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De-Cluttering

Clutter surrounds me.  It’s not intentional; it’s just the inevitable accumulation of a lifetime spent chasing material happiness.th

The irony of its impotency has not escaped me these past few years, in which lack of physical ability has rendered it all superfluous. What I once hoped would lift me up, now weighs heavily on my mental state.  Simplicity is what I crave now.

“We should sell off all the excess,” I suggest to my husband.  “Call it our retirement fundraiser.”

He opens his bedside stand and hands me a half-dozen watches.  “Start with these,” he offers tossing them onto the bed.

I had no idea they were there.th-2

We have curio cabinets full of Royal Doultons, and good china packed away that I never remember to use, and a whole storage unit full of stuff that I have not set foot inside for the better part of three years.

What were we thinking?  I guess that’s the point – accumulation is a mindless activity; it’s an in-the-moment impulse that serves only for instant gratification.th-3

“What about heirlooms, though?” a friend asks, when I tell our scheme.  “Wouldn’t you feel guilty about giving those away?”

I had a house full of antiques once, all inherited from a father-in-law whom I loved dearly. Lost them all in the divorce.  While it saddened me temporarily, I have long since forgotten them.  He, however, lives on warmly in my heart.

“We passed an antique dresser onto one of the kids once; he sold it.”

There are no guarantees that the things we hold onto will have any meaning for those beyond us.

“I will give the kids first dibs.”th-1

I posted the Doultons and watches for sale yesterday.  Have had two inquiries.  Nothing has moved yet, except for a bubbling up inside me: almost a feeling of excitement, as if my inner selves are emitting a collective sigh of relief.

Finally, they are expressing, she’s making room for us to breathe.

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Categories: aging disability family Health ME/CFS memoir nonfiction

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V.J. Knutson

Writer, avid reader, former educator, and proud grandmother, currently experiencing life through the lens of ME/CFS. Words are, and always have been, a lifeline. Some of the best adventures, I'm discovering, take place in the imagination.

2 replies

  1. a friend of mine is going through this, except its not just her stuff– its her families stuff, in a house she lives in.

    her mother was horrible to her, and she was a collector. not a hoarder– a professional collector (ive seen hoarding, this is comparatively mild.) worse, all the stuff of real value is now sold, meaning that the rest is just tons of crap to sort through, but its not quite trash. the most overwhelming part of it is that each item seems to trigger some memory of this less-than-supportive person. horrible…

    of course, im not trying to make it a competition.

    “youre not alone” is the real point here. the number of people that go through this sort of thing is staggering.

    when the joneses are dead and gone, we just have to keep up with our old habits. good hunting!

    Liked by 1 person

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