Friday, July 01, 2011

The end

Today we got rid of a piece of furniture that has been with us for the last five years. It was a key table in the Blue House and held our keys plus other random stuff that came into the house (cell phones, mail, apparently if you take a peak at the picture, miniature Christmas trees). It was a bedside table in the ghetto Pink Palace. And here it was also an entryway table/recycling station until it got repurposed into a side table in the living room.

But then we got new tables. And the sewing table had to go. There was no room for it. I liked the little table. I had great plans to refinish it and fill the sewing machine hole and then take out the sewing machine holder stuff and put a shelf behind the door. But that wasn’t really ever going to happen.

So we put it on craigslist and made a few dollars and put them towards the new storage for the living room (I hope by the end of the summer we’ll have it!)

But that’s not all we got rid of today. Alex helped me carry the table out to the waiting car and send it off to someone else’s home and continue its life. I wasn’t sad to see it go, but when I walked in the house, I felt a lot lighter. It took me a minute to know why I felt lighter and then I realized: I hadn’t just said goodbye to a table, I had released an old relationship. That table was the last remnant of that relationship.

Five and a half years ago a friend of mine came to Canada from far away and lived with me. For many reasons it didn’t work and she left early. There were unhappy words said and not said. There were hurt feelings. There was resentment. There were unmet expectations (often because they were also silent expectations) and there were unmet responsibilities. I ended up inheriting some furniture and other bits and pieces as part of my “compensation” for a few things…

Over the last five years we’ve had two moves and three or four big clear outs of our stuff. This is the last piece of that relationship – the rest of the things were either donated or thrown out or accidentally left behind.
When I came back in the house I realized that the lightness I was feeling came from getting rid of that last piece of furniture. Sending it off to a new home allowed me to stop mourning a long dead friendship. I realized that even though the hurt, sadness and anger are long gone, and even though I know things are best the way they are now, and even though our friendship breathed its last breaths back in 2006, and even though I knew it could never be, some piece of me longed for the friendship we had before she came to Vancouver. And that piece of me left with the sewing table.

One of the questions that you can ask yourself when you’re decluttering is “Does this item make me feel guilty?” Maybe instead I need to ask myself “Is this item giving me a [negative] reason to live in the past?” I never would have thought a simple table could hold so much power over me!

So tonight I said goodbye. And I think that’s it.

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