Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Treasure Deep in the Junk

My husband is a saver. I am not. I prided myself on being able to whittle down my possessions to what I could transport myself. When I was in college that meant what I could pack in my two suitcases (my parents still lived overseas). When I graduated that meant what I could fit in my car.

Then I got married.

In our seven years of marriage many things have changed. I don't have (perceived) control over everything anymore. Our differences in how we view "stuff" has stretched our patience with each other. I have flung a less than sweet comment when weaving through piles in his garage. He has pulled more than one thing out of the trash or thrift store box, horrified that I would get rid of something that was still useful.

A few weekends ago we designated Saturday a day to start going through some boxes that had moved with Eric from his parents house seven years ago without having been opened since. Eric apologized for saving every scrap of paper, piece of string, length of cord, and piece of broken electronic equipment for the potential in its parts. As we sorted though things I realized that he really had saved everything.

We discovered one of the crafts he made at Chinook at Warm Beach Camp in the early 80's. I was so amazed I took a picture and promptly threw it away. Then I saw the beautiful antique tool box that was his grandfather's. I reminded Eric that it's these kinds of treasures that get hidden and never used when you have too much stuff. Likewise, I reminded myself that I might never have held onto this kind of treasure when whittling down on "stuff" and regretted it later.

Do you have too much stuff to enjoy the treasures that you have been given? Or are you so focused on purging your life so that you can stay in control that you purge things (or relationships) that you later wish you hadn't?

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