Heavy guilt of things

There are only a few things left to do in my entire house clean. Take clothing to consignment (what’s left of it after some of the girls went thru it) and some paper shredding and filing. The complete cleansing, sorting and purging has been excessively hard, it’s effort to let go of things. Sometimes I feel as if things are all I have. I don’t have a spousal equivalent, or kids, or a house. I don’t own my car. I don’t even have a pet. The letting go of stuff has ended up becoming an emotional torture of sorts. Reading old cards, seeing old clothes, and trying to remember that things people have given me are not the people themselves. Lots of heavy, tightly wound strings that have been cut.
I was a selfish little Bitch when I was in my 20’s. I think it’s normal behaviour? Again, no kids no husband… Maybe it’s not normal, in which case I should be thankful I feel I have grown out of most of that. My parents used to go south for a few weeks, one year they brought me back rocks that they had picked up on the side of the road. I remember feeling like, “gawd… They don’t even bring me back anything?! Just stupid rocks…” So I winged and bitched and moaned about how un loved I was. Certainly not the case, but remember, selfish little bitch. The next time they went down they brought back a little jar set thing. Beautiful, my favourite color blue, hand painted daisies, my favourite flower. It was a plate and 2 little glass topped jars. It’s one of the things that fell to my scouring. I’ve kept this set for 10 years, moving it 7 times, paying storage on it amongst other stuff for an accumulated 18 months. It was wrapped in paper in a container with other things. I hadn’t looked at it in easily 4 years. This breaks my heart. I carefully unwrapped it. Looked at it. Felt the cool glass in my hand, it was porous like old glass often is, traced my finger over the delicate hand painted daisies. Set it up on the glass plate. It sat on my table for 2 weeks, the most time it’s spent out of paper the entire time I’ve owned it. How do you decide what stays and what goes? Where is the line between sentiment and clutter? I live in 450 sq feet, it doesn’t take long to get crowded out. Paying storage for things doesn’t make sense, I have invested over $2000 in storage, plus containers, and moving costs keeping things that don’t keep me warm at night. That don’t tell me I’m smart or pretty or fun. That are filled with emotions, good and bad.
So I took this set my parents had bought me a decade ago to the second hand store. It wasn’t easy, even as I was unloading the boxes into the back of the store, I caught a glimpse of the blue, and nearly dug them out. So I could bury them in a box for another 10 years? Wouldn’t they be better appreciated by some granny on her knickknack shelf? Or tucked in a curio cabinet?
I let them go, they would go to a good home, someone who will love them and look at them, dust them. Take care of them like they should be.
My parents came down for a visit, stopped to see me at work and went second hand shopping afterwards. My mom phoned me to tell me the second hand store had more of those hand painted jars! Should she pick them up? My stomach knotted and my chest felt heavy, I had to come clean, those were my jars. Cringe. She laughed and hung up. I knew she would be upset, and understandably. The turn of the century hand painted antique sateen set she had bought me was at the second hand store for 25 cents. She emailed that they were worth well over $250. Today I have to respond to her e-mail. I understand the anguish those people on hoarders episodes feel. I wasn’t upset about the dollar value, but was torn up over the sentimental value. Everything happens for a reason, and as Dad approaches retirement its good that they be selfish, it’s certainly their turn. Maybe the heat they feel from this will motivate them further. I feel terrible that I hurt them. The irony in this awful experience… I kept the rocks. They are the perfect size and shape for door stops. I use them ALL the time…

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4 thoughts on “Heavy guilt of things

  1. Lindsay-Loo says:

    *sniff sniff* being a gypsy sometimes makes life easier (and harder) however emotional ties to physical things *sniff* taking things out of my hope chest always gets me teary….

  2. Vanessa says:

    i completely relate to this. having had to downsize..to suitcases. I know that at the end of the day, the reason I’m sad is usually nostaligia. and hanging on to things i never use doesn’t make me a kid again. and it doesn’t make me love my parents or friends or whoever..any more than if i don’t have them. you can always keep your memories and your love for important people. and the best thing is they’re completely weightless.

  3. Vanessa says:

    and to add – better to have light hearts that love with joy, than carry around these nostalgic items that usually cause our hearts to feel heavy 🙂

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