Monday, October 20, 2008

Packing

I'm up to my neck in boxes around here, and I've officially given our home school a three week holiday. There's just no way I can handle helping kids with their school work along with getting ready to move.

It seems like each box holds so little, and an endless supply is needed. But I've not run out yet, and if necessary, I can always send Wes to fetch more at Kroger, 11pm. That's when the stockers are busy and the boxes are available. Mind boggling how much cardboard gets used and baled and recycled each night. I hate to think what was done with boxes before recycling existed.

Which brings to mind some thoughts on possessions: We (and by this I am talking collectively of most Americans) generally own too much. Our lifestyles necessitate each family unit owning "one of everything", and in general people don't share very much. The idea of sharing items such as a lawn mower, or other yard tools is perhaps more palatable than the idea of two families sharing a washer and a dryer. That would just be "weird". Counter cultural.

Imagine doing that, though. You'd have to communicate. You'd have to work out differences, and agree on taking turns and things like that. Is that a bad thing?

I'm just asking. Because business as usual here in the good ol' USA leaves people indebted, isolated, and overburdened. How is it possible to simplify our lifestyles to the extent that we aren't being creepy but we are living in community with our neighbors?

We own too much stuff, and just like there are always too many opportunities for eating too much food, there also seem to be too many occasions to accumulate more stuff. Christmas is coming. Don't think I haven't been thinking of it. Christmas, Pascha, birthdays, name days. What if these occasions were used to gift each other with more of the necessities of life rather than the toys? Or with gifts that don't take up space? (I think there's some information at www.flylady.com about non-material gifts. I'm just brainstorming, here.

But all this to say, we've gotten rid of A LOT of stuff. Our whole garage was filled with the possessions of my in-laws, deceased since 1994. That's all gone. We are being ruthless with old mementos, too. (Must and mold is helping to motivate us!) It's not coming with us if it stinks. It's not coming with us if it's worn out. It's not coming with us if we don't like it. It's not coming with us if we don't use it or love it.

Unfortunately, in my kitchen there are those items like the veggie tray that I only use once or twice a year, but at those holiday times I need that stuff. This stuff takes up space. But happily, I can go ahead and pack them now, twelve days out from moving day.

And so it goes.

I'm really grateful for the opportunity to lighten the load of possessions a bit. And ironically, I still have a bit of a wish list. Part of it is stuff that legitimately could stand to be replaced, like kitchen linens that are raggedy and frayed and threadbare. But some stuff is because I just like stuff...like the pretty embroidered handkerchiefs I have been oogling from this website.

Learning to live in this world without my heart being attached to temporal things is rather difficult sometimes.

2 comments:

elizabeth said...

I need to start packing too... working FT Mon-Thurs and other things have been getting in the way...

it is super hard to have a proper relationship with things!

Dollymama said...

I remember when you were moving into your house and B was about three, and she could read "eggs" from the boxes in the hallway.....