June 9, 2014

Hoarding & Discernment

What could be more physically and emotionally taxing than sorting through every personal possession you've acquired? Especially if the primary objective is to throw overboard any excess?

I don't think I'm a hoarder in the strict sense of the word. I don't have 23 cats or 180 handbags, and the dining room is not floor-to-ceiling trash.

What does comprise my gross collections of unnecessary surplus are...
  • a (large) hope chest so full of fabric yardage and bolts that I can barely close the lid
  • a (large) coffee can stuffed full of ink pens, some over 20 years old
  • at least two bookshelves full of outdated, uninteresting books that I won't read and suspect no one else will either
  • two (large) gift bags of more gift bags and Christmas ribbon that have aged beyond use
  • oh-my-goodness...the homeschooling stuff: books, games, flashcards, learning aids, science kits, craft kits, craft supplies, cds, charts, printouts, several (large) plastic tubs containing all work for every kid for every year of their education
And why do I keep it all? Because "Someday" I "might" "need" it.

Someday -- ambiguous
Might -- hypothetical
Need -- subjective

I'm afraid. I'm afraid the day will come when I am fiercely compelled to unearth (fossilized item of your choice), and I'll no longer have it. And then I will have to endure days-maybe-weeks of self-loathing because,  "I had it but I got rid of it and now I need it."

Miner says, there are very, very few things that are irreplaceable. Can pens be replaced? Yep. And I LOVE buying pens. Can homeschooling supplies be replaced? Absolutely. Most of what is stored, is stored for a reason -- we tried it and didn't like it, the kids outgrew it, or it was never all that interesting in the first place.

Loss. I recall all the irreplaceable items of sentiment and historical value that I lost in storage years and years and years ago. I get sick to my stomach just thinking about it, so I make a point to never think about it. But among those items: the paper chronology of Dad's creative process that would eventually formulate his martial arts system, my very first diary which I kept from age 8 to 22, all other remnants of the childhood I lived and the keys to the associated memories I'll probably never be able to unlock on my own. 

Gone. And it needs to be allowed to be gone. And I need to allow myself to go away from it.

Pens and gift bags are not heirlooms or family artifacts. They really have no associative value at all. I recognize that now, and I need to spend some time letting that sink in so I can throw the damn things away.

No comments:

Post a Comment