Last week we got a new shed. This may not sound all that monumental to some of you, but in our world, it is. Now we can clear out some of the stuff that’s been cluttering our house. And soon I’ll be able to breathe easier.
You see lately I’ve been feeling suffocated by our stuff. When we moved into our sweet little house seven years ago, we were newlyweds and didn’t have enough furniture to fill three glorious bedrooms. Now, as a family of five, we have enough to fill every bedroom and and then some. Which is where the shed comes in.
But as we move things out to their new home, I can’t help but wonder why we’re holding on to some of these things. Do we really need them, or is it just too hard to let go?
Will I ever glance back through my brainstorming notebooks from the ad agency I worked at ten years ago? (Or the company I worked at one year ago, for that matter?) Probably not. But I can’t help remembering that people thought I was pretty good at writing ad copy. And this being at home with the kids thing I’ve been doing? Well, I’m not so sure I am good at it. Even if I do love it.
That box of itty-bitty bikinis and the like? Even if I could wear them still, I wouldn’t. But I can still smell the salt air that screams, “It’s 10am on Saturday. Time to roll out of bed and onto the beach again.”
I haven’t had the heart to move the bassinet out there yet. Besides being buried under a pile of—you guessed it—stuff, it’s a reminder that we have a teeny, sweet, cuddly baby. Only that sweet, cuddly baby isn’t so teeny any more.
Old toys, Halloween costumes and, Lenny’s favorite, my roller blades. It’s not about the role they might play in our future, though that’s what I tell myself. It’s about the role they played in my past.
And the more I think about this, the more I realize it’s not just my garage or closet that’s overflowing with stuff. My head is too. So I can’t find the really important stuff, because it’s buried under a bunch of other junk I can’t seem to throw out.
How am I going to get Little to preschool and get to Big’s school in time to be the art volunteer tomorrow? Did I sound professional in the email I sent regarding a freelance job this morning since I was holding a crying baby at the time? Will saying “no” now mean that people will stop asking altogether? It’s been a couple weeks since I bought that DVD organizer and it’s still sitting in the bassinet. Did I remember to do the dishes tonight? Will Little wake up scared again and cry for me to sleep in his bed? Will I ever get a sign that my dad is watching over me? Will my kids? What am I going to talk to a bunch of strangers about at Lenny’s work dinner next week? Is Jennifer Aniston really going to be a mom? And if so, will she ever have a day like I did today? I should go to bed. I just totally over shared…and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t in the endearing, insightful way, but in the creepy a-blog-is-not-a-journal way.
You see? I have too much stuff. But I’m working on cleaning things up. A little bit at a time.