28 January 2008


Today I have the unusual circumstance of it taking longer to type this post than it did to handwrite it on Sunday. I'm using Smittygirl's computer and its outmoded QWERTY keyboard instead of Dvorak. And while I can get 45 wpm on one of these things, I can't do it without looking at the keys, which means I have to read what I wrote, then type, then read some more, and so on. The things I do for you, dear readers.

When I moved from Valdosta (Ga) to Del Rio (Tex) in 2002, I did all of the packing and loading myself, with the assisstance of my father and my friend Ichabod. Ichabod and I then made the 4 day drive to Del Rio--including the worst stretch of highway driving (on US 90) I have ever experienced in this country when I-10 was closed west of Baton Rouge--and, after finding a place to live, did all the unloading and unpacking ourselves (with the help of our roommate EP).

When we left Del Rio, as we were all headed to different places, we had the government pay movers to come out, pack, load, and ship everything for us, in my case to Tampa. (It's much nicer that way.)

I am embarrassed to admit that one of the boxes I had the movers load onto the truck was one I had never actually unpacked. In the entire year I lived in Texas, I never unpacked that box, but rather than just pitch it and be done with it, I had it loaded onto a truck and shipped to the next house.

That box and its contents are gone now, but it's only been since I began preparing for Smittygirl to move in that I actually started going through stuff, and found that box and got rid of it. I cite this story as an example of just how much excess stuff is in my house and in my life.

This post could turn philosphical very quickly, so let me truncate that part of it and just say that regardless of how big or small a place we live in, nearly all of us Americans have too much stuff, and want more stuff; but the truth is that beyond a certain basic level, stuff will not make us happier, better, or more attractive, and in the long run all of us would be better off if we just got rid of a lot of our stuff and spent our money on experiences and activities with our loved ones and friends.

Living by that bit of wisdom is as much of a resolution as I have for 2008. And it has become of some immediate interest as Smittygirl and I look toward the near future. We are moving soon, and I will be selling this lovely downtown Tampa condo with the nice view and the recently remodeled kitchen (over 900sf, new air conditioner, and two parking spots guaranteed--unheard of for a 1/1.5 in downtown!!! Call now!!!). And so the question arises, how much of the stuff in this house are we actually going to pack, store, ship, and unpack into our new home?

Smittygirl is already talking about ditching half her clothes, and I could stand to do the same. Between us we have enough towels for a family of 8 plus guests; only last weekend did I finally go through the stack of sheets on the spare sofa and put most of them in a donation pile; why did we have three sets of twin sheets when we don't own a twin bed? I have this huge collection of old winebottles I'll be happy to restart. And the paper...my God, the paper! I could create a small forest with the amount of paper junking up this house and I'm not including books. We threw out two trash bags full of junk from the desk a few months ago, and the desk is still too cluttered to be usable.

Yes, there's a bit of work to do. I only wish I was getting paid for it...


The Former Lepidopterist said...

The things you do for your readers, huh?
What about what I do for your readers! After all, it's MY computer you're using!!!

The Former Lepidopterist said...

And yes, we have much excess stuff. We could start with the dog?
I'm kidding! He's going to have a heart attack when we move. Our dog can't handle change at all.