The creator of NAJOWRIMO sends out prompts for writing to help those writers who have a need for writing ideas. I’ve never felt the need, but today’s prompt, “Things You Need to Get Rid Of,” struck a chord in me. We lost a friend recently to cancer. His widow has sold their home and the guys who volunteer at the Depot on Tuesdays decided that instead of working at the Depot on Tuesday, they’d help her clear out some things from her house in preparation for moving.
My husband spent a couple of hours there, moving boxes from the basement to the upper level, sorting out stuff to be tossed and things that would be kept. As with a lot of basements, it was very dusty and none of the boxes had been marked, although they were all sealed. Each box had to be cut open, evaluated and then dealt with. When my husband got home, he said he wanted to start clearing out a bunch of our stuff so our kids wouldn’t have so much to go through when we reached a point of having to move from our current home. I agreed wholeheartedly that we needed to cull a lot of our collective stuff. We got rid of a bunch of stuff before we moved here eight years ago, but not nearly as much as we could have (or should have).
I’m inclined to pack things up and run them to the local charitable shop rather than try to sell them at a garage sale or even on e-bay. But some of the things I have no use for anymore are actually valuable. So what to do with the two large Fostoria frosted vases that once belonged to my father? Or what about the three sets of china and the 100+ year old china cabinet?? Or my 150+ cookbook collection? I’ve given away my rubber stamps and inks to the daughter-in-law. I don’t even want to begin thinking about my fabric collection. I’m still using it and will until I can’t see to sew anymore.
Things… they define who we are and are instant tools for memory recall of times and places from the past. Like the fabric I bought at that shop in Wise, VA during our reunion visit several years ago. Or the quilt blocks that have been sitting in a cupboard waiting to be pieced together for a quilt top. At one time, I had so much fabric it was overwhelming for me. I gave a lot of it away and it freed my mind up enough that I began sewing once more. There TRULY IS such a thing as too much of a good thing! Lighten your load and lighten up your life!
As I sit here writing this, I realize that the years have slipped past me and I’m closer than ever before to the time when I will be ready for a smaller home and far less excitement in my life. I wouldn’t have thought it 10 years ago, but I can see it in the distant horizon, and I think I would welcome it.
Be safe, be well, and please be happy. Your days will go by whether you pay attention to them or not. Pay attention–and tell those you love that you love them.