At Freedom Park summer 2010

Thursday, September 17, 2015

What's really important

Good Morning Sunshine!  Oh we have had many sunny mornings but this one just feels special.  I have been helping friends for the past six weeks and I can't believe how much I have learned about myself and what is really important in the process!!

My friends had been investing and collecting for years.  Some of the most cool antique things, big and small, and some totally unique stuff began to fill their farm buildings to overflowing.  They have built a new home and sold the place with all the buildings - so they had to empty them but had no where to put that much stuff.  They finally agreed to have an auction.  It took two days to sell it all but it took us 6 weeks to get it ready to sell.

It was a bigger adventure than I expected it to be!  It also got us talking and thinking about what was really important in life.....things were not high on the list and we really found ourselves wondering why some things were even saved, let alone so many of them.  We had a lot of fun discoveries as well....and some really special ones too.  A box of letters written during WWII to various soldiers by some female pen pals were really special.  We didn't read them but we carefully saved them.  That is something you do save but then you find the proper place to put them - like a museum or memorial or something.

It seemed like for everything we moved there were 5 more things to consider behind, under or inside of it.  It was easy to get frustraited.  The desire to cry came over me often....because I was well aware that I had some of the same kind of stuff in my home and it made me mad, sad and overwhelmed all at the same time.  The best thing I did each day was to come home, from helping my friends, and take on one similar project at home while I was still in that mindset.  I have made progress but not the same as we all have made working together.  I think that is key.  We all do better with support and help....but I do continue to make progress on my own.

My friends were preparing for a huge auction sale.  I don't have enough stuff for that and little of what I do have is valuable enough to auction.  I am not even sure if I can sell a lot of it.  My friends had more of an incentive to accomplish their purging and discovery project than I have in my personal one.....but I recognize the similarity in my own situation.  Even if there is no new house to move to I still have crap that I need to part with.  It is stuff I no longer need or use and probably never will.  It is just taking up space in my home and my life.

Why do we do things like this?  I was not raised to save or collect this much stuff.  I was raised to save the important things like photos.  It was me that took that farther and to excess.  Helping my friends not only opened my eyes to it but gave me the incentive to continue and complete what I had started clearing in my own world of clutter.  It isn't easy!  There are emotions attached to some of it and there is the guilt of having acquired it in the first place.  It is depressing to face the truth of the time, money and energy wasted over the years.

We would get a plan of action going only to find, part way in to it that it wasn't going to work like we thought or like we wanted or needed.  We had to make adjustments all the time and jump from one project to another depending on weather, help available, auction needs and a hundred other things...but we adjusted.  Some of us were better at it than others.  I saw one friend give up control of almost everything to get this done.  This had to be the hardest thing he has ever done because he has always been a doer and in control of the things around him.  To see him give that control away and tell someone else they were the boss was amazing to witness.  I was so very proud of him and prayed for the same kind of strength!

Other friends came to help.  One special friend suffered a health set-back a few years ago and has had to learn the fine art of adjusting in almost every phase of his life.  I appreciated his insight and humor when we did have to make adjustments.  I learned that I was far better at adjusting than Jeff is and I can still get multiple projects completed.  It isn't like engraving something at the same time as assembling is more like leaving something incomplete to go do something else to keep everyone working.....not insisting on completing one thing before starting another.

I have learned that things are only things.  Their value to me is totally different than THIER value to someone else.  I discovered that friendship is far more important than anything else.  I found that working together makes even tough jobs easier and less painful.