Something that has niggled at me for some time is how much of our culture is based around throwing things away.
When things get uncomfortable, dirty, used, worn out, we throw them away.
What if we don't? We become snowed under with belongings more derogatorily known as "stuff". We are labeled a hoarder and our homes fill with things we no longer need or use and our lives fill up with activities that don't bring us joy.
Is there a middle ground? A path we can walk that allows us to release what does not serve us and keep the things we use and love without filling up endless landfills and leaving a trail of broken promises?
I don't have the answers to that question as I feel it is probably a personal choice each person must make about each item in their life. Of course there are times we cannot control what leaves our lives. As items break or become unnecessary we choose to let them go or keep hold of them (just in case). And then it is complicated further in relationships of course as a relationship that you treasure does not always have the same value for the other person...
Yes it is a tricky path to consider what needs releasing and what is too precious to throw away.
And of course there is the other problem of what happens to items we throw away. Some things never leave us even if we try and throw them away. Like a relationship. Reminders of the other person can echo around in your life one way or another for a life time. It takes deep forgiveness and compassion to let go of past love and past hurts. It's not easy work.
And releasing physical things can mean that someone else has the responsibility to choose what to do with that item depending on how it leaves your hands - they might use it themselves, bury it, recycle it, burn it, sell it on in a charity shop. That item may have left your hands but it hasn't left the planet.
This isn't really an essay with a purpose I guess. Just a musing that often gives me pause for thought.
My garage often makes me ponder these things as it is filled with items we use occasionally (the pushchair!), items we love but don't use often enough (the diving gear) or don't love but need (the iron!!!). And it is an uncomfortable place for me. It needs sorting and yet we haul it all out on a sunny day and release some items and put it all back tidily and within a week it is back to crazy chaotic. Too many big items that we use often that don't have a proper home - the mini trampoline for the children, my trampette, spare dining chairs, children's garden toys, the fire bowl, tents. There is such an array of belongings in there. I know some of it I cling to as a reminder of life pre children - for example since having children we have taken them canoeing lots and get good use out of our canoeing gear, however my kayak paddles have been used maybe once since W and Z were born. I hope to get back to kayaking one day but should I keep all the gear until that day arrives?!?!?!
As I said, I have no answers, just musings. In the meantime I will continue to empty, reload and start again with our garage repeatedly.