Week 2: 202 Things and Catholic Guilt

While most people in New England were watching the Pats game last night (which I was surprisingly a teeny bit sad about missing), I was going through my things, looking for another 100 items that I could purge. When I started this challenge, I felt pretty confident that I’d be able to find 400 things to get rid of by the end of the month—I just didn’t realize how easy it would be. I haven’t even ventured down from the 3rd floor of my house and I’ve still managed to throw away/donate/recycle 202 things since January 1st.

Like I wrote before, by no definition of the word am I a packrat, but in going through all of my stuff, it’s apparent that I’ve been holding on to a lot of things that are of no use to me anymore. When you’re trying to minimize, there are the obvious things that go first: the gifts you didn’t like in the first place, the outdated college textbooks, the ugly yarn you learned to knit with. But then there are the less obvious things; the things that you once loved but that aren’t relevant to who you are right now. In my downsizing, I made the decision to only hold on to things that reflect who I am today, not who I used to be or who I wish I were. While part of me feels a little sad letting all of my old “I Love Lucy” VHS tapes go, the other part of me knows that I don’t need them anymore and that (hopefully) they’ll end up in the hands of someone who’ll give them a greater purpose than they would have had sitting in a Rubbermaid container in my basement.

By completing the exercise from my last post where you write down what you’re getting rid of and the deeper emotion behind it, I can see that in addition to parting with some books I couldn’t get into, my high school CD collection (yes, I decided to get rid of it), and various other “things”, I’m also throwing out: uncertainties about the future, guilt (it’s shocking how many things I wrote guilt next to, thanks Catholicism) and reminders of unmet goals and failures.

Hallelujah, on to the next 100.

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