NaBloPoMo DAY 10:
(Why should I have the fun of posting everyday when my cousin, Adele, can have at it, too? Read on!)
Purge, purge and purge again!
No, I am not referring to the latest supermodel diet.
My sister and I recently moved our 87-year-old mother into an assisted living residence. With declining mobility and cognitive skills, it was the right and necessary move for her. The brand new facility boasts a hair salon, a movie theater and more daily activities than a Carnival cruise ship! My mother seems more engaged and delighted than she’s been in years.
But getting her ready to make the move meant we had to sort through the incredible volume of flotsam and jetsam she’d accumulated in her 28 years of living in my sister’s house. Based on the volume of clothes, books, papers and miscellaneous junk, you’d have thought her living quarters were the size of Versailles instead of a space barely larger than a Chevy Suburban!
We filled eleven trash bags with rubbish! Eight more with clothes to donate and two with items for the thrift store. Not surprisingly, my mother was resistant to this purging at first. But I kept reminding her that getting rid of the object (like the program for the 1965 Mother’s Day church recital) didn’t mean discarding her memory of the event–the one where I forgot my lines to the featured poem and instead muttered, “Jesus Christ!” to the stunned congregation!
I tried to remember this advice when I returned to my own home and took a look around. Suddenly I just saw “stuff” everywhere and wondered how it got there and why I was holding onto all of it. Growing up, my family of four shared a small New York City apartment, yet everything we needed somehow fit somewhere within its tiny rooms and closets. But now our need to have more and more stuff fuels a whole self-storage industry! Why stop purchasing, or stop to sort through and edit what we already own, when we can pay to store it offsite and make our family wade through it once we’re gone?
Personally, I don’t mind annoying the heck out of my kids while I’m still alive and able to enjoy their exasperation, but even I think it’s unfair for them to inherit the job of sifting through my possessions post mortem to somehow decide which had meaning and value, and which should have visited the giant trash bag long ago. So I am going to make a concerted effort to stop adding to the weight of things and start purging just a drawer, or desk or room, on a regular basis. Starting right after the upcoming holiday sales season!
So, when it comes to your stuff, are you a purger or a keeper?
(Note: I’m taking part in NaBloPoMo, better known as National Blog Posting Month. Thirty days, 30 posts. And I have EXCITING NEWS!
I’ve decided to give a prize to the one person who has commented on the most posts. If there’s a tie, I’ll do a drawing. So if you want to win, make sure to comment often!
And thank you to all of you who have been stopping by and offering your two cents. If it wasn’t for you, I’d be screaming like a banshee from writing all these posts!)