Do you suffer from debriitis? Are your closets overflowing with junk, or your drawers jammed with trivia from the past? If so, you are not alone. I too suffer from hanging onto my past. Now that I have more time – and a clearer head – I realize how much stuff I have collected over the years. At the time I felt the items were crucially important. For example, I have small wheat weavings from the early married years – the trendy craft at the time. For many years they decorated my Christmas tree. Eventually, as I became too immersed in work and other activities, they remained untouched, stuck away in an old suitcase I had decorated as a Christmas storage container. I also have almost every piece of paper Mackenzie brought home from school. These are bad; I can tackle putting away these mementos. But I have also discovered that i have accumulated just plain old “stuff”.
As part of my efforts to move forward into retirement, I have vowed to rid myself of an average of 3 items a day. I have followed this plan for at least a month – and it’s working. One weekend I had a massive clean-up and got rid of 3 huge bags of “faint-hope clause” clothes that no longer fit, scarves that I no longer wear, and jewellry I no longer need. On other days I have simply cleaned out a small pile of papers. Yesterday I cleaned out one small basket that included coupons from 2012.
I vow to continue this practice for at least another two months. I’m not sure how I’m going to tackle the tougher mementos – the shelves full of photo albums. They still taunt me, but I figure if I start small, I’ll be ready to handle the big stuff when I get there. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll be really ready to move past the emotional ties with the past and truly embrace the new me that is evolving in the Freedom 55 years.