Monday, May 22, 2006

Material Girl...?

I've reached that point that comes with every apartment move we've ever had. The pile of boxes is growing taller next to the piano. The cats are exploring the new towers, and we rethink our decision to put the fragiles on top. I walk from room to room to see what's left to pack. How do we have this much stuff? I question our materialism and make a few 'noble' efforts to make donation piles. I tape up one box and look over my shoulder to see twenty more half-packed boxes. Some books remain on bookshelves. The to-be-filed pile is still there, on top of the filing cabinet. Random CDs, notebooks from history classes, textbooks, towels, cat toys, lotions, extension cords, Halloween decorations, hiking boots, umbrellas, pencil sharpener, old programs, business cards, Easter basket...some necessities, some momentos. Pretty soon, all of it will end up in the same box, despite my efforts to keep various rooms' contents together. I can no longer say, "I may use that spice in the next two weeks," or "but I need my dictionary next to the computer, just in case."

I'm overwhelmed with what's left to do, I'm excited to move, I'm anxious about my test in two weeks, I'm indecisive about paint colours, I'm sad to leave our next-door neighbours, I'm thrilled to get a bigger bathroom, I'm dreading cleaning up the new backyard, I'm happy to have so many friends helping on Saturday, and I'm feeling materialistic, for the sixth straight move in a row. There really is nothing like packing up all your belongings to take a figurative inventory of your life. I always have these thoughts like, "maybe we should give it all away to charity and live like Francescan monks." I'm sure I'll feel much better once everything's in its new place. Until then, I'll just have to live with these feelings, and the boxes around me that contain things from my life...I'll just have to remind myself that my life is not made up of the things in those boxes.

Oh, and please excuse any spelling mistakes. I don't trust spellcheck, and my dictionary is now in a box at my feet.

1 comment:

Karmen said...

Packing up your stuff for a move is always difficult - I know! My closest experience to what you're having was when I moved from Toronto last year. It was the smallest apartment I'd ever lived in, but I managed to have more 'stuff' than ever! How did that happen? I gave a bunch of stuff away, sold a bit of it, and then packed the rest.

It's a year later, and I still have "I'll clean that up next week" piles . . . although, I must admit, they are getting fewer and fewer!

Best of luck - just take one task at a time.