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Perhaps it’s the elementary teacher in me, or my environmentalist side–regardless, I have to admit that I collect and keep way too much stuff. It’s for future collage projects or what-if-I-can-use-it moments. While much of the stuff serves no urgent need, when it builds, I grow overwhelmed. After reading   The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, I decided to purge even more. On a recent tidying frenzy, I opened a tiny envelope in my junk drawer only to find that I had saved a few poignant paper fortunes. The first one that I pulled out read:

“That which you cannot give away you do not possess. It possesses you.”

My story of stuff also reminded me about the time when I had to re-explain my mastectomies/DIEP reconstruction surgery to my little one. She couldn’t wrap her merely 6-year-old head around why I was going away to have an operation; apparently, our rational justifications up until that point didn’t make sense to her. Before responding, I took a deep breath of young perspective. Then noticed what surrounded her on her bed. “I’m kind of like a stuffed animal with some unhealthy stuffing inside. So, doctors are going to remove that stuffing and refill the area with new, healthy stuffing!”

“Oooooh!” she exclaimed with a beam of relief.

That made two of us, as my image of my almost unfathomable, impending surgery turned into a simple exchange of stuff. And, who doesn’t love a stuffed animal?

In the last blog post, I purposefully glazed over the fact that I judged “boob jobs” (I really prefer “breast surgery”), and didn’t say where I stand on that topic. Now you know that I can no longer judge them, because, essentially, they were a possession that I chose to give away.

What type of stuff are trying not to possess any longer?