Monday, September 20, 2010

Stuff, Getting it, getting rid of it

It’s a strange cycle, all those years spent slowly acquiring ‘things’ only to reach this age and wish to be shed of most of them.  I’m reminded of the late George Carlin’s performance routine in which he talks about ‘stuff’.    Coming across an article in The New York Times; When Possessions Lead to Paralysis, I am reminded fondly of what George Carlin has to say about it.

We just saw our granddaughter off to college, spending that first Orientation Day with her while she set up her dorm room.  Last month another granddaughter just got herself set up at her college dorm room, so we have furnishing college dorm rooms on the mind.  With the sparity of space, yet the essentials of living for the next year all contained in a space about the size of a large walk in closet, if even that much room, I’m feeling awkward about the house we live in which contains the two of us and all our possessions.  

I wonder why it seems to take a lifetime to acquire all we think we need only to wind up looking at it all wondering why we thought we had to have it in the first place.  Not so much my husband, as me, because I seem to have that collecting stuff need more than he, but I wonder, could we get by with just enough stuff to fit a dorm room?  I often wonder if we could get by with just enough stuff to fill a travel trailer and do some road travel in the years ahead. 

What would we do with all our stuff?  And already I’m thinking it’s time to have an ongoing garage sale, online, and offload some of this stuff.

My mother said goodbye to her husband in 2006.  When he went on ahead to the other side, he left her alone.  I spent the first two years being as much ‘there’ for her as I could, and she often talked of selling her house, and moving closer to us.  She talked of doing so for years, it is now 2010, yet it never got much further than talk, and now she seems to be settled with the idea of remaining where she is, staying put.  It’s a financially sensible arrangement for her, yet I’ve often wondered if the idea of what to do with all her stuff was a somewhat overwhelming part of her decision to stay put.    It would certainly be overwhelming to me to be alone and along in years, left to figure out what to do with all this stuff in our home. 


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