Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Week of Love: Where's the Love?

Back in 1999, I changed my name to Mrs. Olsen and started a new life with The Mister of the House. Like most college-aged newlyweds, we started out our life with a good many gifts, but lacked major assets that made our living nomadic and even sparse. I entered the arrangement, like most newlyweds, with the mission to buy things, make things, and acquire things to eventually fill up our house and home.

Little by little, we started our path to make a home and acquire stuff! We bought used furniture and made it beautiful with tile mosaic tops. We made babies and outgrew our clothes, but saved them just in case we became lithe and fit again. We held onto the former symbols of our lives, tapestries, tape collections, and those first pair of hiking boots that took us (well me!) into The Grand Canyon.

Half a decade later, self-employed and working hard, I realized that in some ways we still felt that newlywed "climbing to the top" syndrome. We were working to make our way into our own affluent family economy, but had not yet arrived. Yet, even then we had acquired boxes and boxes and boxes of stuff!

Old torn levis to make into a quilt! Saved toys from our childhood so we could relive their glory through our offspring! Sterling silver tableware to make into a custom wind-chime! Boxes of loose pictures waiting for rounded edges and acid-free paper. Books, books, and more books from school and life and religion. Old clothes, future clothes, baby clothes, free clothes for the eventual baby boy. You name it! Basically, physical representations of my good intentions never realized.

Slowly, and as the piles grew older, I felt like all this stuff with its attending promises of action were suffocating me!

Mrs. Olsen to people, especially newlyweds: Savor sparse living! Purchase with caution, and only what you need!

Adding fuel to my new mantra is A&E's t.v. series "Hoarders". The Mister of the House and I are morbidly fascinated with it. It starts out informing you that hoarding is a psychological syndrome that has seduced more than 3 million people. It is characterized by people who can't let things go, even if it's trash, even if it's unsanitary, even if it's old and has no use. And they are drowning in this stuff. In some sad ways, I can relate to them. Boxes full of intentions that (while they have their place) are no good once they get in the way of living and loving!

Watching the show makes me thank the good Lord above that I know how to have relationships with my kids, my friends, (some readers?), and my husband....instead of nurturing relationships with things....with inanimate stuff!

So this Valentine's Day, do yourself and your loved ones a favor. Let go of that box you've been tripping over for a while, and get to making living loving memories with your special people.

Here's a teaser to the show Hoarders, watch and enjoy!

Love From,
Still too much stuff but currently have 3 major items listed online thankyouverymuch


Kelly Bryson said...

Not listening! That box of kids' drawinga nd report cards and ticket stubs is important!

LGH said...

Absolutely FANTASTIC post!
Witty, wise, thought-provoking and so very true, true, true. Amber, I loved this. BTW, still drinking the spinach drink nearly every morning...still thinking we must be getting so healthy!

paula said...

This is my favorite post of yours thus far....probably because I really needed to read something like this right now. If you don't mind I'm going to put a link to this from my blog...eventually, after I throw out some crap. Love ya-

Mrs. Olsen said...

Link away! Much obliged.

LGH...so happy we are getting healthy together!

KBB...your trip out west this summer (and playing with me) will give better memories than your stupid report cards!

Nat said...

Amen to this post. I have always been one to throw stuff out, almost to a fault.....BUT, I am feeling that urge to go through stuff once again. There are boxes in our garage that I don't even know what is in them. I don't think we would miss them. I'm getting that itch to simplify and take a truck load to the D.I. This post hit it right on the money. Your descriptions were perfect.

Natalie | The Bobby Pin said...

I love this post! So true. Sometimes I feel like we should've gotten just money for our wedding so we could buy things like a mattress -- instead we have a great quesodilla (sp?) maker! We could stand to get rid of a lot.

And thanks for doing the math on my blog too

jennaloha said...

And amen from copa too. I just helped a friend moved and she had four times as many clothes as me. As I helped her pack I realized half her 'drobe was peach and lace prom dresses from high school dances..and pieces from each year through the nineties and through the aughts.

She said she was waiting to lose weight to revitalize her wardrobe. I say ditch the nineties. Now. De-hoard. It makes it easier on your friends when they help you move.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, A. I am continually trying to balance my thrifty, make-it-myself self with my throw-it-out-you'll-never-use-it self.

P.S. The former is currently winning, but I'm working on it.