Monday, August 12, 2013

non-sensical sense: why my clutter is treasure to me

i am confident in saying that no one will agree one hundred percent with what i am going to say 
maybe a percentage of you will agree with some of what i say
but probably most of you will think i’m crazy
i am okay with that, just please be kind

after posting my husbands post, clutter or treasure
it was clear that i needed to write a rebuttal
so maybe this isn’t really a rebuttal so much as a non-sensical attempt to explain the reasons behind what he would deem, and probably most of you, madness
madness that he lives with and puts up with graciously because he loves me
and somehow thinks i’m the best person he’s ever met in his life
despite the wake of treasures that come along with keeping me around

you must realize that he is leaning heavily towards the label of exaggeration by saying i have kept everything since birth
yes i may have had a personal ‘dewey-decimal’ like system coded by color for my childhood books, i have only kept a few which have now made their home in Felicity’s room
and yes i may still have Humanities textbooks from college, but i have gotten rid of most of them and have even given away most of my student teaching materials recognizing that if i ever taught film or art history or spanish
there would be an entirely new world of information available
see, i have some sense in me

but his claim of fifteen years of moving innumerable unopened boxes from house to house
unfounded i tell you

what about my need to keep things makes real sense?
hmmm, probably not a whole lot

i inherited a love for keeping things ‘just in case’ from my daddy
it was a well known fact that you did not remove anything from daddy’s closet
there was a reason for him keeping that stiff baseball glove, dusty magic show kit, or heavily lined parka that a polar bear would be jealous of
in his eyes they were still perfectly good and still had lots of life left in them to give
just in case you ever wanted to play catch, see a magic show, or moved back to Alaska
we were raised to be recyclers and reusers way before the wave of green came
for that was part of my daddy’s industry

in my attempt to keep mike’s ‘use by date’ stamped fluorescent stickers at bay
i will seek to reveal some random reasons i feel compelled to keep so many different categories of things
i am trying to put a linear cause and effect pattern on what more likely resembles an old skool jungle gym of sharp twists forward, to the side, and back
so please remember...
be kind

*i had an incredible childhood full to the absolute tippy top with magical moments that i don’t ever want to forget.  physically seeing random objects and papers conjure up memories the moment i lay my eyes on them.  holding them brings an added dose of reality...those things really happened

*i love learning.  i fear forgetting.  i have spent my entire life learning: studying my passions, traveling, world cultures, pursuing hobbies, teaching myself how to accomplish tasks, spiritual knowledge, personal goal setting, relationships.  i have the deepest fear of forgetting what i have learned

*the fear of wanting/needing something in the future and not knowing where to find it. this feeds into the ‘i bet i’m going to need that’ and the ‘i’ll have time to do that in the future’ categories of treasures.  

*i do not like spending money.  i am horrible at it and i know its annoying to go shopping with me.  i humph and haw over if i should buy something, get to the checkout and more likely than not, i put it back and leave.  we have struggled financially most of our married life and so if something is given to us or we have invested money in purchasing it, it is difficult to get rid of it, knowing that someday we might need it again and i don’t know if i could breakdown to buy it

*projects are my lifeline.  i feel like myself the most when i am creating and especially when i can take something that i see potential in its current less than luster state and transform it into something unique and beautiful.  as mike would say: one person’s junk is another persons we have a ton of treasure for ‘another person’.  can i help it if i see potential in so many things around me?  it excites me to envision what a drab piece of furniture can become with the touch of my hands.

*we have moved 14 times in 15 years of marriage.  it has been rare to have felt like i am living in my own home enough to unpack everything.  not to say that i don’t feel the love and warmth of being in a home surrounded by my family.   i keep things, longing to find that place where i will feel settled, where i can unpack everything and then decide if i want it to be a part of my home.  it seems unnecessary to make the cut before i get there.  maybe in our next place, that thing will find its perfect spot right there.

at this point you are all thinking i am crazy
wondering how i’ve made it this far in my life

i have felt the freedom that comes with a clutter free mind and a clutter free space
and it is a beautiful feeling
but i also have anxiety attached to saying goodbye to things
for all the fears and struggles i have mentioned above
on my recent trip to Dallas
Mike in his sincere desire to lift my burdens
decided to clean out our master bedroom
what had become the storing place of the misfit items
he texted me a photo and it looked incredibly clean and lovely
but my first gut feeling was 
where did everything go
by now, you’ve diagnosed me with some sickness
and i’m sure there’s a name for it

do i want to stay one hundred percent like this for the rest of my life
absolutely not
it is definitely a goal of mine to remove unneeded items
which by my standard is difficult to do
but i’m ready to do it
what i will always place value will be frugality, reusability, creativity, and reminiscing
just i hope in a more sensical way
that doesn’t involve me needing to fill up our 3rd car garage as our non-digital cloud

after posting this my husband posted the following on facebook in response to my top photo:
I think it's important to note that the clutter/treasure in our garage and throughout our home does NOT look like the picture!
This picture is simply an attempt to put lipstick on a pig and I am incensed! Why not take a picture of our actual garage???
so in fairness i took an actual photo of our non-digital cloud
look how organized it is people
i could tell you what is in each of those bins and boxes
because i've OPENED all of them

tell me there’s someone out there who aligns some of their thoughts with what i just confessed.
and for those of you who are less attachment oriented than myself, how do i get started?


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