Monday, April 26, 2010

The Stuff That Life Is Made Of

Last week I got into a conversation with the volunteer who handles inventory control of the donated samples we receive in our Charitable Pharmacy.

She and her husband sold off their home in Michigan a few years ago, giving (almost) all of their stuff to their kids. Now they lease a small apartment in Oakwood, a suburb just outside Dayton. In the winter they spend a chunk of their time overseas, doing missions work, and in the summer they live in a camper out in the woods.

Although I try not to let myself get too entwined with possessions, I have to admit that the thought of giving away everything was unsettling. I've moved around a lot in my adult life--lots of jobs, a dozen houses or apartments, and we won't even talk about relationships--and having my stuff around me has eased those transitions.

All I have to do at a new place is set out the rocking chair my dad gave me when my daughter was born and hang my mom's plates on the wall, and, voila, I'm home.

But Old Dog and I will celebrate our 13th anniversary in June and we've been in this house for eight years now. We're not planning to change either of those facts, and it occurs to me it may be time to let some things go.





So, on Thursday, I plan to donate some business suits to Clothes That Work, a local organization that outfits women transitioning into the workforce.

Even more daring, on Saturday night when my grand-daughters were over, I culled some things I no longer wear from my closets and let them play dress-ups.



And it didn't hurt a bit.


Maybe next week I'll go after the books....

19 comments:

Chef E said...

Maybe you can give me some pointers on the books, I would like to get a hold of Roberts office :)

mo.stoneskin said...

I hate culling my book collection. We've moved three or four times in the last few years and each I time I'm told to go through my books. Grrr.

Ocean Girl said...

I can't give up my books. Not a single one. I've done it and immediately felt like I need it for reference or something.

Love picture of your grandchildren doing dress up. I'm slowly giving away my stuff too. I must admit I have not change, move or remove anything ever since we moved into the current house which is more than 10 years ago.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

I am having a garden 'makeover' and the workmen are having difficulty in getting me to part with anything, including trees, plants and old slabs. takes years of practice to be that mean! Good luck, I am learning from you!

Everyday Goddess said...

I have way too much stuff, I need a good culling.

Poindexter said...

good for you - I try to be mindful of the things stored in my house too. Whether I'm using them, whether the items might be useful somewhere else. I find that I'm upcycling a bit too. Is that the right word? I have 2 glass paned doors that were removed from a cabinet and over the weekend I decided to use them as a cornice over the window of a bedroom we're starting to redecorate. Gives it the feeling of a transom. or maybe I'm just crazy. That might be true too. Best of luck on the books. I don't much like getting rid of books and have taken to making decorative covers for my not-so-pretty paperbacks so they look nicer on my bookshelves.

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

I hear you! We are overloaded with books in several rooms, and hubby won't part with any of his. But I'm going to part with some of mine because there's no more room for new ones.

SydneyJ21074 said...

從來愛都不知它的深度,非得等到別離的時候..................................................

Nezzy said...

The pic of the dress up gals is great. Clothes that Work is such a great organization, it's a donation that will change lives.

God bless ya and have a marvelous Monday!!!

Kabbalah Rookie said...

You may be surprised at the things that you don't miss, and the things that you do.
10% of my possessions are with me, another 10% are in my Dad's shed, and the rest are gone or waiting for a sale. I threw out over 2000 photos. Out with the old, and in with the new. Good luck!

Steven G said...

After we lost my sister to breast cancer, we had to go through her acquired "stuff". On the last day of cleaning out her house so it could be sold, the very last material thing in her house, in the back of a drawer, was one single paper clip.

It struck me that, in a way, it was the last thing that was actually hers before I took it and put it in my pocket. That paper clip and every piece of property and possesion she had ever owned had become equal in value to her the moment she began her last journey.

So, the stuff all has to go anyway, just not with you; not even a paper clip.

Far Side of Fifty said...

I can't cull books..I am no good at it..I just keep collecting more. You can never have to many books can you? I did go through my closet..and it looks like your grands had some fun..love the red hat! Funny how none of my stuff is junk, but my husband has lots of junk:)

Sandra Leigh said...

Funny. I had this conversation with a friend just last night. I was bemoaning my inability to give up books, even though I don't have room for them. I always know - just know - that I'll need them as soon as I give them away. My friend reminded me that we do have a library right downtown. One of these days...

Rachel Cotterill said...

I'm quite good at letting go of 'stuff' but I hate to throw away anything that could be useful...

Judy said...

Love the red hat...just my style...
It's difficult to let things go...

madtexter ☺☺☺☺☺☺ (corey james) said...

Oh, I am ALL for getting rid of stuff. I cannot stand clutter. Kudos to giving away the suits to charity. I give my old suits aways from time to time to the same type of 'get back to work' organization for men. It feels good to know my suit may help someone snag that job they've always wanted.

Rebecca @ Diary of a Virgin Novelist said...

I am a big "slash and burn" girl - having moved around the country a lot. I like not being tied to a lot of "stuff." That being said, we all have certain possessions that mean a lot to us. They key is knowing the difference between that and useless junk. =)

bARE-eYED sUN said...

books AAAAARRRRRRRGGGHHHHHHHH

the space-savers bane. :-(

..
.ero

Sadako said...

Yeah, culling the book collection is hard. Like slicing a bit of yourself off.

Happy almost anniversary!

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails