I didn’t realize until recently that my last years working in Corporate America–I was so unhappy that I “healed” my stress with retail therapy. I admit it–I love nice things. But working in an environment that sucked me dry–would intensify that “love.”
Perhaps you’ve been there–you come home exhausted every night and only had enough energy to turn on the TV and veg. I could probably get through a few chapters of a book–but other than my day to day commitments, there was little I was interested in.
So, on the weekend, shopping was very attractive to me. I didn’t have to think much–just whip out my money (or credit card) and take something home–which I could look at or wear…and enjoy for awhile. Easy!
The funny thing that happened after I got laid off and started my own business–now that my passion has been tapped and I love what I do–the shopping addiction automatically went away. I go to the mall when I need something, but I no longer enjoy looking at things when I don’t need anything.
I sometimes help a friend of mine who is a Move Manager. She helps older adults down-size into Assisted Living or Continuing Care type of facilities. Working with her has really changed the way I look at stuff.
I am even more aware of what an emotional connection we have with our things. Our memories are tied into our things–momentos from vacations, antiques from dead relatives, newspaper clippings about people we know.
Every time I work with my friend, I come home and get rid of more things. She shares the advice to sort things by joy, good, sad, bad. Keep the things that bring you joy and you like. If there are things that are tied closely to people you love that maybe have died–consider keeping those. Things that don’t work or are hidden away in an attic or garage–find better homes for them or put them in a trash.
The realization has been clear to me–that we keep the memories alive with our friends and family in our hearts. We really don’t need a symbol to remind us of that. Making room also provides space for new life to come in. Purging the old can be very refreshing for us! It’s love for people that really is important–isn’t it!