I am, I believe, what you would call a collector.  I collect all sorts of things.  Some of the things I collect come in pretty shapes and sizes, others are of the animalistic nature (which might explain why it takes me a few minutes to name all the pets in my life).  Mostly, however, it is just junk.  I find it difficult to purge items for fear I might need it again someday.  Mainly I remember the one time I was cleaning the dining room table and in my haste to tidy up I threw away my husband’s paycheck. I forever live in fear I will throw something away that has meaning or, God forbid, is a necessity for our life.

I have grown accustomed to stepping over animals, toys, children, and various other household items as I wander the hallways of our house avoiding the chores that need to be done.  I am very adept at overlooking the clutter.  I am surrounded by it, yet I pretend it isn’t there and there are always more important things to do then to purge their existence out of my life.  The problem is – I really don’t need any of it.  I would be quite content to sell most of these collections off (okay, maybe not the children or the pets), and move forward.

I have come to the conclusion that I surround myself with all of this material gain not because I was without as a child.  No, my parents were very generous with me as I was growing up and it is quite evident by my shoe fetish (but we will save that for another post).  I am not one of your classic deprived children who came to adulthood and sought material wealth to feel good about myself.  I fell apart when entire households were moved into ours, and then all these little people kept cropping up every couple of years.  A steam shovel would be more appropriate at this point to move the mass amount of “stuff” we have inherited.  Half of it has just sat in boxes in our basement waiting for the day we can overcome our grief and face the memories they contain.

I have had people offer to help me go through the stuff, but when they realize the sheer magnitude of possessions they have a tendency to back away.  It is beyond a chore at this point, which is why I have so easily overlooked what needs to be done.

I must admit in this public forum that I have decided 2012 is the year to scale down the amount of crap we have gathered and either sell or throw it all away.  If I could make a little money from it, or enjoy having it out for our viewing pleasure than so be it.  Otherwise – I would like to reclaim this relatively large house that I live in that is so packed to the brim with my collections.  I would like to move easily through my house, practicing my ballet with grace – instead of stumbling over a bag full of shoes that doesn’t fit a single person in our family anyway.

Accountability is key.  Feel free to remind me of my resolve to do this.  Hug me when I cry because I spend a day going through boxes that contain bits and pieces of my parents lives.  Hold the big black bag for me as I toss items that should have been tossed years ago.  Tell me I’m doing the right thing by selling off things that I have held onto not because I have to, but because I can’t let go.  Its time to move on.

I’m ready.  

Are you?