In the last 2 days, we’ve purged ourselves of 2 very big and important items in our house. The first was our crib. Appropriately, my oldest son and I delivered it to its final resting place at the county transfer station. As he was the first one to occupy it, it made sense for him to help with its disposal, I guess.
The second item we got rid of was our baby glider. I can’t even begin to count how many hours were spent in it rocking one of our three children. I am sure there are pictures somewhere of me sleeping with my mouth wide open as I succeeded not only in getting my child to sleep but myself as well.
I’m glad that I married a woman who is willing to part with things like this. My parents hardly ever purged their home of things and it was evident when they moved after 36 years. Thankfully, I did not have to do the hard work of choosing what would stay and what would go. That work actually comes to me now as they are both gone and we need to decide what to keep for the long haul and what to get rid of.
It’s too easy to attach memories to physical items and then feel such a sense of loss when it comes time to part with those items. It seems that we have this innate ability to associate meaning to objects which inevitably elevates the status of those objects to something that they were never meant to be. While it’s good for them to act as reminders for us, if they become anything more, we could very well find ourselves worshipping the idols of our past rather than embracing the moment that we have before us.
I am one to savor moments, especially if I sense that they may be more meaningful in the long run. But life rarely affords us the luxury of creating Kodak moments in our brains, especially when we don’t have a certainty of what tomorrow will bring for us. If had had my wishes, I probably would have brought a camera along with me to snap shots of my son throwing away the crib in which he started his life with our family. But I didn’t.
So often though, it seems that I have a tendency to look at the negative side of something rather than seeing the potential that it affords me. Purging doesn’t only mean that something is gone and that with it go the memories that were made with it, it also means that the space that is left is able to be filled with something else that can create more memories. When we open ourselves up and leave space, we are able to fill that space with something new and different, something that has the potential of creating opportunities that we may not have had with what we had before. I can’t say that this goes for people because people are irreplaceable, but it certainly goes for things. When we get rid of things and purge them, we leave room for something else to come in.
So what are you purging from your life? What are you moving out of the way in order that something else might come in? If you fail to move something out, you may be missing opportunities for something better. Too often we can miss the great because we’ve settled for only good. I’ve heard people say that it’s a good idea to live as if you were moving every five years. I actually have some friends who have had to move every five years, so I should probably check that wisdom with them. When we think with that goal in mind, we can stop to assess what’s really important in our lives.
Funny, all this comes just from getting rid of a crib and a glider. I can’t even imagine what I’m going to be like when I actually have to send one of these kids off to college.