So I’m here on campus and I just upgraded my computer to the new AOL. It’s so busy, it’s totally distracting. Lots of pictures and icons and STUFF. Frankly, I think my life is already entirely too stimulated for this. I need less clutter, not more.

The other day on NPR I heard this whole thing about simplifying your life. It was a show about how Americans are entirely too attached to their stuff, and how there’s an entire industry, self storage, that has grown out of it. They had a guy on who runs a self storage place talking about how most people think they’re only going to rent a storage area for a couple of months, then end up keeping it for YEARS. I can relate to this, as the packrat gene runs strongly in me. My grandmother kept everything: cleaning out her desk after her death in 1984, I found ration stamps from the war, which she’d held on to Just In Case. (She also saved tin foil, rubber bands, and bits of string of all sizes. I’m not quite to that point. Yet.)

So, thus inspired by NPR (as I am often) I cleaned a full size garbage bag worth of stuff out of my closet yesterday, all of it clothes. I’m terrible at giving stuff away, I always think maybe I’ll wear this, even if I haven’t worn it in YEARS. Plus I’m sentimental, so I hang onto stuff because I can remember something good that happened while I was wearing it. I put entirely too much worth in inanimate objects. And don’t even get me started about books, which I have a TERRIBLE time giving away. My mother, rebelling against her mother, was always passing through the house with a box for the Thrift Shop, and you had to keep an eye on her to make sure she didn’t take your favorite jeans or sweater, she was that fervent. She also would pick up any glass she saw, even if you’d just taken a sip of it, and wash it and put it away before you even had a chance to protest.

So maybe what I need to do is find a middle ground between these two generations. A way to hold onto what’s important, while at the same time shedding the surplus. This sounds easier than it is, I think. But I’m going to work on it. Really.

have a good day everyone!