Saturday, November 19, 2011

Time ...

I'll admit to watching the Hoarding shows on tv ... I watch them and give thanks that as bad as things are in my life, they are not as bad as what I'm watching ...

I do however understand the strange world that hoarders inhabit a little better now.

My brother and I used to tease Mom that she could be the star of an episode of Hoarders. Her response was to get angry and tell us to 'shut up'. There is unfortunately an element of truth to our teasing, and I honestly believe that Mom would have made Hoarders had it not been for Scott living in the house and keeping things clear in many of the living spaces.

Admittedly, Scott had his own hoarder like tendancies ... the stacks and stacks and stacks of "Old Auto" magazine were the most obvious trait that betrayed his hoarding ... but as I've dug into dressers, closets and other nooks and crannies at Mom's my discoveries have left me laughing and shaking my head - sometimes simultaneously.

How many tea cups, platters and celery vases does one person really need?

Is keeping EVERY note, letter and card really necessary?

And, I don't think you have to keep your financial records forever ...

But in amongst the clutter were (and remain) treasures waiting to be recovered ... I've found toys and books from my childhood, I've lost track of the coins and other money I've found tucked here and there, and I've continued to discover beautiful antiques and collectibles that are often hidden in plain sight ...

As I've sorted and cleaned and decluttered, I've also struggled with the very issues that often come up in episode after episode of Hoarders (and the other related shows).

How do you decide what to keep and what to get rid of?

How do you know what is junk and what might be valuable?

and on and on it goes ... the biggest challenge I encounter though is the waffling back and forth between keeping everything, and just walking away and letting go of everything ... at times it is paralyzing. I understand why people end up being overwhelmed with STUFF after losing a loved one, or having a traumatic event.

Some days I want to hold on to everything, while other days find me wanting to load everything from the house and just dump it ... it would be easier to do nothing then to face the emotional roller coaster of sifting through memories and mementoes of what was, and has been lost ... over and over I find something that takes me back and brings a smile and tears ... it is both inevitable and difficult, and it is what I have to face.

For the moment, even though I joke about it, I have no real desire to be on a future episode of Hoarders ... I will in time make my way through the stuff that has crammed Mom's house, and I will deal with the treasures and the junk.

When I think about it, instead of Hoarders, I'd rather appear on Canadian Pickers ...

No comments: