Thursday, July 22, 2010

:: two urges diverged in a wood, and i -- ::

now, i don't mean to give the impression that i don't have a lot of stuff. i do. i have more stuff than i need, more than i want, and more than i have room or time for.

what i don't have is any emotional attachment to most stuff. i'm not a person who needs to save something just for the sake of having loved it once. or it having been given to me by someone i haven't seen in ten years. i prefer to save (i.e. store in the basement) things for just three reasons:

1 - i honestly think i will use it again in the somewhat near future
2 - it is an expensive or cumbersome object that i think there's a chance (even a small one) i will use again someday, and replacing it will cost far more than the effort/stress/space it costs me to save it (i.e. spendy camping equipment, baby clothes, etc.)
3 - i consider it a small way to provide my kids with some insight into who their mother is. (emphatic emphasis on the word small - i flat out refuse to just save stuff because one day my kids may go through it. i try to keep all my "whoa, look what mom used to do/have/be" items to two large rubbermaid containers, no more.)

i'm having a little trouble deciding about two things, though: my box filled with newspaper clippings (from 7 years spent writing for and editing newspapers and magazines), and my dissertation boxes.

neither meets the above criteria. i will not use these items in the future. they are not small. if i lost them in a fire i wouldn't even be particularly sad. which means i should let them go. but i'm feeling very attached to them. both are very physical reminders of parts of my identity -- and in fact significant chunks of my life -- that i consider sort of gone now. they're parts of me that i'm not anymore. parts of me that i gave very serious consideration to, that i spent long periods of time thinking would possibly become the things that defined me, in a way.

at the same time, though, even as i'm feeling attached, i'm also feeling a very strong urge to just get them out of my house. stop filling up space we don't have with things i will probably never even look at.

i can't decide how best to honor the first urge while fulfilling the second. what do you think?

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