It’s Saturday, and I’m single. 10 years of marriage can leave you with a lot of baggage. So this Saturday, I’m having a yard sale.
It’s Saturday, and I’m kind of a packrat. It started when I was a little kid. Back then, Saturday was the day we went “ta da dump, ta da dump, ta da dump, dump dump.” It wasn’t unusual for us to come back with more than we took. My dad’s workshop was furnished entirely with things he got for free.
It’s Saturday, and my third floor rec room is a bit like my dad’s garage. The sofas came from me “ambulance chasing” a pickup truck on its way to the dump just down the road from my house. (Location, location, location! So said my realtor!) The desk was salvaged from my brother’s roommate a few years ago. The IKEA entertainment unit and bookshelves were a gift from a retreat roommate who is getting married and needed to ditch some of her old furniture after she sold her condo and moved to northern Virginia. And the lovely Regency ceiling fan came from a friend who reps for that company and occasionally re-homes “scratch & dent” stuff taking up valuable space in his garage.
It’s Saturday, and my salvaging habits have a dark side. There’s the free Pier 1 papasan chair that I got a few years ago. I’d wanted one of those since I was a teenager. The reality wasn’t nearly as cool as the fantasy. All three of my kids have almost injured themselves on that thing, and I myself just can’t get comfortable in it. So that’s going to be sold. There’s the gigantic corner TV armoire that Scott and I bought for the old house unfinished – it wasn’t my husband and I who made it beautiful with stain, varnish and brass fittings. It was my dad and I. And once we moved into our current house, we didn’t have a place for it inside and it’s been collecting dust and other belongings for six years. It has sentimental value, but it’s also a gigantic symbol of one of my greatest struggles in my marriage – cleaving to my spouse instead of my parents. There’s a lovely china cabinet that I got for next to nothing at a yard sale 10 years ago that has outlived its usefulness in my home. And an entire garage filled with clothes, knick-knacks and baby toys and “stuff” that have been a seasonal presence in my life for the past 9 years.
It’s Saturday, and it’s hard to put a price on the stuff I’ve accumulated. The value of this stuff is far greater than what people will be willing to pay for it. Yet the price of keeping it is greater. If I’ve learned anything about this process of becoming single again, it’s that holding onto the past with a tightly clenched fist prevents me from receiving the gifts the future may hold for me.
It’s Saturday, and it’s time for me to dump some of the baggage. Some of it I’ve had for years, and some of it has been recently accumulated out of fear of future want. Today, I trust that I’ll be given everything I need when I need it, but only if I’m not stocking the cabinets with sippy cups that haven’t been used in over a year or extra refrigerators that are sucking up more energy than they are worth. And being married for 10 years can leave one with a lot of accumulated baggage, whether they be beliefs about myself, or old coffee mugs that we used to drink out of together.
I came across this great song called “Suitcases” by a Christian recording artist Dara McClean that really speaks to the need to do an occasional inventory of what I have and what is no longer needed. Just because some of this stuff was useful at one time doesn’t mean it’s continuing to serve me today. It’s worth questioning.
It’s Saturday, and I realize that my garage, like my heart, was not intended to be a dumping ground for crap that has no other place in my life. It was meant to house and protect something of great value – my car. Or, in the case of my heart, my spirit. My baggage –emotional and otherwise – isn’t a treasure if it’s not serving me anymore. How can my best self grow if I’ve got all this “stuff” taking up valuable growing room?