There was a time when I found lots of ‘stuff’ somehow comforting. But no more. At this stage of my life, I find myself very drawn to culling, tidying, and divesting.
Unfortunately, I am still drawn to gadgets. More often than not, once I have them I find them a bit less magical than imagined. So there’s definitely some before-the-fact culling that I need to start doing for myself. But it’s the after-the-fact divesting that I’ll be focusing on here.
My habit, for the past several months, has been to work on letting go of small things, sometimes-but-not-always mementos, that collect dust and were meaningful at one time. But these aren’t things that I actually use or need. And in particular, I don’t need them to commemorate the moments or the people they are connected to.
So, I have been in the habit of photographing those objects, writing a brief essay about them, marking their import, and then letting them go. I’ve got a collection of those essays on my laptop. The process has freed me up to let go of small things as I lighten the load, as it were.
So today, as an example, I’m highlighting something that isn’t of sentimental value but fills the divestment bill. It’s this small basket that I’ve had hanging on the shelf above my desk for nearly a decade. It’s filled with markers and highlighters, none of which I EVER use.
Okay, maybe I used the black marker once, about three weeks ago. But really – an entire basket just for that?
So, I’m going to pull down the basket and take it to the kitchen, where I’ll check to see if anyone wants any part of it. If not, the contents will be gone shortly thereafter. As for the basket, I’ll see. Perhaps I’ll use it to hold something else. I actually have my eye on another ‘container’ that I can let go of.
I wonder if the random objects in my room feel at all concerned about being culled. As my eyes scan the nooks and crannies here, are they cringing and trying to hide? Hmmm, maybe my knick-knacks and tchotchkes are afraid of me? In my eagerness to tidy and divest, am I creating an atmosphere of terror?
I’d never thought about it that way.
Am I an ogre?