Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Parting is Such Sweet... Joy!

Our kids were given a HUGE tub of Legos about a year ago. By huge I mean 37 pounds. Gargantuan, ridiculous. It seemed like a blessing initially, as abundance often does. But was really a curse, as abundance often is. They just couldn't handle THAT MANY Legos. No boundaries, restrictions, pictures, instructions... It was a tub of the chaos. At four and five, they were far too young to organize it. And I sure didn't have time to do it. They dug all the little Lego men out of the box and fought over them continually. They pulled out stray wheels and threw them around the room. "Wheeeeeeee!" they exclaimed, watching them bounce. Occasionally, if heavily influenced by an adult, they'd make a house, a car, something more than an uninspired mess.

One child received a small Lego set for his birthday, which I immediately hid in a closet, knowing that the lovely castle would soon be lost, forgotten and impossible to even try and retrieve from the Lego dump. After moving our living room furniture around many times I found a home for the bin under an end table. The scratched blue plastic was an ugly eyesore against the shiny wood, but whatever, it was 60% hidden!

I hate cleaning floors, because I'm a normal, lazy human. But I REALLY hated cleaning around that heavy, hideous cat hair & dirt magnet. Then one day, a couple of weeks ago, I had this epiphany. I didn't have to clean around this monster tub that causes nothing but fights and dummyism! I could donate it, trash it, maybe even SELL it. One Craiglist post and two hours later I had $100 in my PayPal account. The next day I breathed a big old sigh of YAY when I could see under my table again. A quick swipe with the broom and voila! Breathing room. The boys surprised me by commenting on how great it felt to have 'em gone. Even my husband noticed, and, well- you know, men don't always notice stuff! I was thrilled. I began digging through my closet, drawers, and (ugh!) the dreaded garage. A friend was having a garage sale. I sold some homeschool materials I didn't particularly like on eBay. These combined with the Legos: $421.41 in two weeks. But the money was just a bonus. The lighter load- less to clean, to care for, to feel burdened by... THAT was what made my heart sing. And so my freedom from stuff began.

What's your story? Do you have a box of life-sucking box of stuff in your living room?

1 comment:

  1. Tub of chaos...I love that! We have many tubs of chaos here and with each season, I am more ruthless in the dismantling of the chaos. The kids rarely miss any of the items. Same with clothing/shoes - too many clothes, too many choices, many tears and frustration - so we have limited amounts of clothing too. Life is much simpler for all this way and hey, kids eventually see that all that stuff doesn't make their friends any happier anyway (a la recent epiphany of my teenager :-)

    I myself am a "victim" (albeit willing) of my mom's lovingly passed along cast-offs. I know I could say no, but that is hard and my mom means well. She and I have come to a peaceable agreement though. She gives me her stuff, I make use of some, give some away and sell the rest. I use the cash to fund kid activities, like music lessons, and that makes her very happy! It took me awhile to be brave enough to tell her I didn't want/couldn't actually use all of her stuff. When I did tell her, I felt so much better and so did she!

    Love the blog Cara!