The past week has been fraught with change, some good, some bad. With change comes a certain realization that things never remain constant, and for the most part that is a good thing, it is a way to make us grow even when we don't know that we need to.
Mr. Tide has taken a few days off from work and we've been busy cleaning out our garage, a task that was 7 years overdue. Ever since we moved in to our "not so" new house, the garage has been a dumping ground for all things to be dealt with later.
It became the place we put the stuff from the attic at our old house as this house doesn't really have an attic. It also became the place where the spare items from our renovation went to die...you never know when you will need that 3 inch piece of crown moulding, right? or how about that marble sink you got for a steal?! It had to house our tools, including the riding mower, rototiller, etc. It became our sports center, though truth be told some of those balls, sticks, and racquets haven't seen the light of day in a very long time! And holiday stuff...forgetaboutit!
Of course there is the furniture that never quite fit in this house, but will work just great when your son gets his first apartment, so you better hang on to that. The lawn furniture that you use for half the year. The memorabilia from kids growing up...you can't part with that! And don't even get me started on the number of pots I have...I could seriously open a nursery if I had the gumption to plant and water a million potted plants!
I did finally wise up this year and planted far fewer things that will require watering during our sometimes scorching summers...but that doesn't really account for the number of pots I have acquired over the years, perhaps I should add this to my shoe and flower obsessions. On second thought, lets just blame it on the fact that I did inherit a lot of those pots and leave it at that.
I will say that over the past 3 days we have been taking stock of all of this "stuff" that was SO important to us that we schlepped it from one house after another, and haven't looked at much of it for 7 years now!
And along the way as we've cleared, cleaned, and contemplated, I figured out something very important. My tastes have changed...a lot! I don't mean in the last 7 years, but in the last 6 months. I crave simplicity the way a person in the desert craves water.
I no longer want a bunch of "stuff" that I have to lug from place to place, and so I'm letting go. I have never really been one to hoard things, I can't even really wrap my head around the concept of hoarding to be honest, and I feel for those who do suffer from that particular compulsion.
But in a way, we are all hoarders of sorts, no matter how small. We tell ourselves that this or that will be important to us one day, we can't part with things people have given us, even if we never loved that thing to begin with. Or as in my case, I often think "oh you should save that for the kids or maybe put it on Craig's List or sell it at a yard sale," all the while knowing that my kids probably won't want it, and the idea of having a yard sale gives me hives! I mean really, getting up at 5 am after spending hours putting price tags on stuff that's only worth a quarter and then haggling with people who want to pay 5 cents for something really isn't my thing. Though I am sometimes secretly jealous of those of you who do make the effort to go to yard sales and find amazing stuff...you know who you are Linda and Terri!!! :)
For me, and much more so as I grow older, the letting go is the simplest part. There is a certain sweetness in filling up the back of your truck with bits and bobs that you know people will love discovering at the local thrift store.
Each trip we make to the dump, to the recycling center or thrift store is like a weight being lifted off of my shoulders. And with each square inch of real estate I gain back in my garage I feel a sense of joy come over me.
Maybe it's the little things in life we are truly craving while we're busy accumulating or pinning things we hope to accumulate! Like watching the muskrats swim back and forth all day long, perhaps accumulating their own clutter as they move from den to den? Or the sweet smell of honeysuckle that wafts through the house from along our fenceline. Or a very tuckered pup who thinks that all that crap you have is just something wonderful to cover in dog fur.
Whatever has taken hold of me and turned me into a conscientious objector in the war on "buy more, it will make you happy," I'm liking it and I plan to keep ridding myself of things I no longer want or need. By the time I reach 100, I should pretty much have a computer desk, a chair, and a bed...and that should be just about perfect, I think. :)