Letting go is hard to do. Not the kind of letting go you do over an embittered break up or the figurative debris that needs to be rid from your head. Though clearing the contents of my mind is probably long overdue. I am talking about discarding junk. Worthless, useless, piles of clutter.
Here’s the thing, my garage is reaching maximum capacity. I’d like to think of it as a dumping ground for all my special mementos. Over the course of the last eight years, I have stuffed it full of every imaginable memory.
Keepsakes ranging from “Open House” signs, cracked coffee mugs, broken drum sets, and even, old buckets of paint used for our baby’s first bedroom. My daughter was born seven years ago, and yet, I can’t muster enough resolve to chuck the Buttercream BEHR paint. There is an odd sense of security knowing that this bucket is still nestled in the corner of my garage. I guess it reminds me of her birth. The reception of a new baby, a new life. And of course, all the maddening preparation that proceeded her arrival.
Then there is the artwork. I have faithfully saved every drawing my kids have ever created. I mean every single piece. From the complimentary kid menus they color at family friendly restaurants to crumpled up napkins with signature designs. Every last stinking scribble scrabble is accounted for and documented.
I don’t understand this compulsion to hold onto everything. The overwhelming desire to stow memories. Seems rather futile and unnecessary. Such a waste of space. But the urge persists.
Perhaps I’m afraid that if I discard something of value, I’ll regret it later. The image of a truck hauling away belongings I deem as treasure and others deem as trash is so permanent. Once the items leave my home, it’s irreversible. There is no going back. I’ll never be able to recover those recorded memories.
My reluctance doesn’t make this dilemma any easier. In fact, my strange attachment to junk only confuses me more, and in turn, causes me to procrastinate. As soon as I open the garage door my head starts spinning. I am bombarded with a thousand what if’s . . .
What if I need that size 4 black mini dress after all?
What if the kids discover I didn’t save their pinto-bean paper plate projects?
What if the hole in the inflatable Rudolph decoration can be patched?
Fortunately, the anxiety subsides when I close the door. Although the monumental chore of sorting through clutter looms over me, I choose to push it to the wayside. I convince myself there is always tomorrow.
Tomorrow I’ll let go of the junk. Just let it all go.