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Saturday, August 03, 2013

Stuff is Stuff


There’s no doubt about it, moving is exhausting.  Whether it’s mental endeavors of making hard choices (do I REALLY need six sets of dishes?) or physical labors (But I’m SURE it’ll fit through this doorway if… we… just… push… harder!) there’s a lot of work involved with moving.  There are even the menial tasks of setting up and turning off services that can wear one down pretty quickly.  Mostly, though, the hard work revolves around stuff.

Oh sure, it’s just stuff, but stuff makes us comfortable and stuff acts as a touchstone for memories and stuff entertains us and stuff can make life beautiful.  But yeah, it’s just stuff.  Which makes it a lot easier when it comes time to move 3400 sq ft into 2300 sq ft, because I promise, a lot of stuff has to say goodbye when one is down sizing that much. 

So, yeah, the process?  At first it’s overwhelming.  Lordy.  Where to start??  So, I just picked somewhere and began throwing stuff out.  Because, you know, in our endless quest for comfort and beauty and memories and entertainment, we often collect stuff that over time (and sometimes in no time at all) becomes junk.  After that, I had to sift a little more carefully and put the stuff through mental filters.  Do I love it?  Do I need it?  Do I use it?  OK, what about the other people in the family?  Interestingly, I held on to a lot of stuff I hadn’t been using because as it turns out, I was forced to reevaluate the stuff, which got my imagination going wild and old stuff became like new stuff and suddenly had meaning again.  That part is pretty exciting.  But doesn’t cull down the pile of stuff very quickly.

So yeah, once the imagination gets going and once the momentum is in place, it not only gets easier, it gets pretty exciting to get rid of stuff.  There’s a sense of freedom and joy in purging and simplifying.  There’s a kind of peace in walking into a newly emptied room after all the stuff is sorted and tossed or packed away.  It’s gratifying to see all of the hard work one has done in a very visual sense.

Of course, then it gets harder.  All the stuff that’s leftover.  Stuff we couldn’t bear to part with but which didn’t have a place or we couldn’t pack or we didn’t want but couldn’t justify throwing away.  And then the stuff that’s hiding in or under or around stuff.  The cabinet that didn’t get emptied and the drawer of stuff that got left behind in case we needed it when we came back.  Stuff that needed to be dealt with but which we figured we’d deal with “later” because we just couldn’t deal with it then. 

Except.  We just left it.  And went to the new house.  And over the period of a week, we unpacked the stuff and moved the stuff and sorted the stuff (well, most of it, I can’t say my craft room has seen much love) and we used the re-imagined stuff and got new stuff in which to put the old stuff and new stuff to replace the old stuff and new stuff to bring new beauty and comfort and memories and…

Then we came back.  Because Jen has a doctor’s appointment and we had all this old stuff that still needed to be cleaned and tended to and thrown out and given away and… wow.  Stuff. 

Here’s the thing.  It’s lonely here.  And sad.  I hate it here.  HATE.  Everywhere I look feels broken and sad like the leftovers of another life.  I guess it is the leftovers of another life.  I don’t want to be here.  I want to be at the other house where everything is shiny and new and tidy and organized and setup.  I want to be with my bed and my dishes and my wine opener and my plants and… my stuff.  Yeah, some of it is just because this is the last of the unsavory tasks that needs to be done, but it’s more than that.  Without all the stuff to fill in the gaps, I’m left feeling very vulnerable and very fragile.  There’s no emotional or physical armor to protect me.

Yeah, it’s just stuff.  But it’s amazing how that stuff can actually make a difference in mindset - for the better and for the worse.

Posted by Liberty on 08/03 at 10:41 PM
Posted under: See-Through

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