Most of us live with too much stuff. Going through stuff, and getting rid of what we don’t need, is about taking inventory. It’s a real, concrete and useful way of experiencing Step 10.
I bloody hate doing it. Why is it so hard to let go of stuff, even stuff I don’t need, stuff that doesn’t do me any good? There’s this voice in the back of my head that says, You might need this someday. I was raised in a family that had a Depression-era attitude. When we moved my grandmother to a nursing home, we found boxes containing bits of string, ends of pencils, tiny erasers, pieces of chalk, stubs of candles. Stuff no one would ever use. Same when my father died.
Meanwhile, there were things in his house that needed fixing that didn’t get attention.
Yesterday I finally finished building the shelves in my study—the ones whose construction was interrupted back in August when I found drugs.
I also bloody hate spending money and time, especially on myself, but it feels right to have put the shelves up. To have spent the money and time to get them put up.
I’m getting rid of stuff, and reorganizing the stuff I want to keep. It takes time. It takes effort. I have to Decide: Do I Want This? … I’ve been avoiding it. It’s good practice, deciding what I want. It’s an amends to myself. It’s a good time of year to do it—I can donate the stuff I don’t need to others who might need it.
It keeps me on my toes. Reorganizing makes things new for me.
Of those of you who have been sober a long time, I want to ask: How do you keep your recovery new? If you have 5, 10, 20, 30 years, how do you refresh the work?
Here’s what’s on some of my new shelves. Tell me what’s on your shelves. Comment here if you want, or connect with me anonymously.
Click photos for full size.