Others have written about this subject far more eloquently than I will be able to, but I'm feeling a need to write about it anyway. (Actually, I'm feeling a need to avoid the Packing & Cleaning Beast that is currently hulking just behind my shoulder; its hot, fetid breath scorching the back of my neck.)
Anyway, a few years ago, I moved across country and gave away nearly everything I own except for a few very important items: computer stuff, art stuff, family stuff. It was so liberating that I swore I'd never accumulate so much stuff again.
Fast forward six years...
Where in the heck did all this stuff come from?! I'm not a rabid consumer - I'm not, I tell you! Books, furniture, miscellanea - how did it accumulate? Why did I allow it? I was doing fine without a sofa - just a couple of folding chairs in the living room... wait! That was my daughter who wanted a sofa so she wouldn't be embarrassed when her friends came over. And oh, yes! My boss was cleaning out her storage locker and had an old sofa to give away.
Sofa explained. Check.
Come to think of it, most of the furniture I can attribute to my daughter's influence coinciding with people I know having junk they wanted to get rid of, and I took it on. Sucker!
So, now I'm stuck trying to sort, pack, clean, and get rid of everything before the end of the month, and have no idea how I'll manage it. I've made another vow that NEVER AGAIN will I fall prey to the "gotta have stuff" mindset.
However... I was recently also in the hospital. They took away my purse, my clothes, everything I had with me while I was getting ready to be moved from the ER to my room. It nearly caused a major panic attack. Wait! You can't take my stuff! I felt so stripped, so horrifyingly bare.
As they made off with my things, I had a little roll of mints in my hand that they hadn't seen and I didn't mention. I held onto those darned mints as if they were the Holy Grail and my key to salvation. After all, who was I if all I had was what they had given me? How could I function if I didn't have some of my own things with me? Yet in just a few moments, I had another revelation. Nearly everything I've ever had was given to me at some point, and I was actually in the hospital because I hadn't been able to let go of things.
I put the mints down before they wheeled me away. Now, I'm hoping that this time, I can leave everything else behind as well.