As I work to clean up the clutter of over 30 years of married, family life, I find that it’s funny how the human mind works sometimes. This is “stuff.” Inanimate things. But it is sometimes VERY difficult to put those things in a bag for either the garbage or the donation center (my favorite is the Purple Heart). Why is that? Why, when I hold something in my hand, am I magically transported back in time to a period in my life when Kim was alive and vital? Sometimes, it isn’t even the timeframe in which the thing was acquired that I’m transported to. And, oftentimes, it is simply the remembrance of how Kim liked the sort of thing I’m holding in my hand that triggers it. This reaction comes especially with things she made.
I know I’m not abnormal – we humans assign emotions to all kinds of things. I’m just both fascinated and horrified by how the mind behaves around such things. I think there would be no such thing as a hoarder if we didn’t attach emotion to things.
As I once told my sister in a similar discussion decades ago: this “clutter” constitutes the collection of souvenirs from the various stops along the journey we’ve been on. We gather things to remind of us the events of our lives; of the emotions – happiness, excitement, sadness, and melancholy – the gamut of our emotional states along life’s path. Some of us collect all kinds of little things, and have difficulty surrendering them, leading to “clutter.” Some are more selective and need and have less laying about to remind them of where they’ve been.
I’m trying to become more like the latter group. So many things. So many of these collected things are relatively useless to me both today as well as with my plans going forward – but this realization makes it no less difficult to relinquish them.
So much work to do. I want to get the house into a saleable condition. It’s much too large for me now. Frankly, it has been too large for Kim and me for several years now, but we made use of the extra space for our pursuits, making it less “obvious” that it was time to think about downsizing. I think I’d like to find a place with all the space I need on one floor – somewhere that I know will suit me for many years to come.
I’d best get back to work…