Friday, November 14, 2014

Bag it

Well, my first vacation, stay-cation in six months leaves me the tasks of all the things I haven't had a chance to do for months. Not that I mind. I like working around the house. Not that I wouldn't mind a beach-filled trip somewhere, but cleaning the basement and insulating the garage is task work that I enjoy. It feels productive.

The basement is challenging because of what it is. It is a gathering spot for all the things we save. This year we cleaned out much of our largest crawl space, some things tossed while others gave us a little jingle in our pocket from a yard sale. As I tackled the smaller space today, I looked at what was there. Although this is where our seasonal things are, much of it can go away. I like 'go away'.

But, why is it there in the first place? I come from a time where we saved things. My Beloved did as well. We weren't well off, and we could generally find a use for something down the road. It's the, "I think this could be used" mentality. I am very guilty of this when it comes to the workbench. Since I fix things on my own, my mind tends to work this way. Unfortunately, that mentality has worked its way to other things.

As I pulled out the decorations for the upcoming seasons, I kept pulling out bags. Bags? Yes. Bags. We have red bags and blue bags and now-dingy bags from places we traveled to. They'll come in handy. Well, they didn't. They've sat in the crawl for a decade. Guess what? It's time they go away. The truth is, they are just now in the way. They hold no memory of what they were. They just are. They take up space. They need to be moved to get to something else. They are clutter.

One of the great joys of getting older for me is finding you no longer need much of what you have accumulated over the years. All that stuff becomes an anchor around your neck. When you think of the Christmas decorations we all have, how much of it really comes out? We likely leave 2/3 rds of ours in the tubs they are stored in. Each year we think our homes will become the showcase for the season. We'll have the perfect holiday because we will decorate to the nines. But then we don't. It's a chore, and then we have to take it down again.

Of course, I can't just start pitching things. My Beloved certainly has a say in what stays and what goes. This river I travel is her life as well; we paddle with two oars and not one. But we've both come to the realization that we aren't dirt poor and we don't need to save every scrap. Some things hold memories and anchor us to the past, while others are nothing more than an anchor to our happiness.

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