Sunday, March 18, 2007

"Simplify, simplify, simplify!"

It's easy for you to say, Thoreau; you haven't lived in one place for 29 years, raising three kids in the bargain. We have such an accumulation of stuff, and our "renovation" (better to call it "revolution"), now into its second year, sets the messy matter right before us. We unpacked two rooms to make way for the changes, the kitchen and the den. While we were at it, we unpacked "the boys' room" as well. These places had cabinets, bookcases and chests, all just full of stuff that we had not used in a millenia, but somehow felt we should keep. We have boxed it, garaged it, piled it in the living room, walked around it in the hall way. Now truth time is near.

Because the "renovation" is about over. That part of our lives is going out whimpering, but it is going out. The kitchen is mostly finished. The appliances are back in place. Most of the cabinets are up. And we have moved back in there. We see an end to all of this, despite our contactor, who surely sees the same light at the end of the tunnel, but seems even less interested in moving things along. The whimper you hear is our whimper, employing a new strategy with him. We've tried everything else, maybe whimpering will work.

But I digress. We are now unpacking the boxes. Surely we are not simply going to put everything back! We really must not. If we adopted the rule that anything we haven't used in one year is thrown out, even if we went back a year before the "renovation" began, we would be able to make some remarkable progess. But we are so attached to this stuff. I am sure there is a theological explanation for this or psychological, something about defining ourselves with our stuff, something about insecurity, something about original sin. I keep reminding myself of the times I have had to deal with the things left behind by dead people. (A morbid thought, but that's what I mostly do as a lawyer - deal with the things left behind by dead people.) Why did they keep this stuff, I ask? Why do Carol and I keep this stuff?

Anybody want a piano?


Sean Meade said...

great question, Paul. does anybody want *our* piano :-(


Emilie said...

Is this a nice piano we're talking about here? And could we carry it to NC on top of a sedan? :)

Anonymous said...

It would CRUSH the top of sedan. I think it's nice. It's also very heavy.