A few years before my Nana died, she started giving away her stuff. Returning it, in fact. If you had given her something- a nice teapot or fancy dish perhaps, you got it back. She even started giving family photos back to their respective people of origin. She was perfectly healthy, and had no intention of going any time soon, but for some reason, she felt like getting rid of her stuff.
As I look around my apartment, realizing that all of it must go, I am struck with a mixture of emotions. First dread, at all the work its going to take to sell all this stuff- car boot sales, trips to the local charity store, advertising on ‘for sale’ websites etc, etc.
Then a little pang of sadness- the hummingbird cushion I sought out to complete my bedding ‘ensemble’, the Moroccan tea glasses I longed for, before my friend kindly bought them for me as a housewarming gift. Then there’s the apartment itself- that’s going too, along with its lovely garden.
Then, a feeling creeps over me that I cant quite put my finger on… Its more of a knowledge, that once all the hard work is done- the organizing, cleaning out, clearing out, donating, selling, recycling and gifting, I will be free. Free to pursue our dreams of ‘living in the world’ without the burdens of mortgages, and, well, stuff. I am more aware of how much stuff I have accumulated, just in the past year, more than ever. Of how I have tried to fill the unfillable void that exists by not living the life I truly want.
The stuff made me feel better for a while- the trendy apartment in the trendy suburb, the big TV, the quirky nick-knacks, but they are not my life. My life is doing a job that I don’t enjoy any more, that I know will never fulfill me, to pay the mortgage on the trendy apartment, that I don’t have time to enjoy, as I am either cleaning it, or sleeping in it.
I know that as soon as I am on that plane, embarking on the journey of our dreams, and truly living the life we want, that it won’t be all my precious ‘stuff’ I’ll be thinking about.
I guess Nana was on to something- the thing about ‘stuff’ is…you can’t take it with you.