Well, other than shoveling a lot of snow, what else have you been doing to reduce cabin fever tendencies over these past few weeks? Since our radius of travel has been reduced substantially (like to a small portion of our yard), we have turned inward; which in this case means staying in the house. This coincides with the tipping point we have sort of reached with the Accumulation of Stuff – the point where you can’t find, or trip over the mounds of stuff that was so important to have over the past decades but now realize it doesn’t really matter.
So what happens when you reach this point of materialistic constipation? Much like some health or nutrition program; you look at purging or cleansing. We had a friend that went through this recently and developed a process where she handled an item three times over a span of time and by the third phase had released herself from any sentimentality or need and could pass on the object or junk it with a clear conscience. So begins the process; get a cup of coffee and settle in to go through papers and processions from a lifetime of gathering. Not just our gathering either – we now have the stuff that our parents gathered and as they passed on, it in turn got passed on to us. What joy to have all my reports cards back to grade 2 as well as the accompanying sets of school photos through the years (how many wallet sized photos of a geeky looking 7 year old missing teeth does one need?)
Some of this stuff is difficult to get rid of and so we keep it; at least for a while longer and to perhaps maintain a memory of a parent, child or event. Having worked through a few of these recently, part of our motivation is not to leave such a mound of crap for our kids to deal with that they are as overwhelmed as we were. Some people pass on their memorable stuff to family while still around which takes care of some of it and is something to consider as we downsize. We all struggle with what was valuable to someone is not necessarily valuable to everyone – we recognize this with our kids as we try and fob off good stuff and they politely wrinkle their noses. This is where we put all their report cards, drawings and crafty things in a box and guess what gets dropped off at their house when we visit – tag, you’re it!
Thank goodness our community had Gleaners as well as a solid recycling centre and landfill. Good choices as you work through things. But wait! The sun is shining and it’s warming up, perhaps we can maybe do this some day when its raining. What’s the harm…