Sometimes it feels like every drawer is a junk drawer.
In the past week I’ve had to look for a couple of things I put in Some Important Place So I’ll Remember Where They Are, but I could not figure which place. The small binoculars which might have been nice for the Hootie and The Blowfish show were in none of the expected drawers, hanging thingies, nooks or crannies. A copy of my Delta Dental card finally appeared in about the eighth Place I Put Important Cards I Don’t Keep In My Wallet.
I found plenty of other things — like cards and notes with sentimental value — but also business cards for people who changed jobs and a lot of cards that had expired. Yet I didn’t throw out very many. Why? I don’t need a card for somebody who hasn’t worked there in a decade, or my AAA card that expired years ago. Yet, there they still sit in their various places.
Maybe it’s because I’m afraid of starting. Sure, it’s easy to discard that hair appointment card. And the expired cards, cut up or something, are a no-brainer. But after that, my decision-making can be oddly paralyzed.
Yes, she’s not working at that place any more, but I also remember getting that card, the wide smile when she handed it over, the moment of connection. Yes, I know he’s not at that office any more, but I remember how proud he was when he got that job.
The problem is that my junk drawers are not a physical manifestation so much as an emotional one.
I hang onto things because I hang onto moments, especially happy ones. I am a hoarder of memories — times I forget until I come across a business card, a momento, a small gift that I’ve never used yet cherish because of the act of giving.
Throw in the junk drawers full of instructions I’ll never read, parts and pieces I think I’ll need (but probably never will), cables to I’m not even sure what, tickets to games and shows, watches that stopped working, baby/toddler toys/things no longer of interest to a 6 year old and pretty much every holiday card, birthday card and invitation I’ve received since moving into my house nearly 18 years ago, and it’s drawer upon drawer of generally needless stuff.
I’m very aware of the problems of physical and emotional clutter, and how we should part with things that no longer bring us joy. But many of these objects remain out of fear of forgetting some person or some time, of regret that I didn’t do more with somebody or something.
It’s pretty clear at some point I just need to block off a day and clear out the clutter. It will feel better in more than one sense, but a little sad as well. But it will be a way to move forward. And maybe both piece of mind and my binoculars will even come into view.