Clutter Free And Carefree

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For the first time in my life, I am truly free! What an awesome feeling! And this is how I accomplished this feat………………

In another lifetime, I was the most sentimental person you could imagine. This dates back to my childhood when I was unwilling to part with dolls and toys that I had outgrown. In fact just this past summer I finally bid farewell to “Pinky”, my faithful pajama pal since I was in kindergarten.

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Letting go is a process. I took comfort in “things” for a variety of reasons. Of course it took time before I realized and finally understood why I became so attached to “things.”

Definitely there was security when I had familiar items surrounding me. I would take comfort in them and recall happier times whenever I felt down.

Pinky is a good example. I remember going to Ashdown’s with my dad on a Saturday afternoon. He was looking for a tool and I discovered Pinky. My dad passed away thirty-eight years ago, but I always felt that he was there with me because I had Pinky.

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My mom passed away eighteen years ago. I treasured all the silver, china, antiques and knickknacks that came my way. And I wrongfully assumed that my children would appreciate having these items.

Apparently something got lost between generations. That something can best be described as “sentimentality.” My children vehemently refused my offers of what I considered to be treasures.

When my marriage ended, these items found their way either into auction houses or thrift stores. And this past summer I disposed of everything that had been in my storage unit since I moved to Mexico more than three years ago.

I must admit that getting rid of the first few items was extremely difficult. But then it gradually became a frenzy of activity in emptying all the bins and boxes of their contents. And the more I got rid of, the better I felt.

I did take photos of many of the items. My friend Carolyn is enjoying the footstool my mom made years ago.

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This is the rocking chair I nursed my babies in. This was left behind at the house I rented last summer.

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This cup and saucer were always very special to me. Whenever my children and I went to my Aunt Jan’s for a visit, she served tea and dainties. When she passed away, this was one of the treasures she left me.

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This Cloisonne urn was a wedding gift to my parents. I sold it on Kijiji to a collector.

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I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea. I don’t have a home in Winnipeg anymore, and a storage unit is just too costly. Let’s face it…..things are just things.

The other day my friend Donna sent me a picture of her granddaughter sitting in my childhood rocking chair. While I had always envisioned one of my own grandchildren sitting in that chair, it gave me great joy to see Donna’s grandchild rocking in that chair.

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So how did these feelings of sentimentality evolve into feelings of ambivalence that enabled me to give away or sell items that had been in my family for years? Aside from the economic issues involved in maintaining a storage unit, my children also adamantly refused to store any of these treasures. They made it crystal clear that they had no interest in the antiques and collectibles.

Kudos to my son Kyle, though. I was able to convince him to store the family photo albums and framed pictures. And I did leave him a couple of small storage bins containing mostly gifts that my children had given me over the years. These I just could not part with. Perhaps they will grace my room in a nursing home later on in life, unless by some miracle I actually settle down somewhere for more than just a few months at a time.

And I have also spared my children the heartache of disposing of years of clutter when I am gone. I have vivid memories of doing this when my parents and two of my aunts passed away.

So here I am in Mexico with my life in two suitcases. And it feels great! There is absolutely nothing to tie me down anywhere anymore.

Things are temporary. But what is most important is very portable, and that is the love I carry with me in my heart.

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About iamkaren23

I am a Canadian writer currently living in Leavenworth, Washington. I published When Glad Becomes Sad in 2009. My second book, Alive Again, was published in March of 2015. Both are self-help books. I am currently working on a third book, this time a work of fiction.

4 responses »

  1. What a beautiful story, Karen. We all have our “stuff” as George Carlin used to say, strewn around the landscape of our lives. You are lucky to have achieved that unburdened place which has brought you joy.

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