I'm thinking about George Carlin's Monologue on Stuff
I wish I could draw a cartoon right now. If I could draw a cartoon right now it would be of a room full of boxes with a tiny little person's head (me) sticking out (barely) above the top of boxes. How did we get so much stuff? It always looks so manageable when it's spread out all over the house. And the barn. And the tack room. And the tool shed. Marty thinks we can get moved in a month. I'm worried that it may take a hell of a lot longer. I'll let you know.
I am NOT a saver. Never have been. As a matter of fact, I purge. I love to get rid of stuff. I have always been this way. My mother was a saver. But I have to say she was saved nice stuff. Not junk. I'll give her that. For example, she had beautiful ceramics on shelves all over the house and the kid's artwork stored neatly in the finished basement. I guess I polarized. I am the opposite of her in that way. I detest housework and dust so to minimize both I minimize stuff. I like to travel light. That way if I feel like up and taking off for the Caribbean I can do so at a moment's notice. Dust if you must.....
When I was at the University of Iowa I lived in a dormitory the first year. I wanted to live in a rooming house with my friends but they wouldn't let me so to ease the pain I chose the dormitory that had the most character that looked the most like the singular living I wanted. I don't care for all slick and modern. So I chose Currier Hall. It was the oldest. It was brick and covered with vines. The rooms and hallways were spacious the way they did it in the old days. The other dorms were modern, sleek and efficient. And small. And ugly. There was no "there" there.
I had a roommate, of course. Her name was Debbie and she was the opposite of me. Opposite in every way. She was short. I was tall. She was a brown eyed brunette. I was a blue eyed blonde. And she was a little bit off her rocker. One night she went off to the demonstrations against the war in Viet Nam and came back with a nasty bleeding cut on her forehead. She said the police knocked her down. I knew she was lying because she lied all the time and was constantly being caught in her lies. She didn't care. After I left the dormitory I heard later that she had been institutionalized. Girl interrupted.
Well, anyway, we shared the top of the dresser half and half. Her half was so covered with jumbled up stuff that you couldn't see the dresser top underneath. To the left of her side was my side. My side had maybe, maybe, four things on it all neatly arranged. You could see the top of the dresser. When I saw the bleak Woody Allen movie "Interiors" I panicked. Would I someday find myself walking into the ocean to drown because I messed up my life by being too obsessed with how things look? Well, I didn't drown and I didn't mess up everybody's life including my own. I've made peace with purging.
I think it's good to be streamlined. I think it's good to only have stuff that makes a contribution. It's simple. When I consider buying something I ask myself "will this enhance my life? Do I really need this?" If I can answer yes I buy it and if a year later I haven't used it - which pretty much does not happen because I've analyzed it - it goes bye bye.
And yet as I box up stuff for the move I'm still thinking how did I get so much stuff? I've got to do better. Moving gives me the chance to evaluate how I live and make positive change.