Monday, May 28, 2007

The Saturday Seven - #39

Z is for Zero

Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Nothing. That's what I got rid of this past week. And I'm just kind of beyond feeling bad about it, and beyond being down on myself for never posting a Saturday Seven on Saturday anymore.

Life feels a little complicated these days, in a deep and slightly subtle way. On the surface I'm dealing with all the same chaos and busyness and happy stuff as always, more or less. In a more interior way, though, there are some small shifts (in a good direction), and also some old griefs and struggles that relate directly to how I deal with possessions. My mom is very ill these days, and while her diagnosis is not yet known (a recurrence of her cancer is a possibility), just the fact of her being sick again triggers old sadness and fear. So much of my relationship with stuff is bound up with my relationship with my mother, in ways that I can't always make sense of.

The Seven Things Project is explicitly about getting rid of things I already have. A bigger issue for me, though, is dealing with the acquisition and accumulation of new things. I find myself wondering how I am really simplifying by getting rid of stuff when the fact is I haven't quit buying new stuff.

Except in one area: clothes. Since signing the Wardrobe Refashion pledge in February, I haven't bought a single new item of clothing for myself (except the allowable: shoes [1 pair] and undergarments; I will also be buying a new swimsuit soon). When I first signed up, I did it for two months. Then I re-upped for another 2 months. As of June 1, I am signing on for (*gulp*) 6 months. It feels really good to make this effort, and I feel so much self-sufficient when I make my own duds. Truth be told, though, if I never made or bought another item of clothing, I could probably make do with what is in my closet(s) for a long, long time. I really, really need to get rid of much more than I already have. I just find it so difficult, even more so then I realized.

I suppose I am doing better in other areas, too, overall. It's just never easy, at least not for me. I think I've always had a vision that if I could embrace "simplicity" as a whole-life concept, I would also have a simpler life. But the older I get, the more I realize that life is probably always just going to be a bit messy, and difficult, and that no matter how much stuff I get rid of and how little stuff I own, I will never feel like I'm in some sort of balanced, harmonious, control over life. Because that's not how life works. The problem really isn't stuff, per se, is it?

So those are my rambled thoughts for this week.

Total for this week: 0.
Total so far: 352.


Blogger TheAmpuT said...

That didn't sound like rambling to me AT ALL. Thanks for sharing your inner workings. I'm on the path of purge right now myself, and it's always such a gift to read what you have to share (especially the feeling and the psychology of "stuff").

I've been trying to figure out what to do with clothing, too. I'm thinking I might adopt a "one in, one out" rule. Still have a bit more purging to do before I decide that, though. Right now I'm working on parting with clothes that I like, and streamlining my wardrobe only to the clothes that I LOVE. It's tough.

10:19 PM  
Blogger Moonwaves said...

If you're really getting stuck (and if you have the room somewhere in your house) one idea is to pack things away that you just can't bring yourself to throw away but really, you know you never use. Pack them up into a box or maybe an old suitcase and then store it away somewhere you wouldn't really see it e.g. an attic or a garden shed. Make a note in your diary for about a year from now to remind yourself it's there. If, at that time, you haven't gone to fetch anything out of the box during its hidden away time, then it's fairly safe to say you don't need anything from it or really miss anything from it. The key to this exercise though is to get rid of the box WITHOUT opening it - if you haven't looked for something over the course of the year you probably don't need it but if you remind yourself what's in there you'll find all sorts of excuses to "need" it again.

4:49 AM  
Blogger Pamela said...

I think too, that we go in cycles with our "stuff". You started a great project with this and you got a lot of people to get moving on getting stuff out of their lives.
It has been wonderful for me. Look at all the things you found a new home for!! Don't beat yourself up anymore--you've done a great job.
And I agree--it is HARD to get rid of stuff.

3:13 PM  
Blogger Analisa said...

Me too on the stuff entangled with the mother. And me too on the accumulation being as much or more of the problem as the getting-rid-of. I so appreciate reading you - hang in there!

6:01 PM  

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