no further need of the padlock and 2 accompanying keys.
The final key (the car one) will be relinquished at the airport on the day we leave as I sell my car to a local dealer.
Keys – shed…
I will swap both massive bunches for a set of luggage keys, much smaller in comparison and less responsibility.
Officially keyless and without a single responsibility!
What a feeling!
This post is part of my Transitions series – all about my major life move back to the UK from South Africa.