Sunday, December 30, 2012

Out With the Old...

In the weeks following my mother-in-law's death, we had to go through all of her stuff and figure out how to divide the various possessions among her children. This has been emotionally taxing for several reasons.  For one, she had a lot of stuff.  Two, people assign sentimental attachments to certain objects.  And three, death makes people act sort of weird. Out of fairness to my husband's family, I won't go into it, but I'm fairly certain that this isn't the first family to get sort of wacky when it comes to a lamp or a pair of slippers, or an old piece of furniture.

It's just stuff.

I for one am quite tired of stuff.  In fact, I spent the last three hours putting together a pile of stuff of my own to bring to the Goodwill tomorrow.  Out with the old and to heck with the new. I don't need more stuff.  Okay, I take that back.  I might like to get some new pillows, towels and a bedspread, but I definitely don't need any doo-hicky's or knick-knacks or spices or jars or sweaters or anything else that I'll wear once and throw on the floor of my closet to collect dust.

I'm a pretty simple type of person.  I will wear the same five shirts for six months, the same shoes, the same purse and feel good that my clothing choices are simple.  Life is too short to worry if this shirt matches with this pair of shoes or if this purse matches this lipstick.  I've got bigger fish to fry.

So, today is one of my least favorite days of the year because it's loaded with expectation.  I used to think that I was supposed to have some sort of grand time because it's the end of the year.  Or I'd get all melancholy because I didn't achieve all those resolutions that I wrote down in a drunken stupor the year before.

This year, I'm going to take one of those jars that my mother-in-law saved and I'm going to write one good thing that happened each day and put it in the jar.  It could be as simple as "I woke up."  Or it could be "I got a piece accepted today."  Or "My husband told me he loved me."  Or "My hair looked really good today."  Whatever.  Next December 31, I''ll break open the dang jar and read about all the good stuff that happened.  Because, really, it's the little things in life.

And as U2 said so long ago...nothing changes on New Year's Day.  



10 comments:

  1. Ha! That's a cool idea! I used to get kinda weird about 12/31 but now? now I think of it as just another day. I am so ready for Jaunuuary NOT b/c it is January but b/c it puts us closer to spring and WARMER weather!
    I liked your comments about stuff. I don't want to collect stuff and yesterday I took five bags of stuff to the Goodwill - mostly stuff related to Christmas - i just wanted to get rid of the tacky, the hand me downs, the crap. and I intend to do more of the same. FOr awhile there I cared more about the outfits I wore to school and not wearing the same stuff all the time. Now? Now I still care about the outfits but I am tired of having to make a million choices - I culled through the closet in November and got rid of anything I hadn't work in a year - it was very satisfying - and I intend to limit the stuff in the future. No one notices really what this woman wears to work - after all, I spend my days with middle school kids who only notice themselves! What difference does it make? I still don't want to be a frumpy person but I also don't have to wear a lot of different things - revelation for the new year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I got rid of about five bags too. It wasn't all mine. My kids have gone through major growth spurts this year. Usually I'd save it for a garage sale, but I'm over doing that. From now on, I'm just going to donate it. It's easier and it frees my closets from clutter.
      Here's to a clutter free, simplified 2013!

      Delete
  2. I love the idea of the jar! 2012 has been a heck of a year, so I'm not too sorry to see it come to an end. And yes, it's just stuff. One of the beauties of our RV lifestyle is a minimum of "stuff." A very Happy 2013 to you and yours!

    ReplyDelete
  3. A Facebook friend of mine shared this idea and I think it's absolutely lovely. What better thing to do on December 31, 2013 than open that jar? Hundreds of good things!

    And may that jar be full of fabulous things when you do open it up, Pamela.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I saw this on facebook too. I hope there will be hundreds of good things. I'm going to make it so:)
      Happy New Year!

      Delete
  4. My father's care giver started us doing that idea months ago. From time to time he feels a little low without my mother to boss him around. We'll pull out a paper or two and remind him that there's a lot more living to do.
    It's been a year and a half since my mother left us. We're still going through her stuff. And we've moved twice.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I saw that idea on facebook as well and thought it looked cool but then did nothing about it. Is it too late to start, being 15 days in?

    And I totally get the weird things people fight over when someone dies. My husband's family spent almost an hour debating who would get great grandma's Bundt pan. Seriously. You can pick a new one up at Target for, like, $20. But two people apparently had some attachment to that specific pan, and now there's an hour of my life I will never get back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, it's never too late to start the jar. I've missed a couple of days, but what I like about it is that it makes me reflect on the day as I try to find the happy thing to write about. Go for it!

      I hear ya on the bundt pan.

      Delete

Comments are welcome and appreciated!