Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom
Last week, I talked about shopping at the Goodwill, and we all felt a bit of dread: what happens to our stuff when we let it go? I know the definitive answer to this question: It’s not yours any more.
I came to this perhaps obvious realization last week. For years, I have had a queen size air mattress with a leak that I have never found. I’ve tried to find it while using it (and slowly, slowly getting closer to the ground), and I tried to find it earlier this year when I blew it up just for the purpose of locating the leak. I was not successful. So last week I decided enough was enough, and I offered it away for free. A friendly fellow named Michael claimed it. He said he was going camping in two weekends, and he would find the leak if he could, and toss it away if he couldn’t. Toss it away!?! Yes, dear readers, I almost snatched the thing back.
Pretty idiotic, huh? I hadn’t found the leak, I hadn’t fixed it, and yet I’m holding him to a standard that I, myself, did not achieve. Perhaps I think it’s better if it just sits around my house for a few more years, not being fixed. How ridiculous, yet how true. Part of the reason I hadn’t thrown it out is that it’s a giant piece of plastic (plastic = bad!), and he seemed so relaxed about tossing it, if need be. But, again, how ridiculous of me to judge.
That’s when it occurred to me: Once you let something go, it’s not yours any more.
I’m sure at times when Colleen is working at the thrift store, she see people whom she recognizes as regular shoppers and bargain hunters, and she may be secretly tempted to empty their carts when their backs are turned. But she, and others, have donated those goods. They don’t belong to their original owner any more. Yes, I think it’s important to try and find the best home for your cast off goods: a friend, neighbor, willing Ebay purchaser, etc., but once those things leave your possession, they’re gone. You can’t force the person who accepts your goods to use them to their highest and best use, especially since you, yourself, were not doing this.
Sometimes we even tell ourselves that we really value something that we’re getting rid of, so we want the next person to demonstrate to us that they’re going to value it just like we did. Or maybe we regret a purchase and know that we wasted our money, so we hope that the next person will use it so much or get so much pleasure out of the item that it will somehow make up for our bad purchase. Well, let’s face the facts, we gave it away or sold it because we no longer valued it or it wasn’t right for us, so don’t expect someone else to fix that mistake for you.
You bought it; you shouldn’t have. You’ve outgrown it; that happens. Your interests have changed; that’s natural. You inherited it; you don’t love it. Do your best to find an appropriate home and then let it go. Because you can’t control something that doesn’t belong to you any more.
Today’s Declutter Item
This basketball souvenir makes a nice change from baseball souvenir clutter but clutter it is none-the-less. I donated it to the thrift store and it sold before my shift was done that day.
Today’s Mini Mission
Declutter dishes that you have too many of.
Something I am grateful for today
Making the decision to get rid of something I have been considering for a while.
“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.” Brother David Steindl-Rast