We are moving! Where? I don’t know. It’s a mystery. Like Mr. Henslowe, I feel that strangely it will all turn out well. But, the purge has started. It’s time. This is the big one that I’ve put off for years. I’ve saved the hardest for last. I thought I was ready. It is much more difficult than I contemplated it would be. It is a veritable cascade of emotions and memories….gut wrenching and liberating….bitter and sweet….dismal and hopeful…simple and challenging. Who eventually will win the toss….my head or my heart?
The accumulation started almost 40 years ago….and just like that drip that can eventually fill an ocean…so too…the stuff. OUR stuff. Our memories. The bits and pieces of visual reminders from days gone by….of early marriage, parenting days, littles, teenagers, loved ones no longer here, teaching, holidays and traditions. So…much….stuff! Attics and closets filled to overflowing. I was the keeper and the one who lovingly saved…..everything. Neatly containerized mind you….but hoarding none the less I suppose. Hoarding is the persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions, regardless of their actual value. I raise my hand and fully confess to that disorder, although I will argue that they have much value to me. However, as I purge, and try to give away, I have come to realize that for the most part, I am the only one emotionally invested in these items that represent these cherished memories. That makes me sad too. I was alone in my fairy tale castle and didn’t even realize it.
Our stuff should not own us. In the immortal words of Tyler Durden: The things you own end up owning you. It is its own form of bondage. I am in bondage to these things. I know that logically I should not allow this. So, I’m doing it y’all…I am ripping off the proverbial band aid, and taking skin with it. Steve stands by cheering me on from the wings.
We will keep some…but most will now be tucked away somewhere in the recesses of our heart instead of occupying a physical space. I really don’t want to obligate our kids to this task some day and pull them away from their own precious family time. I am pushing up my shirtsleeves. I am practicing my ruthless responses to keep or not to keep. As a consolation, I can dip myself into and wallow around a little while in the magic waters of memory. That is a gift that I can give to myself in the midst of this odious process.
“Stuff is not passive. stuff wants your time, attention, allegiance, but you know it as well as I do, life is more important than the things we accumulate” ~ Dave Bruno
yes….i do know that….