We’re 16 days away from leaving Chattanooga. Within that time we will need to have cleared the house of everything we own, put the things we’re keeping in a storage container and sold or donated the rest. It’s really not a lot of time to pare down the contents of a 3900 square foot house to fit into an 8×16 foot box. There should definitely be a sense of urgency here.
And yet, I can’t push publish. I have this massive Craigslist posting drafted and ready to go. It details the 32 pieces of furniture we will be selling as we liquidate our Chattanooga life. All I have to do is publish the damn thing…but I keep staring at it.
We decided to sell most of our furniture because, after multiple kids, dogs, parties and mishaps, the stuff isn’t exactly in perfect condition. Trundling along on the back of a truck is only going to create more damage. Economically, the storage and shipping fees saved on selling all of this stuff now will compensate for some of the cost of repurchasing, and, psychologically, it feels cathartic to minimize and start fresh.
Yet, we are certainly feeling the materialistic pull that seems to define success in our society. Brian said it best the other night when he was sitting on our living room couch, ran his hand along the leather and then said with a look of amused and somewhat stunned realization, “We’re 38 years old, we have 3 kids and we won’t own a couch.” Kind of sums it up, right? As part of western society, we’re often in the mode of defining ourselves by what we have. We may not want to admit it, but it’s why I care about decorating our house and why Brian likes to have the latest technological gadget. The things we possess make a statement about ourselves to some extent. So what does it mean if “we won’t own a couch”?
Are we professional failures? Are we bad parents? Are we unconventional eccentrics? No, no and…yeah, probably. My difficulty in publishing this Craigslist ad might be revealing my own inner turmoil over the statement we’re making by doing all this. Maybe there’s a part of me that doesn’t want to let go of those tangible tokens of “success.” Maybe I’m afraid that pushing that publish button will define us in a very different way, one that I’m not totally comfortable acknowledging.
Or maybe I just don’t want to deal with the friggin’ hassle of dozens of strangers calling me night and day to pick through a bunch of crap I don’t care about.
Either way…here we go. PUBLISH!