My Own Personal Baggage

One thing that happened to me and my brothers in the last few months is that we all agree that we don’t want to leave our children with so much stuff. It has been a lot of work. We have given up most of our weekends to manage this job and we all walked away committed to clearing out our own attics and garages. It’s a process. It goes on and on. It’s easier to get stuff than it is to get rid of it. There are layers of memories and emotions attached to things. If we let go too fast, we might find ourselves empty, listening to the echoes we’ve created in our frenzy to avoid the heaviness of materialism.

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This is the torture that wakes me up at night. I open my eyes and see my books, mythology and psychology and women’s studies books, that I am struggling to release into the world so someone else might learn from them. I see them several times a day. I let them go a little more each time I see them.

Holding on to my books is my way of remembering what I already know—that I’ve learned a lot and that I have a lot to share. But looking back, it might have been just a temporary distraction for me, going to school, immersing myself in this subject or that. Learning became my therapy. Now, 16 years later, I’m still holding on, maybe wishing I could go back for a while and do it all over again, differently. 

But that is the past. I can’t change it. Only learn from it. I know it’s time to let go. Move on. Be who I am with all that history and knowledge and attachment. Let someone else fill up with the stories and fantasies and other people’s pain sitting on my bookshelf. It’s time. 

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The Day Will Come When None of This Stuff Will Matter Anymore

I know this. I am a logical person, and really don’t care much for “stuff.” I like simplicity and space and freedom. But, in the middle of the night, when my thoughts are not complete or rational, I start to see all the stuff that clogs up the garage and the hallway, and, now, the dining room table. I’m convinced someone will want this stuff, so I put it on Craig’s List and fourteen yard sale sites on Facebook. One or two things have sold thankfully. But now it seems like it is all just sitting there, holding me hostage.

Yard Sales Over. Time to Seriously Let Go.

The weather has wreaked havoc on our good intentions this Fall. Three times storms have invaded the space we put aside to sell things. It’s obvious. Yard sales are only good for wasting time on a Saturday when you want to make enough money to go out to lunch later. I’m done with that. Time for the faster, more karmic way of downsizing. Give it away. Here’s a list:

Ugg Boots, LL Bean Boat Shoes, Mikasa china, God knows how much crystal and fake crystal, lots of Native American collectables, carved wall hangings from Indonesia, brass vase from India, bowls, cups, pans, more books….If I made a complete list it would go on forever. 

Most people do this in the Spring. I’m kind of weird that way. I need to clean my house completely before the cold weather sets in. I figure, if I’m gonna be inside for four months, I might as well know that the corners and closets are clean. I guess it’s a Virgo thing. But that has served me well in this process. I like order, symmetry, and structure. You can’t have that with too much stuff cluttering up the edges of your world. No problem…emotionally. It’s the physical stuff that slows me down.

So, here’s the final lesson: Do this while you’re young. Your body can handle all the bending and lifting and breathing in dust. Then don’t buy anything you don’t really need. I guarantee, this will provide you with a carefree life. You will make better decisions, have better relationships, and, heck, you will probably lose weight—figuratively and in reality. Let go now. Your life depends on it!

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