Monday, May 15, 2006

Unexpected…

It’s a cathartic experience…

Moving, I mean.

You TRY to purge all the things you know you’ve stored for far too long before having to box them and move them to a new dwelling.

If you’ve moved, you know…

Every object gets a good hard look…

Do I REALLY need this? When was the last time I used this? Will I ever use this again? If I do need something like this in the future, can I buy it cheaply?

Some how, we just don’t want to carefully wrap, box and ship things that we are willing to store away in a closet somewhere.

Moving is cathartic…

And if you move enough (like I used to) you become very good at looking at NEW objects, before you buy them, and assessing…

Yea, this is cool…but do I need it? Can I make due without it? Do I want it badly enough to keep it through my next move?

Interestingly enough, the only things that didn’t make it through this process when we moved from California were my scrapbooking things (of course!!), the things that Scott had buried in the deep recesses of his office (Lord knows, I wasn’t going to venture into that stuff!) and, of course, those things boxed in the garage that had yet to be unpacked from the LAST move (why unpack and purge things that are already packed for the move?).

Yet, even as purifying as packing to move can be, UNPACKING after everything you own has been in storage for six months is even more of an experience.

I wonder at the things I unpacked…and the things that are still in boxes.

To begin with, there were things I unpacked that I’d forgotten all about…the ice cream maker, the fondue pot, the new baking pans, the pizza stone, the garlic roaster…these are but a few things I unpacked that surprised me.

Then, there were the things that I simply HAD to pack that made me wonder WHAT I was thinking when I finally had them out of boxes. (Note all of these have gone BACK INTO a box…either one for the garage sale or one for the trash.) The discolored Tupperware (come on…you know you have some too!), six thousand coffee mugs from all over the country, wine glasses from some place I’d done a wine tasting, Circle K big gulp plastic cups….another note here….I was immensely surprised at how much of my glassware was pilfered from the bars I used to visit during my party days…Apparantly I was quite the clepto after alcohol…frayed towels, stinky perfumes…you name it.

All I could think while upacking was if these were the things I insisted on wrapping and packing, what must the things I chose to take to the shelter look like to me?

Perhaps the most disturbing is that I’ve unpacked all the things we NEED and even some things we LIKE and there are still mountains of boxes in the garage.

Some of them are collector items that I have never had space for until know. I have a set of antique dishes that I would love to get out, for example.

Some things are destined for spare rooms – things like queen-sized sheets, decorative pillows and spare clock radios.

Some things I simply HAVE to get out of boxes – like the collapsible Swiffer…I HAVE to find that tool!

But most of it is stuff we know for certain we can live without and probably should throw away…if we could ever get to unpacking the boxes.

I am thrilled and exhilarated over how much of my stuff is unnecessary. I’m looking forward to clean countertops and sizeable donations to the shelter.

And I am filled with WONDER at the JUNK I insisted was important to me before I left California….

Powerful metaphore…

I left behind a lot of junk…a lot of stuff…

But I carted a lot of junk with me…a lot of stuff…

How much JUNK and STUFF did I bring all the way across the country with me that I carried in my HEART and SOUL instead of in my boxes and suitcases?

I should be unpacking and sorting those things…

And discarding as many stained, broken, fruitless, worthless, frivolous items among them as I possibly can...

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