I’m not kidding when I say that I have spent years, many years, thinking about you. From the time I got up in the morning to the time I was in bed, trying to fall asleep, I thought about you. Even when I was away from home, Stuff, you were in my head. All. The. Time.
It wasn’t by choice. I had to. You were in my way. When something is blocking your path, you must think about it. There literally is no way around it. And, Stuff, you were blocking, not only my path, but the path of my family.
Want to cook? “Whoa,” said Stuff, “I’m all over the place. You can’t possibly consider chopping veggies until you move me out of your way.”
Want to clean? “That’s hysterical!” said Stuff, “Where exactly do you think you are going to put me while you clean house?”
Looking for that important piece of paper? “It’s hiding!” said Stuff, “In lots of piles everywhere. You’ll need at least 15 minutes to find it!”
Stuff, you were exhausting. You took up so much energy and when I thought about you, I felt overwhelmed and anxious. You, Stuff, brought me no joy. You brought me anger. Anger that I shared with others. It was time for you to go. Never to be heard from again.
But that was so scary. Letting go of you, Stuff. What if I needed you again? I really liked you at one time. I spent money on you. I spent years moving you around and trying to find a place for you. That’s an awful lot to let go of.
And, Stuff, I don’t mean to make light of this. Getting rid of you was really, very hard. It still is sometimes. I have so many emotions wrapped up in you, Stuff. So many. This was very serious, and I grieved you. Know that you were that important. Know that you had so much power. But you had to go.
The catalyst? I lost my job. It was a devastating loss. And, since I was not bringing in a regular paycheck, nor did I qualify for unemployment, I needed to find ways to help with the finances. Stuff, you were barely a drop in the bucket of the income we lost. But, by getting rid of you I felt productive and helpful. So, you went. Bonus…I stopped bringing home your friends, More Stuff.
I sold you online. I took you to local consignment stores. I donated you. I threw you away. I gave you to friends. And, the more of you that were gone, the easier it became to say goodbye.
Some may say that going through a major life event is not the best time to say goodbye to you. I thought so at first too. It turns out it was the perfect time. I realized, Stuff, that you were a big part of what was broken about me. And by letting you go; I was able to start healing.
I started small. I got rid of you, Stuff, that I didn’t care about. And, don’t worry. If I loved you, I kept you. But we also made a deal. If you were staying, you were going to have your own special place in which you lived. You were no longer able to make yourself at home wherever you wanted.
Now, I don’t have to think about you, Stuff. You are organized. I know exactly where you are and how much of you I have. You are beautifully displayed. You are super easy to clean.
You are the reason I now feel at peace in our home. You are the reason I have joy. You are the reason I am in love with you again. And, most importantly, you are the reason I am becoming the person that I am meant to be.
And, you are the reason that I am healing. It’s still scary, Stuff. But I am growing. I am writing. I am creating. I am working and loving my family. I thank you every day for being in it. And, I thank you every day for staying out of my way.
About the Author: Jen Rash is a creative, storytelling wife and mom of three teenage boys who now owns much less stuff.