Friday, January 02, 2009

Pitching anxiety

I am a collector. My parents are collectors. And we attach sentimental value to everything that touches our lives.

Proof of this hoarding habit became all too apparent when I decided to start cleaning out the attic.

I had major anxiety. Still do.

10 tall kitchen garbage bags worth of clothes are waiting in the garage to be donated to Joseph's Coat in St. Paul.

5 bags of garbage are piled in the garage to go out on Tuesday.

And I have been using a paper bag to keep my breathing steady.

Why so much anxiety?

I think part of it is that all those little mementos remind me of my life. They let me know that I have lived. That I have been places and done things. That other lives intersected with mine and we shared something together.

Some of the things that I found:

8 track tapes of the Flashdance soundtrack, Air Supply, Kenny Rogers, The Turtles.
A Rubik's cube with scenes from the movie ET
Empire Strikes Back trading cards
ET trading cards
A stuffed Gizmo
Peace Frogs t-shirts and bumper stickers
The napkin from Patrick's something or other in New Orleans
Subway token from my 1988 trip to New York for college
Bullet casing from when I learned to fire a rifle at the range
Richard Scary books I had when I was a little girl
A raggedy Anne doll that looked more Raggedy than Anne
My Brownie guidebook and badge book
The medals I earned from the Reading Olympics
My old wedding ring
A Chevron collectible car
Beanie Baby happy meal toys
Darth Vader case for Star Wars figures
Dagoba play set
A gun for one of the Star Wars figures.
An R2D2 and C3PO necklace
The sign for my high school locker that said "Tater Tot"
A Doll with a stuffed body and hard plastic head
The sweatshirt I colored on the drive from California to Michigan 1977 which lists each state we drove through and a pictorial representation of that state.
My sticker collection
A unicorn pillow
The bandanna a roommate brought back from Japan Disney
The jade horse my dad got me when he was in Spain
The bells we put on our shoes to greet my dad at the airport

I didn't throw it all out. I couldn't. Ok, the 8-tracks went into the garbage. As did some of the above stuff.

I also collected a bunch of stuff to take up to the cabin. Kitchen things we can use up there.
Mugs, bowls, measuring cups, etc........

I don't need to have the stuff. I don't use so much of it. But I am not ready to part with it all either.

It is silly. They are just things.

Ultimately I know the only things in my life that really matter are my pets, my husband, and our health.

And I really could walk away from it all. But to make the permanent break when I don't have to I am just not read for.

One of these days it will happen. A little at a time. Maybe a year from now I'll do the same thing and chuck even more.

It really does feel good to get rid of things I will never use/wear/read.

Baby steps.....................