Sunday, October 14, 2012
Minimalism, week three
I don't talk a lot about my minimalist ambitions in real life (because I don't want people to think I'm weird, to be honest), but getting rid of stuff was a theme that kept coming up this past week at work. Deb in Reception (not to be confused with Deb in Sales) was pleased with the results of her garage sale, Chris in Accounting was talking about the guilt she feels at the mere thought of moving her scrapbooks downstairs, and then a Little Old Lady placed an ad for a patio sale* and made the following comment:
When you get older, you look around and think, how did I get so much stuff? And why did I think this stuff was so important?
I'm 40--which is young or old, depending on how you look at it--and I've been wondering the same thing. How did we end up with so much stuff? And why do we think this stuff is so important?
Because we're human, I guess. Because we worry we'll need something in the future, because we think that this new item is going to make us happier, because some of this stuff holds memories and therefore meaning.
When I purged items in the master bath last week, I tried to keep these questions in mind--the first to enjoy the newly opened space, and the second to get over the guilt of donating or throwing away the things we don't use and don't need.
Honestly, why did tossing an unused jar moisturizer cause me such stress? I spent a lot of money on something that made me break out, but would saving it lessen the mistake?
Sigh. No. Into the trash it went.
I find it interesting, by the way, that I continue to struggle when I'm purging items. It's not like I've missed anything after I've decided to get rid of it (or, in most cases, can even remember what it was), so I don't get the resistance I sometimes feel. Weird.
But onward we continue. Bring on week four.
Oh, and incidentally, people have begun answering my classified ads. Slowly but surely, the basement is looking less cluttered. You have no idea what that does for my mental wellbeing. Hint: It's a lot.
*My Grandma M. used to call them patio sales, too. The memory made me smile. Ah, Gram. I really miss you.