I have been sorting, sorting, sorting. I do worry that I'll get to be a widow woman, with no friends left alive in later life, that I'll wish I had some of the stuff I'm letting go of now. But at the same time, it's hard to imagine that I'll want to read the notes we wrote to each other as bored school girls in high school Trig class.
Let me make some notes triggered by trips to the Good Will drop off station:
--I fully expect to lose weight, now that I've given away all the pairs of shorts I have that are smaller than the shape I am in the summer of 2021.
--On Sunday afternoon, we sorted through the top shelves of the kitchen, the shelves where we put the items we don't use very often. We had a huge collection of glassware spread out across the counters. We tried to remember how we had come to have them, which family they came from, or was it a yard sale, or maybe the condo we bought that came furnished. Might they have value? In the end, we decided to give it all away.
--I am astonished by how much bubble wrap costs. Still, I wrapped every item. I ended up with a box that was almost too heavy to move.
--How did we come to have so many canning jars? I was never under any illusion that I would do real canning, preserving of food. What project were we going to do with all these jars?
--This sorting process leaves plenty of room for miscommunication. I packed all the items in the china cabinet, even though we don't use those items either. We may decide not to keep all of those items as we unwrap them, or maybe they'll go right into the china cabinet, these decisions put on hold until our next move.
--As I looked at all the glassware, I thought of our younger selves, the ones who wanted to have a glass for every possible type of drink. Have we ever made margaritas or martinis? No, but if we do, we have the glass for it.
--I gave away the one, lonely wine glass, the first one I ever bought, at a store near the B.Dalton's in a mall long ago. I bought it the summer after I graduated from undergraduate school. I imagined that a grown woman needed a wine glass.
--Why did I think a grown woman only needed one wine glass? And why is it so small?
--How did we end up with so many pillowcases? Where are the sheets that once went with these pillowcases? Do the pillowcases miss the sheets that have gone on to other destinies?
When I got to the Good Will drop off station yesterday, I was surprised to see a line of cars. I patiently waited my turn, watching the people pop out and haul their stuff to the pile: a pair of shoes, a child's scooter, bag after bag of stuff. And then I added my two bags of stuff and my carton of glassware. I pondered the basic question: what will become of all this stuff? Will it go round and round and round again?
There are larger questions, of course. Do others really need my cast-aways? How does the earth bear this burden?
In the end, I left my additions to the pile and drove off, determined to downsize, determined not to add more to my own pile of stuff, stuff that's all destined for the Good Will drop off station.