Monday, August 13, 2012

Have a Life 'Do-Over!'

Back in the olden days there was no restart button- it was called 'do-overs'. Made a mistake? Do-over! Didn't make the basket? Do-over! Wouldn't it be nice if we could do that in our adult lives?

Maybe we can!

Our family is looking for a house, and one subject keeps coming up as we sort through things to pack.
I want to find a place for almost everything, and get rid of a few things- like that junk drawer and the extra fondue set. My husband said he wanted to go one step further- if it were up to him, he would leave everything but the necessities, and start over. Being the borderline hoarder that I am, my heart started immediately racing- give up everything? Before I went into total hysterical mode, I had to find out what he really meant. So I asked some poignant questions:

"Do you mean our five million books?" "No", he said. "We read those."
"Do you mean your model trains?" "Nope!" He said. Which was okay by me since that is his one and only hobby. "We're going to make a display in the house."
"The kitchen gadgets?" "Maybe- it depends on what we use regularly."
I had a bad feeling about where this was going.
"My sewing stuff?" He nodded. "Yep- that should be sold, or donated."
"All of it?" I asked, incredulous. "Yep- you haven't been in your sewing room since October."
"So you want to get rid of all my stuff, but none of yours." He smiled. "My things take up one box. Yours is taking over the house." Oh sure, bring logic into it, I fumed.
He saw my dismay and decided that an explanation would avoid him sleeping on the couch that night. "If you actually used all that stuff, I wouldn't care. But you don't, you haven't, and right now, it's taking up space. Space we can use as a family in the new house."
I snorted indignantly. Use my stuff? Why would I want to use it? If I used the fabric, beads, wire and everything else, it would be gone! All that fabric would become bags, quilts, wall-hangings, purses, and all kinds of cool things I would either sell of give as gifts. I'd have all these usable items all over the house, instead of all this pretty fabric in neat little piles for me to look at! Use it? That notion was as silly as trying to teach cows to play marbles!
He kissed me on the cheek. "You really need to start looking into your life and seeing what's really important to you." he said. "All this stuff is keeping you from your true potential."
"Fine." I said, folding my arms to let him know what I thought of his unreasonable advice. "I'll think about it."

I let the conversation drop until he came to his senses. In the meantime, I went to my sewing room to take a look at my glorious pile of treasures. Which now seemed less glorious. In fact, if I compared my sewing room to jewelry, I've been wearing a heavy gold chain about my neck without realizing just how much it was weighing me down. The hoarder in me yelled "But it's really nice stuff!" and the practical side of me said, "He's right, you know. You need a serious 'do-over'."

I really hate it when my husband is right. Well, sort of right. I planned on compromising.

In the end I agreed to get rid of at least half of the sewing items. More if it was possible. 
And guess what happened when I made that statement? I felt better! 

I began thinking of the new house as a chance to establish new habits- you know how something can make you think in a certain way? Whenever I think of sitting on a couch I want to turn on the TV- even if I have a book in my hand. It's a habit I've attached to that piece of furniture. But if I put a bookcase where there was once a TV, 'd probably be reading more. So having a house do-over would let me set new patterns, and establish better ones. Especially if I get rid of unused items.
It's funny how we tend to hate change, yet change is what we need to become better people. We resist it, but we love it too. It's just a matter of looking at things with a child's eyes and say 'Do-Over!'- and then go do it. Even if we weren't moving into a new house!


Unknown said...

I absolutely loved this post. I may even blog on something similar. I keep weeding through my things, but the pile seldom decreases. lol

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