Friday, January 16, 2015

Boxes and Boxes

The other day I rented and actually watched the movie Boyhood. Since this isn't a movie review blog, I'll spare you all the details about the movie, but suffice it to say, there was a line in the movie that pretty much summed up my life as of late: "You spend the first half of your life getting stuff, and the second half of your life getting rid of it." AMEN, sister!

WHY WHY WHY do we save the things we do? What makes us do that? Don't look for me to answer that ... I'm asking  YOU! I think our intentions are good. We pack our favorite work coffee mug in a box the day we leave the job. But why save it when we probably have a dozen other (better) coffee mugs at our disposal? We carefully pack away the 953rd finger-painted drawing from our kid, one that looks exactly like each of the 952 drawings that came before it. Why? Most of it is sentimentality, I'm sure. It's like there is a flood of memories that will come rushing into our head when we touch that mug, or peruse that painting. Problem is, the more miles we tack on the ol' life odometer, the more boxes we accrue, and the heavier these boxes become.... and you know, cardboard doesn't last forever!

If it's not obvious by now, yes, I'm in the middle of a big cleaning project; the attic to be exact. And while it might seem that there are boxes filled with books, baby clothes, old TVs and broken Christmas lights up there, what I am dealing with is an attic full of regret ... regret that I went through a decades-long pack rat phase and have to pay the piper now. One way or the other, the attic has to get cleaned out, and now is the time. I'm not getting any younger, so while I still have a trickle of drive to do it, and a moderate amount of flexibility, I decided not to put it off any longer. Phase One is complete, with piles out the door to the curb for garbage pickup, a few miles west to the technology recycling center and one for Goodwill. SURE, a FEW things will be carefully repackaged for re-storage, things like old high school mementos, cute things boyfriends of long ago made for me, concert programs and leftover blankets. The attic is probably one of the easiest parts of the house to ignore, but I am facing it head on, hoping and praying for a big payoff down the road, mostly like making our next house move easier, as the kids leave the nest and we move onward and outward from our humble abode.

All I can do at this point is to chip away at the piles of memories (and garbage) and make an oath to myself that nothing new will EVER EVER EVER go back up there. No. Matter. What.

Here's to a clutter-free 2015!

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