Decluttering, I keep telling myself, is a journey not a destination. I keep thinning out things and seem to be making progress, but then I come across a stack of miscellaneous papers and folders and everything comes to a screeching halt.
In the most recent stack I came across old insurance information that my late husband had from when his mother and uncle died. Shredded, but not before I cried a little.
There was a half a dozen or so pictures drawn with glitter and textured paint by a couple of grandkids, the youngest of which is now in her mid-20’s. Set aside; maybe I’ll frame a couple of them for my studio.
I found lots of empty file folders, both letter and legal size. Those went in the office supply pile. When I finally get through everything, what’s obscenely excess with get donated to a local school. They always need that stuff.
The last thing in this stack, and the hardest to deal with, is embarrassingly silly. A plastic envelope full of glossy, 8×10 photos of characters from a TV show that went off the air sometime last century.
I loved that show.
I just recently made myself get rid of the VHS boxed sets of seasons 1-5 of that show (season 6 sucked). I hadn’t watched them in decades and no longer have a VCR hooked up. Plus, they took up a lot of space. A shelf in my bedroom is now freed up and I no longer have to dust the damned things.
The tapes were hard, but Lordy, the lobby cards (I think that’s what they’re called) tore my heart. These are of actors playing characters I was obsessed with for a time. But I gave them up, at least most of them.
Just like the kids’ drawings, a couple may get framed, if I still have frames left after everything is hung the way I want it and if there’s wall space in the studio. What I’m not going to do is keep them on a shelf in a dusty plastic envelope. I either honor my obsessions or I let them go.
Letting go, if not also a journey, is at the very least a process. I’m processing.