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Please don't remind me that I'm poor; I'm having too much fun pretending I'm simply "living green" like everyone else these days.


Friday, July 31, 2009

So is it a garage or a home?

You've probably read me type talking about how my house always feels like a garage. I've said many times that my house is filled to the max with STUFF. You've read me say that every available space holds something that I believe to be useful, or that I paid good money for, or someone special gave to me. Am I right?

Well this morning I stood looking at the next bunch of stuff to sort and re organize and got to thinking.... if this house is a garage..... where is my home? Where is the place where my family and friends can gather? Where do I go to relax from a day of machine quilting? Where are the photos of my hugh family of kids, grand-kids, and great-grand-kids? Where am I in this garage? Where are the things that show who I am? Not just a professional quilter but a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother and a friend to many. Where's my personality in this place?

Next I had to ask myself..... is what make me, me really in the boxes at the bottom of all this stuff? What I mean is.... are all the things that make a house a home really stored away in my closets and under beds or even inside a cabinet? In my case, yes. I don't have a single picture or nick nack anywhere. It's all in boxes.

Could this be a carry over from my childhood? When I was a child I rarely unpacked more than a few clothes because I knew very soon I would be shipped off to another relative or orphanage. If I didn't unpack then I felt no attachment when leaving. It hurt less.

When my daughter and I moved into this house I kept every memory I could find a place to hide it. For heavens sake, I have every school paper she ever brought home.... including some from college. The same with my other kids.... all the papers from their childhood. Not to mention some favorite toys, pretty rocks they brought to show me, dried weeds they gave me as flowers, my son's wood carving attempts, inherited items from the people I remember but my kids don't, and photos of trees, flowers, and buildings I saw on vacations many years ago.
Also there are fabrics that have been given to me or I bought at one time or another. Bunches and bunches of fabrics; depending on what design phase I was going through at the time. I have gizmos and gadgets I collected from every bunch of quilting stuff donated by the fabric fairies.
Why can't I get rid of it? The stuff I don't or won't use in the near future? Why can't I get rid of the excess of craft related items that are just too much? Why do I hesitate throwing away a good piece of cardboard or a pretty piece of fabric even though it could easily be replaced?
Perhaps because everything has a some value to me. Value gives me an excuse to keep everything. For example: Someone gave it to me and I don't want to hurt their feelings if I toss it. It belonged to someone I remember fondly and want to honor their memory. It belongs to someone else and I can't get rid of it without their permission. I might need it someday if we have a world catastrophe. The biggest excuse of all.... it cost me money and if I throw it away it's like saying the money was wasted.
At some point I've got to unpack my real life and get rid of the STUFF that's taken over my happiness. It's time for me to move the garage out of my house and make this my home. Gosh, I've lived here for over twenty years, I think it's high time I made it a real home and stopped living as if I'll be leaving it soon. My real life needs to come out of the boxes in the closet and from under the beds.
Why don't I just rent a storage space to put it all? Well think about it. As a society we gather STUFF and then need organizer stuff to store it. We get a bigger house so we can buy and store more stuff and buy more organizer containers. When we can't buy a bigger house we try to pack 5 rooms of stuff into one room so we can make more room for more stuff. An off site storage facility is like buying another piece of real estate so we can pack it with more stuff.
I've decided it's time to unpack my life and stay awhile. There are people reading my blogs that might recognize something I'm moving out of my garage. To them I say.... I'm sorry, but I need my life back. I don't want this to be one big studio or storage facility. I want my family and friends to be welcome.... without me being embarrassed by the piles of STUFF.
Most readers know my daughter and grand-daughter are moving back home this fall. Over the next few weeks I will be going through everything in my house to make room for them to live here. I don't want my grand-daughter with memories of NaNa's house being only boxes of stuff stacked everywhere. It should be a place of comfort and fond remembrances of me. The cookies we will bake together and the games we will play on the floor and any other memories we can create together. The same goes for all my other grands. I want their memories of Granny's house to be warm and comforting instead of cramped and strange.
I want their memories of me to be like that of a happy Christmas song...... over the hills and through the woods to grandmother's house we go..... laughing all the way.


kathi said...

sounds like you are READY. and yes, it SHOULD have been a HOME and not a garage "all along".. so IF some of the stuff MUST stay, STASH THAT. and let all the memories and SPECIAL THINGS come BACK out of storage. and what is TRULY NOT needed or does NOT hold a SPECIAL memory, TRASH.

Last year i GAVE AWAY six HUGEE trash bags of fabric.... 3 to a customer and her guild,, 3 to the VFW. GONE. yes, every so often i think, HMM, now WHERE IS that particular piece of fabric. oh gone. that's ok. SOMEBODY is using it, and i certainly do NOT have any personal fabric shortage here.

GONE sometimes is also a GOOD thing. WHEN It pertains to the "overflow stuff".

Joyful said...

Thank goodness you've seen the need to unpack your boxes and show your real personality, and live your life. I do believe you've hit on the reason for why you have all the stuff ready to go but now you see the need for a different way of life. I encourage you and say "well done". I don't have my things in boxes ready to leave at any time and I don't keep everything. Nonetheless I have decided that a life of simplicity and less stuff is what suits me now and I'm in the process or organizing and letting go of stuff as best I can. It is a process.