I have had more than a few conversations over the months about how people live beyond their means. Buying items, they do not need because they think it is what they are supposed to have in order to fit in. Buying because they are trying to fill some other need or hole in their life.
I have a girlfriend that has all kinds of crap on every shelf, every wall, and I asked her if she truly loved any of it. Did it hold ANY meaning or did she just want more stuffing? I decided to go back and find this post and put it up again. I wrote it back in the summer of 2008 after Chase and I had an argument discussion in the grocery aisle about Oreo cookies. He wanted the double stuffed and I wanted just plain ole Oreos. Why do you need MORE I asked him? Why isn’t just the little bit in the cookie ENOUGH?? That question spilled over into my whole day/life.
Therefore, here is the re-print. Enjoy it while I sit and enjoy plain ole Oreos.
With the birth of Larkin and the ensuing health issues, I began purging our home of unnecessary items and “stuff.” Anything that required dusting that didn’t have an emotional attachment – gone. Clothing that was hanging around waiting for me to lose 20lbs – gone. I kept Chase even though he gathers dust cause I do have the emotional part with him – although 12 is wearing me out and I am dreading 13 which he turns at the end of August.
Yesterday I ventured into the storage area of the basement. Pictures, frames, items from 3 moves and apparently every single piece of paper Chase touched from pre-school to date. I sorted through it all box by box. Memories are a powerful force. Going through pictures he drew, progress reports on how amazing it was that he could play with the pegs and arrange them just so.
It made me happy to see the progress this beautiful young man is making.
Larkin will have lots of progress reports as I have a file folder stuffed with them from 2.5 years of therapy. She starts school when she turns 3. Her journey will be very different from Chase’s but I will have the same items to go through. Pictures, reports, and pride in her accomplishments.
It’s tough on ole mom though. I have made lemonade out of lemons, added some vodka here and there 🙂 and I keep putting one foot in front of the other. Time is getting away from me and my babies are getting big.
I am scared for her future. Chase will make his own path as I have supervised it and chosen it. But for L, I have to follow the one set for me by the school district, therapy, and everyone else who is smarter then I am, but most of all I am following a path that other parents cut away for me, paved with their blood, sweat and a lot of tears.
Inclusion is there because of those parents and children who have gone before me. Educational plans are better because of them, my life will be somewhat easier, and I am humbled because of the work they have done. Larkin will have a lot of advocates in her educational plans. I don’t doubt we will get exactly what she needs.
I got Chase’s items down to a box. In that box are memories of a marriage that produced him. Yeah I kinda wanted to burn those pictures but he deserves to know the love that brought him into this world. Letters that his grandmother has written to me for him, notes his father wrote me and keepsakes from school. Love is in that box.
I know exactly where the items are in this house that I would take if I had to leave in an hour or less.
Our home doesn’t have a lot of “stuff” anymore. Someone is enjoying vases, pictures, clothing, and items purchased out of impulse, gifts that didn’t make sense in our life. My cleaning helper made a comment that the house is easier to manage.
Yep – so is my life.
Clutter inside and outside the head makes it hard to function. If it sits too long in this house and I won’t shed more then 6 tears if it breaks – it’s gone. I don’t shop anymore except for groceries, it’s amazing how easy, and calm it makes life. I don’t worry about the next big thing (except new carpet for upstairs) and I don’t feel compelled to have “stuff”.
Now when I visit other people’s homes I am amazed how much other’s have and I wonder if they really love it and care about it or if it’s just filler. I don’t make any judgements, I just wonder.
My Oreo has just enough stuffing to keep my cookie sweet and I enjoy it a lot more 🙂
My lovely and loving daughter Amber Marks shared your blog with me today and it’s wonderful and just what I need as I try to go through “Stuff” and clean it out. Way past time to declutter. I do have a lot of emotional attachment “stuff” though. But bit by bit I should be able to weed out some of that too I think. Thanks for sharing.
I love the oreo analogy. Its so true. Our house seems bare, but what do we really need the money for, perscriptions and deductibles. And a splurge on a much needed vacation.
I love those oreos. At one time I tried the double stuff but now with our move we had to clear the house of many of those things that just didn’t matter and realized how insignificant it all really was. You really put a neat perspective on those cookies ames….yet once again a beautiful post.
thank you for resharing this post because I think I missed it the first time around- as a hoarder of all things with sentimental attachment, you’ve given me a lot to ponder while trying to find Makela’s floor in her room today…
Said with the wisdom that only a mommy with a very special mission in life can express! I need to lighten my load, for sure. If I could just get it through my head that the appearance of “normal” really isn’t.
You said it! It’s not the “stuff” that makes us, huh?