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What was I thinking?

Thursday, July 19, 2007 at 08:29PM
Posted by Registered CommenterTselani in

For 16 months, I managed to live with very few possessions. I had enough clothes and shoes to keep me entertained, my knives, and piles of paperwork (hey, it’s France). And that’s really it. Fabrice and I lived in a tiny space most Americans would find appalling, but we found cozy and comfortable. I really didn’t need all those possessions, purchases, and prizes I had packed up at home. Things didn’t matter – it was the people I shared my life with and the experiences I had.

Very frequently we give ourselves time to clear out the clutter in our life. Before I left for France, I cleaned out everything – recycled bags and bags of papers, donated carloads to Goodwill, and gave away things I wouldn’t need. But when I returned, I looked around and still realized I simply had too much stuff. I needed to go through everything – again.

I won’t bore you with the details, but I’ve spent the last three weeks getting rid of the things I don’t need. As I come across some bobble, trinket, or knick-knack, I wonder to myself, “What were you thinking?” Why did I buy so much stuff? What did I possibly think I was going to do with it? Yes, it might have been entertaining for a few hours or a few days, but did I really, really need it? No, probably not.

These days you’ll usually catch me going through every single file I have and shredding the documents I don’t need. To date, I’ve sent ten grocery bag’s worth of shredding to the recycling bin. And then there’s my basement. We won’t discuss that. It’s just too depressing. But now, I’m pleased to say, it’s clean. Of course I can’t forget the closets. It seems that everything I thought I would want or one day fit into has been left to gather dust and mold. Did I really think I was going to lose enough weight to fit into a pair of pants that were ten years old? I think not.

The folks over at Goodwill my car by sight, and I’m on a first name basis with our recycling man. As I clean out the old, I don’t plan to replace it with any new. I like the feeling of living lighter. Too much stuff just complicates the picture.

So I’m issuing you a challenge. Look around your house – not just glace around, but really look. Is there stuff that’s just taking up space? Do you really need those hideous ceramic cat statues that you bought at that “cute” shop on a vacation six years ago in a town whose name you can’t quite remember? I bet there’s someone at Goodwill or Salvation Army who would be honored to have them.

It’s time for us to all lighten our load and not buy so many things in the first place. Hey, if I can do it, I bet you can too!

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    Chez Tse - Blog - - What was I thinking? On living simply. (tags: life simple taoism) I Believe In Science Shop I also believe in the flying spaghetti monster, for what that’s worth. Oh, noodlely deliciousness. (tags: design...

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