Dumping the Detritus
Our primary home is actually a warehouse. Even though we are pretty neat and regularly purge things like clothes and shoes, junky books and DVDs, we still have tons of stuff. Especially me.
There are pictures I still love and posters that haven't been hung in decades. Heirloom furniture with memories. Sofas and chairs that are so much a part of the background that they don't jar my current sensibilities. Ice cream machines and smoothie makers. Obscure pans for things like pate that haven't seen a counter in years. Enough glassware to serve a White House banquet. Personal belongings and tschatkes, some inherited, some gifts and some purchased from all over the world. And paper. Tons of paper. The attic and the basement are a whole other story. It's a wonder how and why things found their way up or down, instead of out.
I don't want most of it anymore. I don’t need all the remnants of my past to call up either the good or the sad times...a few curated things will do. I am done with hoping that a daughter or relative or even maybe one day a grandchild will consider the gift a treasure. I don’t like the idea of keeping things in storage. I want to purge but I want to take my time, savor the past, maybe tear up a bit and then calmly make a decision to keep or not to keep. And then I want to have the time to revisit that decision if I wake up being of a different mind.
Some will go to Housing Works, Goodwill or the Salvation Army, of course. Some will be suitable for sale and maybe some family will want want a little of it--though, given the shortage of space in the next generation's digs, it will undoubtedly be very very little. Hard as it may be, much of it just has to be dumped. Old TVs and toasters. Dumped. Linens with a stain or two and games with missing pieces.Tossed. Souvenirs and mugs that mean nothing to anyone anymore. Gone.
Thousands of decisions to be made. It may take weeks or even a month, but it will be worth it. Free from the stuff of the past that doesn’t matter any more. Free of clutter and things to take care of, to have space for, to rearrange. Surrounded by things that I love and use and look at and enjoy-- like paintings and books, scrapbooks and comfy furniture. Sounds like heaven. All (or at least most) of the rest can go--on my schedule.
And so I want a dumpster for my birthday. It will be the perfect gift, serving its purpose and then going away and not becoming part of more stuff.