Let. Go.



Sooner or later, for all of us, this is universal. For me, it is soon-ish.

In downsizing from an entire house/garage/shed/yard/driveway to a two bedroom condo/parking space, it is obvious I cannot take it all with me.

Healthy infants are born with certain “primitive reflexes,” which reflect normal neurological development. One is the Palmar grasp reflex. We ooh and aah over this, touching our finger to the newborn’s palm and watching the teeny tiny fingers instinctively curl around our gigantic one. Cute, right?

For a time. It is a reflex that is present for 5 to 6 months. If it persists beyond that, it indicates a lack of development of the frontal lobes. And it can reappear in later life if there is brain injury in the form of trauma, lesions, stroke or dementia.

Or moving to a condo.

I am clinging to all sorts of things that I most likely won’t need. I am assessing every. single. object. A basket.  A step stool. A comfy lawn chair. These things were useful! I picked them out! I enjoyed them!

We have all watched a baby start to lose the palmar reflex.  He repeatedly lets go of an object and cries for it to be picked up again. Before, he could not control the grasp; now he learns to control the release. Disappearance of this reflex is necessary for the baby to move on to the voluntary use of his hands.

I have to practice the release. It seems that loosening the grasp requires more muscle control and frontal lobe engagement than simply clutching. Release.

Now I stop to think about that word. Re- lease. To lease means temporary possession or use of an object. To re-lease means ending my term with that object, and allowing someone else to use it. It means I never really owned it anyway.

I need to flex, open and close, open and close, rather than re-flex. I want voluntary use of my hands. I need my frontal lobe cortex to be in charge. I might do a bit of waah-waahing in the process, but it is necessary for the next stage of my development.


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