Saturday, December 29, 2012

Hoarders Anonymous

I don't think it exists. Maybe it should. Except they would probably go to each other's garage sales and just pass all the stuff around.

Not the point.

I think I have mentioned on more than one occasion that my parents are collectors of stuff. All three of them. I think I have also mentioned that I am a collector of stuff, but that I am actively working on weeding the stuff out so that I am not storing a bunch of crap I don't need and won't use. If, for example, I were to get rid of some of the stuff in my studio, I could use it to create things instead of hauling my craftiness into the living room.

This collecting problem in my family has been highlighted of late in the fact that my mother will soon be moving.

I don't know if I have talked about how she left her job a couple of years ago and has not found another one. Or how when the market was high, she refinanced several times (against the advice of her children) and owes far more on her house than she would if she hadn't done that.

She realizes now that she made some mistakes and we are working through this madness. Thankfully, she has this really great fiancee who owns his house and she will be moving in with him. Her lifestyle will have to change drastically, and we aren't sure how all her children and his children will fit for Christmas next year, but we can cross that bridge when we come to it. I suggested bunk beds in the family room he plans to build.

We've known this was coming for awhile, although there is still hope that she will find a job in time to save her house. In real life though, the fiancee's house is smaller than hers. and already full of his stuff.

She said she has been getting rid of things, but having been at her house in the last week or so, I can't really tell the difference. At one point, while Seester and I were having some rare alone-time, she asked me if I had seen the bin of medicine bottles.

All those pill bottles you get at the pharmacy? Or the ones that hold vitamins? They're great little containers. She keeps them. All of them. Because they are great little containers.

I'm worried about her. I'm worried that she won't be able to part with all the things she's been saving over the years. She expressed that she felt bad about getting rid of the bed I usually sleep on when I am there. She said it's a good little bed. I reminded her that she could sell it for pretty cheap and have the money, and someone would have a great little bed. I told her that the bed doesn't care if she sells it. She agreed but I don't know if the lesson really went through.

She tends to attach emotions to things. And it's a good lesson for me, because I do too. Thankfully, I am evolving my thinking. I'm doing my best not to acquire new things while still getting rid of the old things. It's hard. Hard to overcome a lifetime of getting things because I want them. Of buying in bulk for later, then forgetting I have it. Of re purposing things into other things (I'll still do this, but no one actually wants old pill bottles! Recycle that shit!) Of holding onto something because I might want it later or because I've attached some sort of misplaced emotion on it.

Maybe if I can stop doing that misplaced emotion thing to things, I can stop doing it to people too...

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