7/15/10

Parting is such sweet sorrow - decluttering part 1



I've been on a clutter-busting binge lately thanks to a little program called "Trash it or Treasure it" from BrocanteHome.  Each week I have a new set of assignments - some of them I love and come easily, others I buckle against. Either way, I've found myself in a nice stream of getting rid of things, freeing up my mind to see what  matters to me NOW, in this present moment, which is so hard to do.

Saying goodbye to things, is like saying goodbye to the past, is like saying goodbye to a past experience, a past passion, a past obsession, perhaps even a past version of my self.

Did you ever have anything that you were "known for"? Something that you began collecting - perhaps on purpose or perhaps by accident? Or some passion or hobby of yours? And soon, you found that everyone always identified you with that thing?

And then, you find, strangely enough, years later that you've moved on... And yet it takes time to let the past go...

Getting rid of all my bits and bobs brings all of this to the surface, each item represents a past version of me that didn't survive to the present.

For years I was obsessed with antiquing, or junktiquing as I called it and all things shabby and cottage and retro and vintage and white chippy furniture and feminine and floral.  Nothing filled me with delight like the thought of a day spent at Round Top or Fredricksburg or estate sales.  I thought perhaps it might be lovely to be one of those antique dealers myself, like a paler, poorer version of Rachel Ashwell.  It was just a dream for awhile until a friend and I started our own little junktique trunk sales - just two dreamers, dabbling, with absolutely no idea what we were doing.

I found myself buying up loads of vintage ephemera, anything that somehow struck my eye, even if it had no practical use.  Over the years I've ended up with piles of pillow cases and table cloths and napkins and napkin rings and candle holders and vases and bowls and shells and ribbons and crepe paper and Christmas ornaments and tulle and chipped china and yellowed books and old photographs.  I loved it all at one time.  But eventually it felt like dead weight. I was tired of my garage being full of boxes of stuff, carting them around here and there, making pennies of profit at a time. 

Gradually I decided it wasn't for me anymore and I began trimming and trimming away at it all.  And here I am, still trimming, still finding remnants of that era of my life, still hanging around, reminding me of what I once loved and what I once was, still making me a bit sad at the change.

The new me is more minimalist and sleek with less time for cleaning and cooking and crafting and less room for storing stuff that I might use someday or keeping projects that I started but never finished five years ago.  This is the me that has survived to the present and I've left those other parts of me behind, like old sofas abandoned on curbsides.


And all of this soul-searching brought on by a de-cluttering program.  Ha!

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