Surmountable Obstacles: Stuff

February 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

I’ve been thinking today about George Carlin’s bit on stuff:

Actually this is just a place for my stuff, ya know? That’s all, a little place for my stuff. That’s all I want, that’s all you need in life, is a little place for your stuff, ya know? I can see it on your table, everybody’s got a little place for their stuff. This is my stuff, that’s your stuff, that’ll be his stuff over there. That’s all you need in life, a little place for your stuff. That’s all your house is: a place to keep your stuff. If you didn’t have so much stuff, you wouldn’t need a house. You could just walk around all the time.

A house is just a pile of stuff with a cover on it. You can see that when you’re taking off in an airplane. You look down, you see everybody’s got a little pile of stuff. All the little piles of stuff. And when you leave your house, you gotta lock it up. Wouldn’t want somebody to come by and take some of your stuff. They always take the good stuff. They never bother with that crap you’re saving. All they want is the shiny stuff. That’s what your house is, a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get…more stuff!*

I’ve been frantically trying to clean out our home office / junk room in preparation for the much anticipated launch of Vintrowear next month.  My God, I am a packrat!  I’ve been getting up at 6:30 every morning to spend a few minutes sorting through the stratospheric layers of my hobbies for the last 15 years, consisting primarily of scrapbooking, drawing, and genealogy detritus (all the yarn detritus is in the bedroom closet.)  It’s causing me some serious psychological pain!  Like, letting go of some drawing pencils means admitting the fact that I don’t have the kind of life where I can devote time and concentration to anything artistic.  (No, I have not given up knitting, but only because I can do it in the car, in front of tv, with my eyes closed, asleep… would I, could I, in a box?  Would I, could I, knit some socks?)  Disposing of old craft supplies also means confronting the fact that I have a complicated relationship with money.  I am cheap!  The fact that I once spent money on something, means I can basically never, ever throw it away. 

Dan and I love sharing an apocryphal story about My Dad and the Lightbox.  A few years back we were cleaning out my grandmother’s basement after she passed away.  We’d piled up a big mound of stuff on the porch we were going to take to the dump, and my dad happened past.  On the top of the pile was an old plywood box, with some sort of glass covering, and a bare light bulb inside. 

“You’re throwing away this lightbox?” he asked.  “That’s a perfectly good lightbox!”  He took it off the pile and brought it home to put in his basement.  And there it sits to this day.

It begs the question, what does a matter if a lightbox is perfectly good if (a) you don’t need one, and (b) you don’t know what one is.  Every bead, every colored pencil, every piece of origami paper I come across in my home office / junk room is a perfectly good light box.  Gods of Junk Removal, give me strength to throw it all away!!!  It’s only the palpable, amazing, mind-bending thrill of embarking on my own business, doing something I love selling perfectly good stuff that would otherwise be thrown away, that is allowing me to surmount this insurmountable obstacle, which is as of now, quite literally, blocking my way to my desk. 

Anyone need any colored pencils?

*Apologies to George Carlin if there are any errors to the Stuff Monologue, since I stole it from some website.


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