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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Somebody Stop The PACK RAT!!

Archers 1st Birthday Stuff (I later dug some of it back out)!

Audios to Letters from Old Beaus

After While Crocodile to Christmas Cards and multiple copies of the same dance program for a recital I was in.

After while Crocodile to more cards and Archers baby shower bows

I said "goodbye" to all these guys a long time ago for SOMEBODY MUCH BETTER!! SO GLAD for the choice i made!! I picked the best one ;-)

Good Bye to : Balloons from one of my boys birth, a moldy birth certificate I made for one of my dolls, a blanket I started crocheting for "a future baby I might have someday". Covering from the Mennonite school I attended for a few months.

More stuff thrown - fan from Bible camp, lock from my first locker, favorite bookmarks, sucker ring minus the sucker from a boy but i don't know who!! Excess copies of my prom program.

Misc trash - extra copies of my college graduation program, VERY MOLDY wedding guest book, pg 4 from an old beau - ugh!!

How I stored my "memories"

The can rolled on my back when I was in back labor with one of the older kids.

This blog post represents the end to an era. Its the era of my horrible, terrible, compulsive trait of SAVING EVERYTHING!! After my kids cleaned out the closet week before last, they assigned me the task of "dealing" with my "memory boxes". These boxes have travelled from house to house, move to move until they began and continued to fall apart. Water damage and mold had gotten into them, yet I stubbornly refused to throw any of the stuff away, instead, stuffing them away in a corner for "another time". I knew I had a problem, but I just couldn't bring myself to going through the masses of papers and artifacts I'd been hauling around since childhood. The boxes sat in the middle of my room until one day, that still small voice prodded me toward them.

In an instant, I knew why I dreaded them so very much. It wasn't just the mold, or the messes of papers and cards. It was in part, the past I'd lived- that for some unknown compulsive reason, I insisted on dragging along with me. Some of those things would have been better left buried in the trash long ago.

The first thing I surrendered was the pop can that everybody took turns rolling on my back when I had back labor with one of the oldest kids. I couldn't throw it away myself, I let my husband put it in the recycle bag. Next it was some old Christmas cards from the 1990's. Next, I opened a big bag of pictures. I started panicking! There were a lot of pictures of me with old boyfriends. Why on earth would I have saved that stuff?! At first I shoved it all into a Manila envelope, and went on, but my still small voice prodded me on. "Why would you save those?" I had no idea. Just looking at them overwhelmed me. The whole pile of mess overwhelmed me. I escaped out for a walk and formulated a plan. When I got back, I went through the pictures again and weeded out old boyfriends and non appropriate ones. It felt good. I no longer felt overwhelmed. Next time I look into the envelope I wouldn't feel so overwhelmed. I felt good about putting it away. Next it was the Christmas cards from 1992. Then my oldest son's 1st birthday party cards and decorations. Then I took some of the cards back out of the trash. It was a process trying to weed through it all.

I found about everything you could imagine - a valentine from my Kindergarten teacher, dance recital programs from my childhood, old love letters from boys I didn't even remember, baby shower items, cards from Christmas - birthdays - graduations - thinking of you!! I found notes I passed in school, favorite book marks from books I read ( I was a big reader as a child), even a lot of old reports I'd written. Oh it was fun but at the same time hard to know what to keep and what to throw away. In the end, I threw away the moldiest, but still saved some. I threw away all the "other boy" stuff. I threw away most of the Christmas cards. I just couldn't resist saving my "sweet 16 cards".

I also looked up some of the old girl friends on face book for fun. Maybe I'll get better about keeping in touch. I went to a lot of different schools, so it was hard to hold on to special friends for long. Its funny looking back at all those old notes. I could definitely see a war going on for my heart. Not in the romantic sense either, though I did throw away a ton of letters from suitors. Some girl friends I chose were true, with deep character and integrity. Others just wanted to hit the next party with me. A few girls wrote me many many letters trying to persuade me to live for God. I was just laughing over one where I had been suspended for skipping school and the friend told me that it was okay to make mistakes but I needed to consider my example for God to others. I can see now, even more clearly that there were a lot more people praying for me than I ever realized. No wonder why I always felt convicted when I ran around and lived wild. Looking back, that part was good to see. I don't want to throw away who I was, because its why I am who I am. I just wanted to throw away things not necessary to drag up. I'm glad I did. I feel better about the boxes now and I won't dread them next time I decide to go through them and sort more.

All in all it was productive even though it took me a day and a half to get it "sorted" through if you could at all call it that. It was hard to throw sentimental stuff away so I decided to take pictures of some of it and blog as a sort of "farewell" to my era of pack-rat-hood. What do you guys do with all your "stuff"? Do you still have valentines from your Kindergarten teacher?


Blessedmom's Simple Home said...

Good for you! Purging seems to be a never ending job around here. I keep telling myself that "less is more".
I'm sure your Christmas will be great...you have such a wonderful family.

Anonymous said...

Good for you! We all have things from the past, that we never look at, but keep with us- what a great reminder to let go of those things!

Heather said...

That's what Mom & Dad's attic is for . . ha, ha.

Actually, I have boxes where I stash stuff and should probably go through them. :) Great job, sis!

"Indescribable" said...

My parents started bringing stuff to my house, and haven't stopped .... we call it Pepe's Junk from his trunk - b/c he walks us out to his car, opens the trunk and makes us carry it into our homes..... and yes, it is JUNK from our past, and yes! it is hard to throw out. You can pray for a basement flooding that would ruin all the sentimental items.... but then that would require necessary tossing - you're smart to go through it and unload it willingly instead of by default.
I have to sift through, unload, lighten up, stream-line, and yes, I agree, "Less is more!"
Thanks for sharing.

Becky said...

I still have a Valentine given to me by my best friend in 5th grade. She made it. Old birthday cards, notes, etc. I am a pack rat like you. For myself I think I am trying to hang on to the love I experienced. Really it is God's love and thinking of it that way makes me love Him all the more.