Friday, May 18, 2007

To Have and to Hold, To Let Go and Move On

How do we accumulate so much stuff? It astounds me - I've been storing things in a corner of the garage for this weekend's yard sale, taking things out of the house as I've cleaned and packed...the pile gradually grew, but it didn't seem overwhelming. Until yesterday, that is, when I actually began to spread it out and looked through all of the stuff already in the garage that I need to go through. And this is after the gigantic donation we made to the Salvation Army before Christmas.
I have to admit that this is mostly my fault. I'm a pack rat. Always have been, probably always will be (at heart, at least). This is partially an inherited thing, as my dad is the exact same way, but it might also be a result of lots of moving. Maybe clinging to my stuff was (is) a way to feel like the new place is really my home...I can take things with me, even if I can't take people or places or that swing on my Nanny's front porch...objects come to life for me because of what they represent. (Living hours away from any of my family probably doesn't help this attachment-condition I have.)
I laugh at myself because I get so emotionally attached to material things - the Book-It pins from an elementary school reading program, that pair of pajama bottoms my grandmother bought one summer, the quadrillions of Cabbage Patch dolls and stuffed animals I can't bear to part with (but that rabbit was an Easter gift! that teddy bear was from Christmas '99!)....and now it's not just my stuff. Now it's that lamp that was in Sean's room when he was a baby...that park guide from a trip with Neil...a Winnie-the-Pooh outfit that Christian looked so adorable in...ah. I know that these things are just things...and yet...I love going through a box and having each item bring up a dormant memory. I love that I still have notes from high school friends that we wrote to each other during classes and diaries dating back to second grade...
I guess the issue is that I cannot possibly keep every little memento from my life. I need to do the grown-up thing and prioritize. Sean and Christian's christening outfits? Okay to keep. A bottle of shampoo from the hotel we stayed at on our honeymoon? Not so much.
So here's a goal for this new move: lighten up!
And a goal for my life in general: remember that the people you love are close to you even if you don't see them every day or keep the candle from that birthday cake fourteen years ago....

1 comment:

Luisa Perkins said...

So true! It's hard to let go, yet curiously liberating once it's done.

The great thing about writing is being able to open those boxes mentally and go through the contents, finding plenty to express as you go along. Good luck with the move!