Newton developed Three Laws of Motion. George Carlin had a comedic routine about “Stuff”. Somehow the two of them missed what seems to be a corollary about the science of stuff. Here it is: “The stuff you accumulate grows in direct proportion to the amount of space you have in which to house it.”
Here’s the problem with that fact. We have two homes, and are preparing to
downsize to one. We will soon be faced
with figuring out how to deal with 4,000 square feet of stuff in 2,000 square
feet. Obviously, the only way to do this is to get rid of a bunch
of stuff. We did this in 2008 when we
moved from our large home in Memphis to the smaller condo in Chicago. It was brutal. We gave things away, we sold stuff, and we
threw away mountains of crapola. One
would think we would have learned some sort of lesson. Yet here we are, about to embark on the same
journey of angst over stuff.
Accumulation happens innocently enough as a result of living
in two homes. You want to make a
meatloaf, and have no meatloaf pan. You
start playing golf but have no clothes appropriate for the course dress
code. Furniture from Chicago can’t be
moved to Prescott while we are spending months at a time in both places. So now we have “enough” to be comfortable in
each home – which means we have too much.
We know how to do this.
Furniture not destined for Prescott will be sold or given away. Old paperwork will be shredded. Clothes that don’t fit or haven’t been worn
lately will be bagged and taken to the Salvation Army. But which dishes and glasses will we
keep? What chains of bondage to
sentimental items will we have the strength to break? How completely can we embrace the next
chapter of our lives without being hampered by moving too much stuff?
It’s painful to dismantle a comfortable home built over the
years. But I believe the more we look
ahead rather than behind, the happier we can be with our lives. I want people and love around me. The “stuff” I can leave behind.
Anybody need a meatloaf pan?