Saturday, September 22, 2012

"It's Okay to Throw it Away"

"It's Okay to Throw it Away" became my motto roughly 3 years ago.  My late husband, bless his heart, had a hard time throwing things away. There was always an excuse ... "If we just clean it up, someone could use it." "We could sell it." "It's not broken." "I wasn't sure if you would want to keep it."  The long, slow process of now cleaning through 20 years of accumulated junk has been no picnic. Thankfully, Richard has no emotional attachment to these things and is able to just toss things that clearly don't need to be kept. I also can cut ties and let things go. I just procrastinate. I really don't want to do it so I put it off until it can't be put off any longer.

Today, I had to clean out my dead refrigerator to prepare for the new one to arrive.  I was throwing away all the expired stuff and things we just didn't need.  All of the sudden, I found in my hand a small bottle of J. Roget Spumante (I know ... nothing but the best, right? ;)). It was actually dusty, even though it had been in the refrigerator. That little bottle has actually been in every refrigerator I've owned since 1990.  It was a small gift from one of Dale's brothers when we got married.  My hand lingered between the fridge and the trash can. Should I throw it away? Why should I keep it? It's not like he's here to open it with. Maybe I should keep it. I've had it forever. It means something. What? What does it really mean? It's just a reminder of what was lost. It's a reminder of what was once a good memory. Don't get me wrong, my wedding to him is still a "good" memory. But like that song says, "Now every memory is haunted." All the good memories inevitably lead me to the One Big Bad One. Even though I know I can't wipe out every memory, I also know that I don't need to hold on to material things in order to remember. "It's Okay to Throw it Away."  So out it went. Throwing it away doesn't mean it never happened. Throwing it away doesn't mean I didn't care. It just means that I'm okay with the memory living in my heart and not in my hand.



  1. Wow, that's an excellent point. I have so many things around my house for exactly that reason. Throwing it away doesn't throw away the memory. Great blog post!!


  2. stopping through from the TGIF Blog Hop (late I know! =) ) to say hello!

  3. i think i need to try this! awesome blog!

  4. Yesterday.. after three years.. I was looking at a piece of paper I had used to scratch notes on from a phone call. I unfolded it, and there was Ron's hand writing.

    32 bales
    11 bales

    Yea, he had once kept count of our bales on this very piece of paper, I had just used for scratch paper.

    It made me smile.. which says, I'm healing.. something like a note he wrote, used to make me break down sobbing.. while I hugged his red jar..

    life is moving on

  5. I have a hoarding problem. It's not as bad as the ones you see on TLC, but I know it's not far from happening if I don't curb my hoarding tendencies. My apartment is crowded with a lot of stuff that I put away because OI know one day that I will take them all to Goodwill for donation. The thing is, I rarely have time to drop by Goodwill.. so they're still here, crowding my space. For 2 years. My mind gets as cluttered as my belongings. I want to toss it them in the trash- clothes which I have not worn, just to free up some space in my apartment, but I feel guilty because I know someone will have use for them. I feel so depressed that for 3 years, I have this problem.

    1. It really IS okay to throw stuff away, even if it's good stuff. If you just can't bring yourself to throw it away just to get it out, then start small. One of the problems with hoarding, at least in my opinion, is that it starts to become overwhelming and you have this thought that you are going to clean it all at once but then it's just too much to do all at once. Do it one bag at a time. Even if you fill up one trash bag with clothing and as you drive by one of those drop - off bins, just swing in and drop it off and go on your way. Don't let the volume overwhelm you, just start small, little by little. You'll be amazed at how fast it goes. I think also maybe it would help if you talked with a counselor or therapist, especially since you've had some depression tendencies. It doesn't mean you're weak, so don't take it that way. It just gives you someone to talk to that may be able to give you a different way of looking at things. I can say that the more we get rid of, the happier I am. You can be too!