Monday, November 15, 2010

From "Pack-Rat" to "Pitch-Queen"...

It seems to be a transition made in decades... the "teen years"... the twenties  and thirties... when I get through the 40's I will have to make an update! 

When I was a teen I kept everything, and while it was not wholly a cluttered mess, it was pretty bad. I would stow away in my room at times for hours and sort through it all and make an organized display of the mess, but it was all there. 

I could relate to the well known show "Sanford and Son"... the crazy junque collector and his child.  (I know "junk" is spelled wrong... I like it better that way... and this is my blog. If it bothers you too much, feel free to start your own blog and write it any way you like :) I promise to read your blog!)


I would keep anything and everything, and especially liked to collect small and worthless things that kept some memory of some event alive in my head. I have a terrible memory for the details of things, which may explain that tendency in my life. It would also explain the 18 journals that I had started in hopes of becoming one of those grammas that kept a log of every event in her life and one day they would all be found (long after my death, of course) and people would regale the wonderful and legacy-leaving life I had lived. Sadly each journal had one or two pages written on. Then months would pass and I would just get another one. If my descendants like to dig up old archived html entries this blog might be a possibility, however I highly doubt there will be many changed and impacted lives as a result. Oh well :)

On to the twenties, and the era of Young Children.

Especially in America, that inherently implies the accumulation of stuff- compounded with each child- and I was no exception. Add to that being a home schooling family, and for me it was hopeless. While I became better at keeping it moderately categorized and contained into collections, I had it all. The school books by grade, sports equipment, winter clothes, summer clothes, craft corner, toys, fabric section and scrapbook supplies... shall I continue with the list?? Clothing for every child in every size to be passed down to the next child and added to by the friend or relative with a child just enough larger to benefit you and the ever groaning growing collection of toters and banana boxes labeled with M or F and the appropriate size. Even writing the sentence is exhausting... imagine living it for ten years! Truly if clothing was disposable (at the least if socks were!) I may have been the mother of more children. I could only handle so much!

Needless to say the accumulation was intense.

In my thirties, we began to move. Alot.

That was definitely a catalyst for my changing attitude towards my stuff. Instead of a comfortable or pretty adornment to my fast paced and busy life, it became another thing to manage, clean, move or repair. Packing and unpacking some pretty chachka brought me much less pleasure than keeping it did, so out it went.

Pitched. Chucked. Tossed.

Surprisingly, with it went a lot of mental clutter too. True, some of them reminded me of pleasant things or places I had gone, but the memories aren't gone, just the constant reminder of them! It is good to think on things in the past, but it truly seemed like every time I looked at something, my mind raced to that event and disrupted the thought I was currently on. It made for (mentally and physically) very cluttered days. Kind of like a self induced and cyclical A.D.D.!!
I am in my forties now, and have very little attachment to "things". I have been told that I am careless, unsentimental, and insensitive. So be it. But I also know that if this wasn't my attitude to the core of my being, I would have a very hard time following the Lord on the current path we are walking.  Just this past year our family lived in a camper for over 90 days. Let me tell you we did not bring a whole lot of stuff with us, and we did just fine. (we all need a bit of therapy but that is another post...!) (that was a joke!)  When we do come home, I have this urgency to throw it all away.

It feels so cluttered, full, weighty, burdensome.

I am finishing through the New Testament and my reading brought me to the end of Hebrews into James today. Couldn't help but feel the Lord confirming this in His word.

Hebrews 12:1-2  "... let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with the patience the race that is set before us. Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; ..."

For me this is both physical and spiritual. I need to physically purge out those things that will keep me planted in this world. Spiritually, I need to make the things of God priority.

Today, I am doing them both in one fell swoop. I am throwing out a bunch of junque!



jen said...

I NEED you to come here. ASAP. I have two bedrooms that need to be purged in a serious way!!

Janice said...

How is that possible?? You just moved in!

I would love to come... I will trade pitching for tutoring!!

(DAN... start calling pastors in Cali!)