A little respiratory bug kept me home the latter part of this past week, and between blowing my nose and taking care of work-related tasks and coughing and sucking on throat lozenges, I took a quick inventory of my possessions. Nothing too precise, mind you; I simply strolled through each room, opening closet doors to see what they hid.
That little trip only confirmed what I already knew. Once I learn to use my scanner and have scanned all my print photos and memorabilia, and once I ruthlessly sort my craft supplies, I will eliminate a large percentage of the stuff I have been moving from house to storage to house to apartment to house to apartment to house these past eight or nine years.
If I had taken a seat right then, I would have avoided a little meltdown. But oh no, I ventured into the basement and took a look at the items that have been either in the basement or in a storage unit -- out of sight in both cases -- for the past several years.
Perhaps the Dayquil--Nyquil regimen I'd been on for four days affected more than just my respiratory issues, or perhaps the fact that a sore throat and cough have kept me from sleeping well for several nights, but as I began opening boxes and bins, my confidence in reaching my goal began to waver a bit. Each box opened brought more doubt. By the time I had opened every box and glanced in to see what it held, I was feeling overwhelmed and more than a little teary.
I sat on the basement stairs and looked at the plastic bins and cardboard boxes and wondered how in the world I was ever going to find the time to go through each one. How I was going to decide what to keep and what to let go. How I was going to part with things that came to me from my grandmothers or that my husband and I had bought together.
I finally picked my sorry little self off the wooden stairway and went in search of comfort food.
Within a few minutes I was ensconced on the couch with a bag of Bugles and a can of ice-cold Sprite. As Dazey hovered like a vulture, I indulged my inner child by slipping a Bugle on the end of each of my fingers before holding my hands up and cackling like a witch. Silly, yes, but I needed a bit of silly just then.
As I slowly ate my way to Bugle-less fingers, I considered my options.
- I could delete that blog post and act like I'd never said I could pare down my possessions so ruthlessly.
- I could delete my entire blog!
- I could post an entry saying that after careful consideration, I simply could not get rid of so many items and that I was perfectly okay with that
- I could face the fact that I'm not okay with it, get down to business, and make some tough decisions
Despite the fact that the past 5 1/2 years have been filled with far too many tough decisions and despite the fact that I'm tired of having to tackle what I call "the hard stuff", I decided to go with #4.
In the end, I know it's the right thing to do. Not the easiest, perhaps, but it's the choice that will allow me to live a more joy-filled life, a life unencumbered by items that are "precious" yet remain stored out in boxes in the basement.
I'll pick and choose what to keep -- again and again -- and when I'm finished, the items that I cherish will no longer be stored out of sight but will be displayed on my desk or a shelf or a fireplace mantle.
And when I move, all I'll need is 5 trunks and a tote.