Monday, June 30, 2008

Time To Lighten The Load

I recently realized that one reason I like to travel is because of the uncluttered presentation of hotel rooms. If the room is large enough for a couch and coffee table the coffee table is not stacked almost to the ceiling with books and magazines and junk mail and the couch is not standing in for the closet and acting as catch all for clothes. And the closets are not full and there is probably not an attic safe guarding thirty years of treasures.
OK. I'm exaggerating a little. But you get the point.
So I've decided to lighten the load and have started sorting through possessions. The problem is that every thing I own is priceless not in monetary value, certainly not that, but in memory and potential probable future use.
My father saved bailing wire. He rolled the wire once essential for keeping a bale of hay from falling to pieces into a neat coil and tossed it into the bailing wire pile next to the tool shed where it joined the other rusting coils of bailing wire. His rusting coils of bailing wire were often used to repair fences or automobile engines probably never for very long because rusted bailing wire does not have a lot of strength. But then, most repair jobs are temporary so it didn't really matter that the rusted bailing wire repair was soon replaced by another piece of rusted bailing wire. What mattered what that he never ran out of bailing wire.
I sometimes yearn for a piece of bailing wire. Instead I have clothes in need of patches but, man, that's the shirt I wore on the roof in Mississippi that week. And I have chipped crystal goblets given to me by some relative. And audio and video cassette tapes I recorded with great enthusiasm but neglected to label. And yes I have hand outs distributed during some college class which I fully intended to read one day. They are perhaps outdated by now but I still feel an obligation to read them at my first opportunity. After all, I paid for the class.
So you see how difficult it is to lighten my load. I imagine your load is just as difficult. Loads must eventually, however, be lightened by someone.
I have decided to face this task with discipline and determination. In fact, I have already begun the task. Granted, I'm not yet ready to part with physical possessions. I'm still sorting through memories and meanings.
However, I am deleting old e mails. It's not easy. But I'm doing it. And with each e mail I delete I feel a sense of liberation which, quite frankly, leaves me a little light headed.
The load is definitely getting lighter.

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