Blog

Stories from a life in progress.

Stuff and nonsense

I was reading some of the four books on my family trip last weekend, and there came a point where I couldn't bear to read any more.  My heart was burning, and I went for a walk just to relieve the pressure on my spirit.  It took a lot of steps before I could even think clearly.

I had been working through Jen Hatmaker's chapters about possessions and waste, and the pressure I was feeling was the weight of being squished under STUFF.  By American standards I don't have a lot of stuff, but I still own plenty and more than plenty.  My space in the world right now is a small bedroom in the back corner of a house, and it's enough, except I feel like it has to hold too much.  Too many things are trying to share this room with me.

Months ago I realized how powerful it is to have enough stuff rather than too much stuff, when I moved from my two-bedroom townhouse apartment into this single small bedroom, storing whatever wouldn't fit in the basement.  I moved everything I really cared about first, and I knew the moment when the balance was right, when all the things I actually cared about were here with me in my new space, and I didn't give a fig for what was left behind.  I had to pull everything else out and bring it for storage, and in the process my small space here became a bit overstuffed, and a bit more.  There are items I'd like to lay my hands on which are lost in a pile of boxes, and items sitting right here beside me which I don't even know why I own, and I've been living with this situation for six months.  If I stick with my old patterns, I'll keep living this way indefinitely.

I'm tired of it.  I'm tired of stuff.  I'm tired of being crowded.  I want some elbow room and a greater feeling of freedom.

I've had a vague sense of this for a long time; I've thought countless times "I could cull my books a little" or "there's some clothes here I don't use, I could pull them out."  But I keep avoiding the actual doing.  I haven't culled anything.  Until now.

I'm tired of living on default settings in this area of life.  This week I'm starting to review my possessions.  All of them.  It will take time, but I'm going to lay hands on everything I own, and decide whether I need to own it or not.

I'm going to give a lot of things away, and I may sell some of them, and I'm going to figure out what's actually important.

I'm going to stop using possessions as a security blanket.  I'm not depending on stuff to plaster over my emotional gaps anymore.

I'm going to engage in change and learn something from it.  Here I go.