Thursday, February 24, 2011

Belonging to Belongings

My mom asked me the other day, "What are you going to do with all your stuff?"

My answer... "Bonfire?"

We laugh, but I'll tell you a secret.

Tip-toe closer to me and I'll whisper it so no one within earshot can hear us.

Really, the truth is...

I want to burn it. I really do. I'm tired of lugging this junk around everywhere. I'm tired of having so many memories attached to papers, baskets and cloth.

Give me my great-grandmother's linens and china. My grandmother's 1930s wedding dress. My old dusty books and beat-up mid-century suitcases. The pink bicycle for her, and the pottery mug for me.

Let me keep this...and.. that.

But everything else? All the stuff that's accumulated? Can't I just be rid of it all? 

While I'm trying to pack, I realize how much I belong to my belongings.

How incredibly pathetic. (Let's all hang our heads in shame.) I mean, really? Didn't I move to these wide, open plains with nothing more than could fit in my little car? How did I get so much junk stuff?

Sure... wedding, baby, hand-me-downs, thrift stores. It all adds up over time. But I'm ashamed at how slow this process has gone. The process of "I don't really need this" or "This is actually broken and useless" or the most common, "What does this even go to?"

Like I said, give me my old records and the Philco. The picnic basket and my mother's quilts. Let us keep The Velveteen Rabbit, my anthologies and those photos from my aunt.

Everything else?

Just light me a match.

{Is there anything that you have been holding on to for too long? Is there something that you belong to more than it belongs to you?}


  1. I understand on many levels. When I got divorced 15 years ago my two children were toddlers. I kept all of their "stuff" and some of my clothes and all of my photos, everything else I gave to Good Will. My mom thought I was crazy but, for me, it was very freeing. The “stuff” is not who you are and you do not have any obligation to it.

  2. We recently moved fromm one house to another witin the same small town. We were in no big hurry to put the house we were moving out of on the market, so we only moved what mattered most to us first. We have only added a few things and we love the peace that has come into ur live. We are in the process of getting rid of the rest.

  3. I may have this problem, but my husband does not. We are getting ready to move (again). Most of our belongings have been in storage for the last year from our move from TX. He has asked that we just get rid of it all. I replied that I want my stuff. I miss my stuff. I don't really even know what my stuff is. But I miss it. I need it. Well need in the sense that I didn't use it once in the last year..

    Clearly, I need some help.

  4. Margaret — It is definitely freeing! With each thing I let go off, I realize how much I am happy to be free of it!

    Suzie — I love this - "we love the peace that has come into our lives." Yes. That. That's exactly what I need.

    Christy — too funny!! But I can SO relate! I have a few boxes of things that I have NO idea what is in them, but I can't seem to just toss the whole lot!

  5. I get it...all the baubles and bits I needed to make my life complete, now sit crammed into cupboards taking up precious space. I have often thought of just tossing it all. But a that's a statement! I have been in the painfully slow process of purging and simplify, too. And of course, saying "Never again!"

  6. boy...did you give me something to chew on. I've moved so many times and it is amazing what one can accumulate. I often feel the need to just get rid of stuff. I really don't like it and I think it weighs my soul down.
    A bonfire huh?:)

  7. i have trouble throwing my boys' things away as they outgrow them. i might need them for grandchildren?

  8. It's great to appreciate things (you know I love pretties :), but we are just *us*... pilgrims... who should be free from baggage, in all sorts of different ways...and PLUS...there are always more treasures to find and discover in those thrift store trips. Too much fun!!

  9. A match. that is enticing, you know. I'm getting that spring fever, i want to get rid of lots of stuff and just be free, kinda feeling right now. You might have pushed me over the edge, dear one. :0

  10. Patty — it is a painfully slow process, isn't it!? Sheesh. I think that's why I've kept so much. It takes work to get rid of it!
    Tiffini — it weighs me down! and yes... I'll bring the marshmallows and graham crackers, will you bring the chocolate?
    Kendal— I think the same thing! "Maybe someday her daughter will want this!"
    Dee — I do love pretties! And I do love the treasure hunt. It's the best thing about thrifting,.. when it's time to say goodbye, I don't feel like I'm saying goodbye to heirlooms or thousands of dollars.
    Jen — it is spring fever!!! open the windows! get the brooms!! i'm right there with you!

  11. Oh Andrea, boy we are on the same page today. I wrote about such a similar topic on my blog -- we are very much on the same wavelength!

  12. Michelle - I just read your blog! Love it!