Arrived back in the mountains with a load to sell at Oddfellows after a “letting go of the stuff” session at my own home.
This settee had special meaning but it didn’t serve a function anymore for us. But, boy oh boy, letting go of the stuff seems really hard.
Part of January purging involves “thinning out” and looking at stuff through a new lens, the lens that sees my kids not realistically wanting all this stuff. Or wanting to deal with this later (that sounds morbid).
We’ve owned the settee for probably close to 16 years but it takes up a lot of space in the dining room.
It is really cool as it opens up into a table that was useful when we neeeded extra places for a big dinner or it served as the bar. But, in all honesty, I haven’t opened it that much over the years. In its “sitting” position, it doesn’t get used that much either. Sooo I decided it was a prime candidate for “letting go of the stuff”. I was at peace with that decision, Mr. F&F was on board, and so it was loaded into my van for the trip to the mountains. The four hour drive (by myself) allows me some NPR time and some quiet time.
That’s when I started to get second thoughts about the settee. I began to ruminate about a sentimental event where the settee took center stage.
Our former house was a classic surburban floor plan with a wasteful, big ass foyer. We tried to justify its existence with dance parties, the Christmas tree’s place of honor, and the bar set-up was always there. So when we decided to have our last child (little man) baptized at home, the foyer seemed the natural choice to set-up a little “chapel,” if you will.
My parents flew in with the priest that married us, we hosted a ceremony in the foyer with chairs spilling into the family room and the settee opened up as the “altar” where Father Jack said mass.
It coincided with our 15th anniversary, so we also decided to renew our vows. It was a beautiful ceremony with college boy (who was then 7 years old) doing the very difficult readings and middle child sulking because of all the attention given her older and younger brothers. Father Jack, then north of eighty years old, splashed water all over the table, Mr. F&F and I recited funny vows, and it was a joyous occasion with family and close friends in attendance.
As I remembered this event fondly during my drive to the mountains, my purging efforts were starting to take a backseat to my emotions.
I had to pull back, remember my own advice. It’s not the stuff, but the memories and there are wonderful photographs that document this memorable occasion (thanks to my lovely niece).
This is what gets me through the “letting go of the stuff” process. If something special to you is not already “documented,” take a picture or ask your parents for a picture in its former home or write a memory in your journal. Do what it takes to remember what’s really important. The memories…not the stuff.