Gifts: The persistent apparition of clutter

GiftsBut that was a gift from ___________!

Yeah. And there it sits.

Years go by.

I gets dusted.

It stopped being a conversation piece a couple years after you acquired it in 1982.

Four presidents ago.

But you hang onto it. Not wanting to offend the giver, whom you haven’t been in touch with in twelve years. It’s like they marked their territory by placing something in our homes.

Fear has us enslaved. We keep things that have long ceased to serve us. We’re afraid we’ll hurt feelings and so we live out our lives owned by objects. We serve them as warehouser, cataloguers, polishers and oglers.

Go work for a museum. They’ll pay you to take care of stuff. Otherwise give it one final dusting, box it up and sell it or donate it. Your space will thank you. Practice a few minutes of “I’m sorry” every month or so in case the person shows up at your door wondering why they saw their precious object in a consignment window or on eBay.

Forgiveness is always easier to get than permission.


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