“Eat a live frog every morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” -Mark Twain
Growing up a child of Haitian immigrants, I didn’t have many “new things”. For the most part, the majority of my belongings came from garage sales, hand me downs, and local thrift stores. The teenage years were tough because of the tremendous amount of pressure to be in style. Fortunately, I attended Catholic school and uniforms were the socioeconomic equalizer. I rarely took advantage of the days when you could pay a dollar to wear your own clothes. Are you kidding me? I knew my limits and so I stayed in my ugly plaid skirt and crisply ironed top and polyester vest.
It wasn’t until recently that I realized that the whole ” no new “experience had a lasting impression on me. I don’t like labels but I think I might…could…maybe…hope I’m not, but the clues point to me having some clutterer/hoarder tendencies. I said tendencies to draw the line that I am nothing like the people you see on “Hoarders” but I do have attachment issues to “things”. I believe this is directly related to my experience as a kid (did not have) and now as an adult (must have).
What ARE some of the things I can’t let go of?
1. Emails/Voicemails– Besides having 5 different email accounts, I have over 8,000 plus inbox messages and forget about what it is in the trash bin. I try and schedule time to delete them but you never know when someone might need you to recall an email from March 2008 with an attachment. My voicemail count is at about 247 messages:).
2. Shoes– My kids have play shoes, school shoes, soccer shoes, swim shoes?? and the list goes on. I, on the other hand had these hideous black and white saddle shoes and a pair of sneakers. Two pairs: that was it. So, it should be no surprise that I evolved into an Imelda Marcos type personality when it came to shoes.
3. Clothes– The majority are kids’ clothes. I never met a clearance rack I didn’t like. I cannot pass on a hand me down. If you offer me clothes, I will take it. The problem is I am the recipient of clothes from way too many people. So in addition to new clothes, my kids have closets full of clothes.
4. Paper– I like to keep and file important papers for 5-7 years per IRS suggestions. My paper clutter in that area is under control. It’s the stuff that comes from school that has taken a life of its own. The artwork, graded schoolwork, certificates, the list goes on and on. Isn’t is every Mom’s responsibility to keep these things?
5. Tupperware– I have lost count on these. I tried using the strategy of “if it doesn’t have a to– toss it” or if it is has the melted burn spot– it has to go. If I have to fight to get the lid on—bye bye. They multiply in the middle of the night. They have to, it’s the only explanation.
My journey has just begun. The above mentioned are just a few as I am just scratching the surface. So, every morning I “eat the frog” and work on letting go.
Did you grow up not having and now as an adult have a tendency to overindulge from time to time? Do you indulge yourself? Your kids? What are some things you find hard to let go?