Sunday, May 24, 2009

Letting Go



My roommates put together a big sidewalk sale yesterday just from stuff that was up in the attic. It's not a big space but it must have been packed completely full because there was a LOT of stuff for sale. Wow.

As part of an ongoing cleanse of The Stuff I'm Supposed to Love, But Don't, I sold my chandelier - at last! It was a gift for my 40th birthday, given by someone who wanted me to be the recipient of something really special, but clearly did not understand my tastes. Super ornate, with tons of heavy crystal thingies and brass curlicues, all loopy and baroque in its design, I'll admit it was special, oh yeah. Unfortunately, I never liked it except as a curiosity.

It was very expensive, I'm sure. It's value, along with the memory of the gift giver's loving intent, created a sense of obligation within me. That obligation is the only reason I hung on to it year in and year out. Yesterday I was finally ready to admit that keeping it in a cardboard box in the attic for sixteen years is a clear indication that no matter how obligated I felt, I was not appreciating the little monstrosity, and it was time to let go.

The woman who lives next door, who keeps her Christmas tree up and fully lit 365 days a year, bought it. I can imagine that it will look just right in her house. I bet she'll be able to give it some love, something that it hasn't had in forever.

I lugged that thing around with me for a long time. It's so interesting to think about all the reasons why, how hollow they were. This morning I feel that a weight has lifted from my shoulders just because it's gone. Hail and farewell, overly fancy chandelier! Onwards & upwards.

31 comments:

janis said...

whaa! I wish I could have come to your sidewalk sale! I would have fought the neighbor for the chandilier. For some reason (I dont know why)I am going through a gawdy stage and having been wanting a chandilier.
have a wonderful weekend!

Reya Mellicker said...

Janis I wish I'd known! I would have shipped it to you.

ellen abbott said...

What a relief. Letting go is good. I'm doing a bit of that myself with this move.

Something that I thought I let go of though has pooped back up. (hee hee, I meant popped but the little typo seems more apt.) Reya, if you would visit me I'd like your thoughts.

Andrea said...

I'm not one for clutter. I usually look at something and say "do I really need this?" I have no trouble letting go of stuff (probably because my house is small - very little storage!).

I have to tell you your last few posts have been very powerful for me.

Regarding visiting the Vietnam Memorial - my sisters are planning a family reunion this summer. Cousins and the few remaining aunts and uncles will be in the area and one of the things we all want to do is visit the Memorial. I'll let you know when that will be.

Joanne said...

Some of what we hold on to does seem to be out of obligation, our own sense of it. It's nice to put our selves finally before the obligation and fly a little more freely.

John Hayes said...

A good reminder-- sometimes its possessions that are an obligation, sometimes things we no longer use/need for whatever reason.

The Bug said...

This is very timely since we'll be moving soon - there are probably a lot of things that don't need to move with us. I have some collector's dolls that my MIL gave me - lovely, but do I need them in my small home? And we have so many random small things just sitting around. Do we love them, really? Can they find a new home? Something to think about!

JC said...

Wow .. for my 40th b day I got some coffee and hallway runner rug .. I also went to the Ocean. LOL

I just see a need to dust them when I see them. Always too high .. LOL

Rain said...

Good for you! We attach too much emotion to objects.

mum said...

wow: when I first clicked on, I thought that first pic was a waterfall! Nice.

Nice flowers too. The great thing with flowers is: here today, gone tomorrow. No packing, no storing. I like that!

Enjoy!

Meri said...

I feel the urge to purge the basement storage. Who knows what wonders I'll find?

analogman said...

We have things that we've hauled all around the country for 20 years. Our garage is full of the stuff now. We call it our pilot room. If we don't have room for it in the house, we pile it in there. We could use a little purging here...but I keep thinking, I could use some of that stuff one day. Hey, there's some good stuff in there!

deborah said...

mazel
mazel
mazel
and much love

deborah said...

i went through a period when i got rid of something 'ugly' and acquired something i thought was beautiful

it was so impractical

ended up with lovely art and pottery and sheets

and no utensils or waste paper baskets

Lover of Life said...

I have been doing the same thing. Having moved so many times over the last couple of years, we've done quite a bit of purging. It feels good to get rid of things you only keep out of obligation. I only want things around me that have meaning.

Amy said...

Over the years I've become more and more of a simplifier. My closets and dresser drawers are constantly being purged. My husband is just the opposite. He'll hold onto papers, empty boxes, non-working watches. (It makes for an interesting dynamic.)

I have found the old adage (and I paraphrase) "Cluttered house, cluttered mind" applies to me. I don't function well when I'm surrounded by too much "stuff." Clean, neat, tidy and organized. That's when my brain works best.

poietes said...

Sixteen years is a long time to haul around an obligation. But I understand completely.

I also understand how you can feel such a sense of unburdening now.

I know the kind of chandelier of which you speak, and trust me, if I had been gifted with something similar, it would have remained in the box.

Minka said...

Yes, letting go IS good. I have the same problem with some f the gifts I got plus I have a space problem - living in a flat I have just enough space for he things I actually need.

lakeviewer said...

Stuff tends to weigh us down; but how can we live with it?

Ronda Laveen said...

And a lot of our energy gets blocked by things like your sticky chandelier. We try to honor someone else's view of us...even when we know it to not be true.

Hope your neighbor has an artifical tree:)

Evening Light Writer said...

Reya, I've been cleaning the junk out too..letting someone else treasure it..I don't need it anymore.

Making room for the things I love now.

Reya Mellicker said...

The chandelier was definitely not junk - just not me, not my style. Heavy, ornate, gaudy. Not me. So glad my neighbor can enjoy it!

Reya Mellicker said...

Ronda, the neighbor's tree is as artificial as you can get. She's an odd bird, but so sweet. So she likes Christmas? So what!

Keeping stuff that doesn't mean anything is the worst kind of feng shui trap - I agree.

Lisa said...

wow- letting go, moving forward...hard to do but hen the relief when its done.....

Tom said...

Well, you showed that chandilier who was boss; after all, you owned it, not the other way around. Congrats!

Delwyn said...

Reya,

I think that honeysuckle looking plant provides more light and life than any chandelier

Happy days

Mary Ellen said...

Hi! Stumbling around looking at other people's links - I like your attitude. It's good to look at the positive opportunities of mid-life and beyond, instead of being caught in the conventional mindset of diminishment and loss.

Janelle said...

ah its such a good thing..and i will confess, i might have bought your chandelier for two reasons:
1. because i like sparklies but more because 2. it was yours....! xxx j

Natalie said...

I love chandeliers, but not too gaudy. Our fave restaurant has an old iron chandelier that is about a 3 or 4 feet in diameter.It is gorgeous in a rustic sort of way. Shame you live so far away, but it sounds like it went to a good home. :D

Gary said...

I am taken with the neighbor who keeps her Christmas tree up all year long. How interesting. I seems that Christmas would not seem like anything special but at the same time it makes it all special.

I have items that I have held onto for the same reasons. I find it hard to part with things after I have kept them so long. It is a bit of "well, I've kept it this long" but I should really clean house myself. Best to go in bits probably.

Steve said...

One of the best feelings in the world is passing along an object that is simply taking up space in your life. Freedom!