One enduring aspect of being my mother's daughter (and oh, am I ever!) is that at least half the time that I see her she hands me something. Either something she's unearthed from my childhood, like the Christmas ornament from our trip to the Rocky Mountain National Park when I was about 11 years old, or even more likely, a clipping from a newspaper or magazine. Last week when I received the ornament I also got a couple clippings.
There was an article from the October 2008 copy of Southern Living magazine (I can't find a direct link to the article) entitled "Less is More" by Jan DeBlieu. It's a commentary, the kind frequently found at the end of a magazine. She starts off quoting a cross-stitch sampler from her childhood which said "Use it up/Wear it out/Make it do or/Do without." That phrase certainly speaks to me today after spending hours wading through the accumulation of paper from the past year and bringing a certain degree of order to chaos. I love feeling organized, but I'm very lazy about staying organized, so for me these days tend to require Herculean efforts. Tonight I'm feeling good about what's been accomplished and trying not to be overwhelmed by all that has yet to be done to bring order to the house in general.
It also speaks to me as I begin to prepare myself for packing and moving later this summer into a condo of my own. Having moved many, many times since I graduated from high school (4 official addresses in 1998 alone, as I graduated from law school, moved back to my hometown, moved to a small town near where I work, then moved a block away from where I work. Ugh.), I know that I don't handle the rush of packing that every previous move has required, and end up so exhausted by the process of getting everything ready for the move that I live amongst boxes for months afterwards, not caring to see my possessions again. But I want this move to be different because it's finally going to be my stuff in my place, and I want it to feel like mine as soon as possible. So I'm hoping small steps of packing as I purge makes the pre-move period a little less stressful. And as I go through everything, my mantra is to be brutal. I want to take only what I need or love, and nothing more. Sorry Mom, because I know the pack rat in you shivers at the thought of what might be given away or tossed. What you don't know can't hurt you.