It's Not Just Stuff

Through this whole process, Husband and I have talked a ton about how we're ready to get rid of so much stuff. I mean, it's just stuff. It's not necessary and in the grand scheme really doesn't mean much. Purging is cathartic, right?

Yeah, sort of.

It's harder than I expected. That is not to say that I was completely unprepared to deal with sentimental feelings and the sadness of letting stuff go. I knew that would be a part of it. Childhood moments. The memories of loved ones lost. That I was prepared for. Well, as prepared as you can be for the flood of emotions that accompany those sort of things. It is my reaction to the other stuff that has caught me off guard.

For example, a year ago we leased a Jeep. I've never leased before and that thing had more bells and whistles that I could have imagined. We were in a pinch and I was only driving about 7,000 miles per year, so it made sense. This week, we turned the Jeep in. The dealership gave us a great deal to break the lease and we let go of one of our big things. I was heartbroken. I'm still kinda heartbroken. It was just a car. I've never cared about a car beyond it being reliable and necessary. A month ago I was more excited about not needing a car for much other than the occasional vet visit or grocery run. Now I'm sad about my car. I'm sad that it's not sitting in the garage. And it's just so silly. But the feelings are real.

Husband, on the other hand, has let go of so much more than I have at this point. He's still a bit sad, but dealing with it well. The toughest one was his grandfather's pool table. It was purchased new in the 60s and has been in the family ever since. It now lives with his brother. His grandmother's piano was another tough one. Fortunately, that one was taken by family as well. Sending this stuff off to family is hard - as it was expected to be. 

The unexpected is the reaction to the other stuff. The fact is, I don't think the reaction is really about letting go of the stuff. It's about letting go of our life as we've known it for decades. The things we kept may vary in value, but the pieces together tell our story. From us as tiny tykes to crazy single twenty-somethings. Memories of time spent with grandparents to our happily ever after story. It's all there in furniture, books, knick-knacks, and photos. Unfortunately, it would cost us about $100 per pound to take the stuff with us. So - we let it go. We let it go with the knowledge that it's not just stuff. Here's the good news - we can keep what makes those things not just stuff in our hearts no matter where the stuff ends up.

And that's the point of this whole thing. We're trading in the tangible for experiences beyond our boundaries.