One of the hardest things for me in getting ready for a round-the-world trip is getting rid of all our stuff. I am not sure how we acquired so much stuff, but every time I think we have made some progress, I find more stuff. Stuff is coming out of the closest, under the bed, in the tool shed, our garage, and on, and on, and on. Our intentions have been all along just to keep the irreplaceable stuff such as quilts made by my mom, pictures, and some childhood mementos. However, our keep pile has been growing alarmingly large. I think at the end we will have revise our must keep items as I am sure that our family will be only so tolerant of keeping our stuff as they have there own stuff. The other factor is we will probably not be coming back to the Pacific Northwest and will eventually want to retrieve our stuff. We may have to ship over large distances, and the less stuff we have, the cheaper it is to ship.
Not only am I feeling overwhelmed by the amount of stuff, but also struggling with getting rid of our stuff emotionally. For example, I just came across a box that has been packed since we moved into our house approximately 12 years ago; a really good sign that it should probably not be kept any longer. In this box I found childhood mementos such as a trophy from cross-country and a 17th place ribbon from middle school track. Yes, Jason and I had a good laugh about the 17th place ribbon. I guess the school was trying to make everyone feel good. The 17th place ribbon can go, but what I really struggled with was what do with the cross-country trophy. Part of me wanted to place it back in the box and keep it. But for what purpose? Will I ever place it on a shelf? Probably not. Keep it for Sydney? What will she do with it? By the time she finds it, I can just imagine her tossing it in the trash. With a little bit of sadness, but also a sense of liberation I placed the cross-country trophy in the donate pile for someone else to enjoy. Each time I have done this process, It has made me realize how attached I am to my stuff, but also helps me realize what truly is important. It is one of the lessons I am hoping that Sydney will take away from out travels. It is not about the stuff we own or allowing our stuff to own us, but keeping the memories in your head… and not in the closet!
Though each time I think I master the Zen of getting ride of my stuff, this emotional battle continues to play out again and again. I am currently battling what to do with my childhood dollhouse furniture. I pulled it out several years ago for Sydney to play with. However she only played with it a little and preferred her modern Calico Critters instead. I have looked at placing the furniture on eBay, Craiglist or thought of selling it in a garage sale. But to tell you the truth it is not worth that much. Do I want to give away my childhood dollhouse furniture for pennies on the dollar? I thought about giving it to my niece, but she already has her own dollhouse and furniture. Do I pack it up for another few years? Do I donate it or find another family member who might enjoy my dollhouse furntiture? The emotional struggle continues.