Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Decluttering, Part blah, blah, blah

I don't dig the sensationalized hoarding shows, but I do look at images like this, sometimes, for motivation along the lines of "there but for the grace of god, go I".  (It's weird, but even as an atheist, that phrasing just works for me.)  Thing is, while I'm no where near this bad when it comes to book hoarding, I'm pretty sure I could be, if I'm not careful.  As it is, I purge books every few years, but it's (so far) really difficult for me to do. 

It's really a trip behaving in a way that you know isn't rational, but struggling with changing that behavior. Years ago, I had a pretty intense fear of flying (that I have since overcome almost completely), and no amount of logic about how relatively safe airplanes are would affect the visceral emotional reaction I had around flying. Similarly, I have a weird emotional reaction to getting rid of books--and knowing that it's weird isn't enough to help me leave that emotional reaction behind.

This morning I donated some of the comic books that I gathered up a couple of weeks ago.  And, even though I had already gone through the whole decision-making process about getting rid of them, I still had to really struggle to just let them go. It's difficult to not feel totally nutty when going through such a struggle, even as I can admit to myself that, yeah, most people have something nutty to deal with (and the ones who don't just haven't discovered it yet).  I suppose there's even still a bit of shame lingering, especially when I look at pictures like the one above and imagine that this is kind of what people see when they see my overflowing bookshelves.  I don't think that sort of shame is helpful (which is one reason I'm writing publicly about this), especially because it's not rational itself--it's isolating, when, in fact, there are many, many people going through similar struggles.

Spent some time sitting quietly and thinking about how good it feels to release stuff, if I take the time to let myself feel that. I still feel an overdeveloped sense of loss, and that is frustrating, but I'm also focusing on the "freeing" feeling one normally gets when cleaning up one's life. Or, I'm trying to. 

It's fascinating to me that some people, even most people, do this without trying, while I have to work at it. 

No comments: