It’s been a busy week. Between work, writing projects, getting together with friends, cleaning out clutter, and whatever it is we do with our days, it feels like time is flying by.
My parents are moving to a new, smaller house. They had a garage sale last weekend and I also got rid of a lot of things. But because they have less space to store all of my childhood relics, I’ve been having to decide what to do with some of them. Because our apartment is small, and we value our open space, we generally have a one-in one-out policy. This means that if we acquire new stuff, something has to leave. On Sunday I absolutely purged and re-arranged the whole place, which created both a huge bag of Salvation Army items and an effective workspace for me. Unfortunately, I also brought back the heat, since I took the opportunity to put away my summer clothes in bins.
Clearing away clutter is tough. But I’ve realized lately that I don’t want to be defined by my Stuff, nor do I want to cling to it as if it will save my life someday. Regardless of all the little things filling my house, I have no more or less security because of them. I want to value my relationships and my time. Stuff takes on symbols of relationships and time, but it is not a substitute for it. And I must prioritize. I can throw away scraps of paper and keep long, heartfelt letters. I can get rid of that thing that I bought at that thrift store and never wore, while still treasuring the friend who was with me when I bought it. Above all, I want to enjoy my life without being weighed down by clutter and the guilt that comes with keeping it and with getting rid of it.
I’m so thankful for what we have. But sometimes the little things like cake with my morning coffee do more for my soul than anything that sits around collecting dust.