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Stuff & stuff

C and I will be celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary towards the end of the month, and for the majority of those years, we have been in stuff acquisition mode: furniture, televisions, home decor, books, stereo name it, we've likely bought it. And now we are selling off of a good portion of those carefully curated things in a garage sale/jumble sale/venta de garaje.

We've had a few friends ask about specific items and those things are promised out: the kitchen table and chairs were grabbed last weekend; someone picked up the washing machine and dryer today; the televisions will be collected by the end of the week. Our home is unquestionably metamorphosing into a house.

I need to go through my closet--yet again--and make another stab at what clothes, shoes, and purses make the final cut. Cold weather items will be put into the storage unit to be shipped in October when we get settled in our long-term rental, warm weather clothes will be packed to go to my folk's and then on to Valencia.

I'm almost done with packing up the boxes of non-clothing things that I want to keep--all the items that still need to be packed and/or reviewed are contained to the basement. Walking through each room in the house and seeing the items in place, ready to be sold, is similar to looking at my high school yearbook: the basic outline of my life is there, but the fleshed-out details, and things that were so important are just beyond reach. While sometimes sad, it is also liberating to let go of our stuff.

And, if I'm telling the truth, I also feel quite a bit of embarrassment and disgust, not from the items themselves, but from the waste of precious resources (time, money, attention) and the importance that I attributed to those things. For years, I felt validated by the things that I surrounded myself with, whether those things be cars, jewelry, handbags, or even my home address.

Honestly, very few of the items that we are keeping have intrinsic value; we are keeping them either because they are useful, beautiful, or nostalgic. I spent many, many hours mindlessly walking through Target and Home Goods, filling my shopping cart (and our home) with all kinds of things. While that used to be relaxing, and enjoyable, now it just seems stressful and wasteful.

Look, I can't imagine that I'll ever someone that voluntarily gets all her belonging down to a single suitcase, but this process has been a real eye-opener.


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