Monday, December 24, 2012
I think it is a good thing to chronicle the every day things in one's life, it gives perspective.
I have changed.
Looking at past snapshots of my home tells me a lot more than what is seen in the photos.
It reveals a lot about me... to me!
But on the surface, and as far as what is in the photos, this is what I find--
I have eliminated lots of things in my life mostly by choice, but a tiny few by other circumstances.
1. Two ugly blue plaid love seats (always hated those), gone. Same for ugly red and blue plaid couch from other room, gone. Both were inherited and they provided a place to sit and no more than that as an attribute.
2. Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls and paraphernalia, also gone for the most part and what is left (about 5%) of it, packed away.
3. Dishes, dishes, and more dishes... all inherited and some dragged in the house by other means. Now given away, or donated to charity. Out of my life.
4. Teddy Bears and dolls, but SO much more to get rid of by any means. Always hated the inherited Teddy Bears. Sorry. The dolls, well, way too many. and besides, the girls don't want all those when they are out on their own anyway. Both Teddies and dolls have a lot of emotional guilt attached to them as far as feeling obligated to retain. No more. The guilt curse must be broken. Saying is way more easy than doing. So much guilt of the money that was spent (not by me) on such a non-useful item.
5. Why is it that people ( some direct person in my family tree) felt that spending money on certain things was to be considered an investment for when the stuff came to be mine? I say it was foolish wasteful use of funds. There, I said it. The economy may have been different once upon a time, but I have 2 sayings to conclude this point.
First-- What things are supposedly worth and what people are willing to pay for them are two VERY different points of reality.
Secondly-- Having a lot of useless "valuable" things means you just have to leave more behind when you are homeless.
Don't get me wrong, I am not planning on being homeless. Just sayin'. Think about it, and I think you will agree. In the height of the foreclosure era do you ever drive through an unfamiliar neighborhood and see empty houses and lots of stuff out at the curb? Did they choose to move out of a rental situation and simply did not want all that to follow them to their new destination? Or was it that a well settled family (who went through unforeseen unfortunate times) had to leave stuff they had (like the 4 kids' favorite games and trophies or family heirlooms from 4 generations ago) because they had just so long to pack what they could fit into their cousins' basement who was kindly enough to take in the family under their crowded roof until something better comes along? I think of this stuff. A lot of my kids' friends have faced this. It's sad.
6. In general, as I look at the past photos of my home, I see that I have lightened the load of thinking that everything that comes into my life, by means other than my choice, does NOT have to stay in my life...or home. I have begun to look at purchasing ANYTHING with a different mindset. I continue to struggle with lightening the load even more. Time is the main factor in this. Sorting is the process. Things need different categories, you know the drill... sell, donate, give away, keep. Sometimes I think it is easier to just bring in a dumpster like the ones they use when you get a new roof and grab a snow shovel and open a window, start scooping and chuck it all out. YES I AM EXAGGERATING... yet, you get my point.
7. There are many more specifics regarding changes about which items have been used, displayed, or stored within my environment, but the conclusion is... at this stage of my life, less is more. I am utterly and completely comfortable in other people's homes that have lots of furniture and knick-knacks (chatchkies), or paper build up (I will never be free from that myself!), or an untidy cluttered (yet clean) atmosphere. I am absolutely and completely 100% comfortable with that at other people's homes....just not mine...because to me it represents my own expectations with myself and what I want to accomplish for my life. My family and friends all live somewhere in the middle between an episode of hoarders vs. a sterile surfaced, temperature controlled, air filtered bubble. I don't know anyone personally at either extreme end of that scale. I understand that I could never be comfortable anywhere that is an ultra minimalist-type home, be it my own home or someone else's. I could never live that way nor could I feel comfortable and cozy to sit for 5 minutes at a home that does live that way. You know the kind... 1)where there are no pictures anywhere, 2)no mail or bills sitting about needing attention, 3)no kid art gracing, maybe, the front of the refrigerator or displayed proudly somewhere prominently, 4) blanket tossed over the end of the couch, 5) a dish or two waiting to be washed or popped into the dishwasher after Sunday brunch (but if they sit one minute too long I go crazy), 6) laundry waiting to be done, or 7)at least a trace of dust (temporarily!!)somewhere near the wood burning fireplace to write your name in along side a smiley face, or..... you get the idea, right?