There is a mini-dumpster in my driveway, three-quarters full of junk that Patrick and our nine-year-old hauled from our garage and attic last weekend.
I've been keeping clear of it, because I was afraid the eco-guilt would cause me to start picking stuff back out of it like a five-year-old on the night before a yard sale. With every trip they took down the stairs, I wondered if we were sending someone else's treasure to the landfill.
This morning, I had to go and peer in. Junk. About 98 per cent pure.
And we've been living with it and paying for the space to keep it all these years. As flylady says, treating our home like a landfill. If I'm not comfortable treating the landfill as a landfill, why am I any more comfortable treating my living space as one? It's crazy.
Sometimes I wonder if people like us are carrying around an unfair share of society's guilt. We've been a single car family for all but two of our twelve years together. We cloth diapered two of our three kids. We fill two recycle bins every week. There are about three pieces of furniture in this house that are less than twenty years old (and believe me, the rest are not fancy antiques). I know we are part of the problem, but are we THE problem?
This move is about downsizing and simplifying, but first and foremost, it is about restructuring. About rebuilding our financial house on bedrock instead of sand. Of unhitching our horse from behind the wagon. Of surgically reattaching the tail to the back of the dog. You get the idea. It's from the ground up.
We have gone without so many of the basics for so long while trying to attack our money problems from the top down. We put our debts ahead of the most elemental things. Health care (for us, not the kids, who have been covered by a wonderful state program that we will sadly probably not qualify for much longer). Emergency savings. Taxes. We've been living retroactively, constantly trying to catch up, never able to gain traction on today, let alone tomorrow.
Looking into that dumpster was like looking at a rotten tooth that had to be pulled. I can't believe I held onto what was hurting us for so long.
It's going to take a while; barring unforeseen developments, a few years at least. But step by step, we're going to get our house in order. The past no longer comes ahead of today.
Labels: lack and plenty