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Trash or Treasure?

Writing a blog post right after a garage sale feels like writing a eulogy to trash. Nonetheless, here's mine. A list of what I pruned, and the pruning principles:
  • My collection of chipped faux-Fiesta ware. I used it to decorate a big kitchen in Ohio, and then it sat in my garage for a decade. Lesson: Start with the easy decisions.
  • My Mary Engelbreit phase: tins, magazines, what-nots. Lesson: The "cute" side of me needed some serious pruning.
  • Reader's Digest unabridged classics, the ones in the nice bindings. They sat on my shelves for years, beckoning. They actually caused me to read A Tale of Two Cities and The Scarlet Letter. They had much less success with other titles. Lesson: I don't need to keep things to make myself look erudite, and, acquiring stuff is easy. Doing what I bought it to make myself do, is harder.
  • Tupperware. I always disliked Tupperware. Lesson: I don't need to keep things to make myself feel domestic.
  • The 1940's and 1950's section of my still-copious collection of illustrated children's books. Still have the 20s, 30s, and 90s. Never did much with the 60s and 80s. Lesson: some decades speak to you, some don't.
  • Kitchen equipment: Revereware, cast iron, electric wok, waffle iron. Lesson: I no longer cook that way.
  • The 60's Westinghouse blender that never worked, but looked inimitable as sculpture. The wobbly chair only the initiated could sit on. The carpet cleaner I hoped to find the manual for. Lesson: maimed and broken things were a testimonial to my artsiness and optimism, but an impediment to my life.
I kept some things because I wanted to look highfalutin', others because I hoped I'd become crafty/expert/a speaker of foreign languages. Some things I didn't realize I'd outgrown, and others I kept because I preferred filling a box to making a decision.

I have a friend who perceives life as a series of losses, culminating in death. I, the perennial optimist, prefer to see it as a series of prunings, making what's left more fruitful, beautiful, fun. Like a trip to the barber, where a haircut is not a loss of your favorite hair, but an improvement on the hair that remains.

 

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