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  • Writer's pictureCarolyne Aarsen

Lessons about... stuff...

Newsletter - June 8, 2023


I've been re-evaluating my posessions. All thanks to my mom.


My dear mother lived in a cozy little suite in a retirement home. She has been there for fifteen years. It's just a bedroom, bathroom, a kitchen, dining area and living area and a storage room. Not large, but so cozy. Plenty for one person to live in. She loved it there and we loved going to visit her.


Loved.


Past tense.


She's had some medical issues and is currently in the hospital. From there she will most likely be moved to a nursing home. It's been a difficult journey, but one that my friends have made, and one I'm sure many of you are in either the process of making or have made at one time.


It's been stressful for us. Sad and confusing for her. When she first ended up in the hospital she was, as one nurse so kindly put it, pleasantly confused. She still isn't 100% sure where she is, but she is always so happy to see us.


Because she needs to move, we now have to clean out a place she lived for fifteen years. My daughter and I started. I lost track of how many times I would hear her say, "Oh, my gosh..." as she found 'stuff' my mom had saved and stashed away and i would say "Oh, My goodness...." as I did. Maybe she saved them because they created memories, maybe she just didn't have the energy to get rid of them after awhile.


All of these things were, at one time, important and precious to her. Maybe they still are, but she can't articulate that.  The reality is, the next place she will move to will be much smaller. So it's up to us to decide what to keep and what to toss. 


As we went through all the things she kept, things she once saw as worth keeping, I had to think of the things I am hanging onto. Wondering what my kids will be throwing away that I had, at one time, thought important enough to hold onto. 


I have often said I should start cleaning up now because I don't want my kids to hate me when I die or move on and they have to clean out my 'stuff'.  We have a much, much larger home than my mother used to live in and we've been here thirty years. Each closet is full of 'stuff'. Some we still use, some, honestly, is the kind of thing I hang onto because 'maybe, someday'. Well, time is ticking and I don't know about 'someday' anymore. Will I really sew up all those old-fashioned doll clothes that fit Barbie dolls that come from the Victorian age, the medieval times? Maybe. Someday. Will I really re-read alllllllll those books I have saved and set aside. Maybe. Someday.


However the trick is figuring out when Someday isn't happening.


And hope that I can make that decision before my kids do!


Have you had to purge your 'stuff' as you move through homes?


How do you decide what to keep and what you might use, maybe, someday?


 




Leonard doesn't get to say anything today. He's mostly been going for walks with me and sleeping. Digging a hole under our deck when he feels bored. Sigh.


But he has been very interested in this new addition to our horse herd! He's an adorable little colt and my husband really enjoys working with him already. 


His coat will lighten up in time if he's anything like his brother.


It's so fun watching him trying out his legs and running around the pasture with his tail up.









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