In case anyone is wondering why I have dropped off the blog radar it is because I am seriously suffering from T.M.J. (Too Much Junk) syndrome. This condition is caused by the trickle down effect...relatives, friends, and well meaning neighbors who either pass on their sacred treasures or just plain junk to a sentimental creative who can cherish or use them. Add to that the creatives love of collecting things for "projects", out dated decor items, left over wedding decor, adult children who can't let go of their childhoods and think that momma will keep it safe in her storage building, a passing or three of close relatives of whom I was in charge of settling the estates, the usual storage fare of summer items like coolers, outdoor furniture cushions, swim stuff, luggage, plus all the bins of holiday decor and you have yourself a genuine episode in the making of hoarders!
I was genuinely appalled when I recently went to try and find some fall items to use at a little gathering we were hosting and I could literally not get to the bin they were stored in. I am by nature a neat freak, everything has a place and I have a serious addiction to organization (and my label maker) everywhere with the exception of this one storage building, it is where I evidently keep all my clutter secrets. I shove them in and slam the door on them before they escape but after reenacting the "HELP! I've fallen and can't get up!" commercial, popping up from under a box of wedding decor with a hunk of silk hydrangea caught in my hair and dangling behind my left ear I decided enough was enough!
I have spent literal days dragging things out box by box, bin by bin, culling, sorting, repacking & labeling, passing on, throwing away, donating, insisting on owners reclaiming, and even reliving some sweet memories. I am almost done, today should finish the project, and the last of the packed donation boxes will be hauled away. I feel the pain of the syndrome easing as I make one small portion of my life more manageable.
I am amazed at how much of our lives end up in boxes as clutter or castoffs. Two generations from now no one will know to keep my beloved Brownie Bear, smashed flat to one side from my then little girl head pressing on his side every night to better hear the tinkling of his music box encased tummy. They will not know that the worn away fur spot around the wind up key was done by tiny fingers who wound it in obsession to quell her fear of the dark, a soothing and familiar nightly noise.
They will not know that Brownie came with a tiny baby bear that rested in his sewn together paws but got lost but that it was OK since that made such a nice nestling place for Browine to hold a little girls hand to his musical heart. They will not know that his tattered ribbon was once a jaunty red bow or that he was best friends with a now button eyeless clown who was handmade by a lady from Germany and that they belong together forever and always. Someday, in some other storage building that is suffering from trickle down effect, they too will become castoffs when someone else is suffering from T.M.J. (too much junk) syndrome.
Excuse my while I have a final moment with my junk...sniff, sniff...
Letting go is never easy but it is often necessary in order to move forward. I think we keep and pass things on because we do not want to forget or to be forgotten. We leave behind the footprints of our stories, entrusting them to those to whom we think with cherish them and keep them alive. It is our heart memories that mean the most, the feelings we assign to tangible objects, and those feelings are the only thing that we can hold on to without drowning in physical clutter. This has been a difficult and daunting process but a needful and necessary one. All these things that were in my possession have found or will find new homes, connecting to new lives, making new stories, passing from hand to hand, heart to heart...
P.S. Of course I kept Brownie and Clownie!
I'll be back to regular posting as soon as the last box is sealed.