Saturday, March 23, 2013

Ask Sheila

Dear Sheila,

I was sitting with some other mums during a class my kids were taking and one of the mums was talking about how she and her family had recently emptied their house of possessions and moved into a little caravan. She talked about how freeing it was, having so little stuff. Another mother agreed fervently, well, I thought it seemed a little fervent, so I piped up. "I don't know if I could do that," I joked. The other two mothers looked at me very severely and said that if I had less stuff I'd be happier. Is that true? Would I be happier with less stuff?



Dear Hoarder,

First off, stop calling yourself a hoarder. Hoarders are people who have so many newspapers lining their front hallway they can barely get in the door. You're a collector - who knows when you might need those five packages of orange feathers, twenty five feet of plastic ivy, thirteen 3" white binders, or that 5-tiered stack of square wooden beads that your SIL gave one of your children for Christmas six years ago and while they never used them they are so pretty with those cool African designs you hate to give them away. Remember those cases of discarded tiles you picked up every Friday after gym class, the ones that tile store used to put out beside their dumpster (until they realized that one person was taking them each week)? You ended up making a lovely tiled address plate with those. So what if it took you three years to decide what to do with them - every artist needs time to let those ideas percolate.

Ignore those mothers. They have a pathology of their own: it's called a lack of imagination. You can see into the future, to a time when your youngest child might need a 3" binder (so what if it's a colour your kid hates) - they can't. Let them sit in their tiny little caravan and feel superior, while you sit amongst your piles of stuff. You're ready for anything!

No comments: