Monday, March 21, 2011

stuff

For 18 months or so, the South African Hottie has been telling me I have too much stuff. It's not that he's a minimalist, he just won't spend money on anything. We're opposites in that way, which is why I'm broke and he's able to do whatever he wants when he wants to.

My impending move to Alberta to be with the SAH has meant I've had to make decisions about my stuff. I can only take with me what will fit in my car. My life reduced to six totes and a few little bags. Considering I brought a couple of carloads and a cube van load of stuff with me to Fredericton, the past week has meant a purge like I haven't seen since, ironically enough, 2002, the year I returned to the East Coast from Alberta.

This time around, however, the purge has been more conscious. Nine years ago, I packed at the last minute. If it didn't get in the car, it stayed behind. This year, I considered each item individually. Would I try to sell it? Donate it? Store it? Or was it critical enough to take with me?

This time around, I've learned something. I've learned that the only things that matter are the ones that make my life easier. If it doesn't contribute to the meaning of my life, it's got to go. I've kept some frivolous things - I have a frivolous side, after all - but I believe that what remains now has value, either fiscal or 'spiritual'.

One principal that proved helpful to my decisions was this: could I replace the item? If so, bye-bye. Another question I asked was: am I using the item? If not, bye-bye.

Not everything has been easy. Making these decisions day after day and hauling stuff away or packing it into a tote or putting it for sale on Kijiji has been tremendously stressful. I don't want to ever experience this again.

I've told the SAH that I believe I've been addicted to stuff. I don't know if I've broken that addiction - I won't know until I'm tempted again - but I finally see what he's been trying to tell me all this time.

The SAH and I expect to return to the Maritimes in a year or so. I'm curious to know how I'll respond to the items I've decided to store - will I be pleased, or will I wonder why I decided to keep what I did?

Sounds like I've built a short-term time capsule, doesn't it?