I’m telling my age and so are you, if you remember the commercial for Highland Appliance. In the 80’s, a guy named Ollie did these commercials announcing a sale because he overbought.
As we pack up our home of 25 years, I feel like Ollie.
Over the years, I have definitely overbought. It’s been a constant in my life of never having enough. Or so I thought. As we pack up, and even before this, my awareness on this topic has been increasing. I have this thought pop up often. I am enough and I have enough. Important thought in this packing process.
I am a terrible packer. Anyone who has traveled with me knows this. I am always afraid I won’t have enough. Or I bring things that I don’t need. Like an exfoliating mask. That went with me to Switzerland. Tell me, if I am not using it at home, why on earth would I use it on vacation? Right… I also take a book along for every day I’m gone and I’m not talking Kindle here. My carry on is a freaking Barnes & Noble.
Now we are packing up twenty five years of life into these boxes. That is a long time! Yet, it seems like a snapshot in life. A blip on the screen. But in that screenshot we have accumulated a lot of stuff! Yes, I am purging. I see my closet completely empty for the first time in 25 years.
On the other hand, I have been stuffing our closets at our cottage with anything I might possibly need over the winter. Yes, I am doing the same thing I do when we travel. I'm taking too much.
Why am I always worried I might need something? It’s not like it’s life or death with any of these things. I was talking to a friend of mine that struggles with the same addiction(s) as me. We both have a tendency to overbuy. For example, I buy cashew milk whenever I go to the store, and spinach. I use those two things every day and for some reason think I need to back stock it. Like I might go to the grocery store sometime and they will no longer have it. Or someone like myself that is afraid to run out has been there and depleted the stock. It has never happened.
I should learn from this.
I used to buy booze that way. Maybe that’s where the seed was planted - buy in abundance. I never wanted to run out. I didn’t want to risk wanting more if it was gone. So often I bought too much and didn’t want to drink it the next day so I would dump it out when I went to bed. Why? I was never going to drink again so why would I keep it? That didn’t work out so well. I would find myself at the party store the next day buying an adequate supply for the night. "For the last time," I would promise myself.
I do that with snacks sometimes. As I mentioned in the colonoscopy post last week, Sunday nights are snack time. Harmless, until it carries on into Monday. I simply cannot hide a favorite snack and forget about it. Come Monday about 8 pm, if it's in the house it's on my radar and in my mouth. Knowing this, I will ask Craig or Liv to hide it because hiding it from myself is like a game of hide and seek all by yourself. Although when I was drinking, I would hide my stash and not be able to find it back. It became a game of where-would-drunk-me-hide-vodka? I usually lost.
I am realizing that stuff takes time. Time to organize, time to move, time to take care of and keep track of. Some stuff is important, like bank statements. Some stuff is not important, like shoes (ouch). My time is precious and when I use it wisely on things that matter, I feel better about myself. When I waste it on things that are time suckers, I never feel accomplished or good about it. Just mad because I wasted time.
I want to use my time for good things: writing, time with family and friends, creativity. The list is endless. There is not a lot of joy in jean folding 101. Sometimes we don’t appreciate what we have until it’s missing. For me, that is time right now. I am wondering what I did with all these hours I am now spending packing. I'm committing to filling those hours when this is over with good things. Meaningful things. I figured out last week I would have had 17 extra hours if there had been no packing. Seventeen hours! What could I do with that!
I don’t want to be the poster girl for Ollie Overbought. Or another episodes of hoarders. Okay, it’s not quite that bad!
Peace on your weekend,