Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Struggling with THINGS

No- this is not actually an announcement that my life is totally out of hand (though it might be) but rather a thoroughly literal comment on the way material obejcts in all their manifold forms seem intent on tripping me up at the moment.

It's fair to say that I'm distinctly stressed, as we're off on the family holiday tomorrow and I've just done the dreaded supermarket run. How is it that you seem to need more food for a week when on holiday than for a month at home? Even though you know quite well that as often as possible you'll be eating out in the evenings??

Now, of course, I'm wondering where on the boat we'll actually stash all those groceries...and how I'm going to smuggle the truly stupendous collection of library books on board...and whether or not we will have room for Hattie Gandhi's guitar...and it all looks so huge and insurmountable that I'm questioning whether in fact it's worth going at all. I am soooo bad at happens every time we go away together and leaves me feeling like a piece of chewed string...but this time tomorrow we'll be safely on Polyphony and experience suggests that all will be miraculously well.

Nonetheless, sitting here surrounded by half completed preparations and the habitual muddle of my study, I'm pondering my relationship with stuff. I definitely have too much of it, despite a major purge when we moved into Privet Drive 3 years ago. For example, there are boxes of glasses in the garage which we've not touched once in our time here, though I suspect that there's every chance that we'll take them with us, still unopened, when we move. It's not altogether my issue. My M-i-L believes in preparing for any eventuality (in the aftermath of the floods last week she was predicting food rationing and suggesting we stock up on any and every essential) and has passed this trait on to Longsuffering Clockmaker. But I have to admit that the endless collections of utter trivia about the place are almost all down to me.
Clearing my desk, which is always an eve of holiday desiderata, would be so much easier if there weren't all sorts of bits of assorted junk mingled with the unread books, endless post-its and interesting articles from last month's Tablet.
I was feeling rather trapped by it all anyway, when as I surfed I met a link to a wonderful post here.
As if that wasn't enough, Chelley is having a turn-out on the eve of her move and I have rather belatedly discovered Earthchick's Seven Things it's decision time. I hate the way the chaos in my environment effects my state of mind...I have no desire to be possessed by my possessions (perhaps I should have been preaching last Sunday morning, rich fool that I am)....and I know that I need only a fraction of the things that currently engulf me.
So, when I return from the boat I'm joining the declutterers.
I've signed up for the Seven Things ring, and hope thus to be held accountable forhaving more of less in my life.
Since visiting India, I've been much less acquisitive...whether I can actually become reductionist is probably open to debate, but I do intend to try.
Seven things a week, at least until we vacate Privet Drive (or, optimistically, we run out of things to shed)
It should be possible...surely.

In the short term, even with all the boxes of food and books, life on a narrow- boat is a good exercise in minimalism....and one I love.
Home at the end of next week...see you then.


the reverend mommy said...

I'm most definitely in a decluttering mood most recently. Decluttering in body, mind and soul. Losing weight, selling stuff on eBay, losing some bad spiritual habits.

Oh yeah, and cleaning the house.


Blessings on your journey.

(I love boats...)

Mary said...

Oh yes. I have been in my flat for exactly a year and am moving out on Monday.... and am throwing/giving away things I have managed to acquire. My study is in that forlorn state where the real things are packed and only the detritus and unclassifiable miscellanea is left slewed across desk and floor. All SHALL be well. Have a great holiday! See you soon.

Lorna (see through faith) said...

Polyphony will be great.

On the food level I think it's because at home we have the essentials stored here there and everywhere - and when off to a cottage/caravan/canal boat you are suddenly squeezing all that stuff into the boot of the car :) Of course it looks a lot.

I'm not really a hoarder (Hubby is) but we do have way too much stuff here and I'd like to ditch at least 50% of what we have. I've already managed to get rid of almost all of the ornaments (less dusting!!!) ... but a big house means a lot of stuff.

Does getting rid of one box of glasses from the shed count as one declutter or many ? How about boxes of assorted debris from under the sink or up in the loft :)

bless you. It'll get easier - I think.

chelley said...

Life has been overtaken by boxes - sympathies wafting over to you - but I bet it'll be good when we've decluttered!
Have a great holiday!

Danny said...

You have no idea how reassuring it is to hear that someone else is stressed out by preholiday food shopping... it is one of my pet hates (actually food shopping any time is a pet hate)...all that unpacking it at home, storing and repacking it the next morning, then discovering that the perishable stuff will not fit in the allotted no of cool bags, etc, etc... Anyway have a really great holiday.

Sue said...

Enjoy your holiday!!