Week 11 – Our monster garage sale was held over the weekend … good-bye to meaningless ‘stuff’ …….
Over four weekends my adult children had helped me with our property of 17 acres, mowing lawns, clearing out under the balcony, the Bar-B-Q area and the sheds. Half empty paint pots, rusted gardening implements, plastic garden chairs, tools, camping gear, sporting gear, boxes, suitcases, board games, tables, chairs, building cut-offs, rolls of wire, old mattresses, chests of drawers – where did it all come from? We had pulled out sale-able items to be sold at the garage sale; and had skips and trailer loads of rubbish taken to the tip. Then it was all gone.
I am revelling in my life becoming less cluttered, both inside and out. As the layers of my life were peeled off and thrown away, there was some sadness in the life that was, and more sadness for the life that had become – a world of ‘stuff’ and what all that meant – or didn’t mean. That is now all gone. It is no longer glaring at me, distressing me, all this meaningless ‘stuff’ that held no meaning to me anymore. Whilst there is still a lot to do, there have been huge steps made in ridding myself from it all. I can now take my home under my wing and make it the sanctuary I would like it to be – for me – and a place that the children can still come home to. A place of peace and calmness.
Later in the evening when the children had gone and I was all alone, I could not remember seeing the baby clothes – those precious reminders of my children as tiny ones. I became absolutely frantic. I looked everywhere. I went up to the shed and shone my car lights on. I could not see them. I went down to the house and looked in every cupboard. I could not find them. I could not sleep. I got up at day-break and had another search in the day-light. Still no baby clothes. I cried my eyes out. All this STUFF that now meant nothing to me that had been cluttering up my life, and now I have lost the happy memories of a most precious time. I began pining for them. I did some household chores trying to distract myself. Then I tried looking again – all through the house, and again in the shed. I moved boxes around one by one until – finally – I found them. They were under another box of ‘stuff’. I took them down to the house and put them in a safe place with other mementos of the children’s and with my photos. I took some out out and I smelt them and held them to my cheek and the wonderful memories of my children as babies and of our happy times came flooding back to me. I cried and I cried.
Later on that day I felt calmer and just a trifle silly. I could not believe how my mood had changed so swiftly from feeling OK after the garage sale and revelling in feeling free from clutter to one of being completely distraught over the lost baby clothes. It was as though one half of me as ‘wife’ had been ripped away from me with no choice so that all the ‘stuff’ that went with it now held no meaning to me; but please, please, please, don’t let me lose my other half of my self – my motherhood. Please don’t take that away from me as well!
In reality, it is all just ‘stuff’, stuff we cling onto. Baby clothes or no baby clothes, my stirrings as a mother were still inside of me. They would never be lost or taken away. They were part of me. The real me was still there inside. My soul was still there – here. I am still here, trudging along through life; step by step.