Monday, November 17, 2014

A pack-rat

There's a check list on a 3x5 card next to me. On it I've written all we have to clear, sort and move before the 'Big Move,' which creeps up on us ever so quickly (or slowly...our tile man fell off a deck last Friday, bruising his tailbone. I was appropriately sympathetic toward him on the outside, but inside, my flesh was saying, "WHAT? Another delay?!"). We're losing A LOT of storage in moving Grampie into our home. We've taken all the storage out of the bathroom, though we hope to add some later when we don't need to maneuver a wheelchair into the shower; have none about the washer and dryer because we widened the door beside them and stacked them. And we can't store anything in the room where Grampie will stay either. Anything other than his things will confuse him.

Here's the thing, I'm married to a bit of a pack-rat. Not a hoarder of the likes of the ones on TV, but definitely one who stashes things away in corners. I love the man like crazy and I can stay this about him. He always thinks he'll need that empty peanut butter jar or the screws he took out of  old doors or light-bulbs. Oh, the light-bulbs I cleared out yesterday! The thing is, my Beve just doesn't like passing up good deals, and light-bulbs on sale constitute the epitome of good deals: a need and a value for his money. But for one thing, we just don't have the room to store them efficiently in the house at the moment. I packed them all up to put in the cellar!

But as we cleared out various parts of the house to make room for Grampie (don't look at our dining area: it's still a nightmare and will remain that way until the remodel is complete!), I got to thinking about how I'm a pack-rat too. I'm a pack-rat about fabric--and I REALLY have to go through my stash and be ruthless about it--and books and pens, even. But I'm not talking about those things.

I'm a pack-rat inside. I hold on to all kinds of things in this very human heart of mine. I hold on to how tired I am, for one thing. I let my physical condition dictate my life to no small degree. Instead of simply getting on with it, I live in it, hoard it.

This is also true about attitudes toward others. Toward Beve and his pack-ishness, for example. I look at my way as the right way always.

I remember when my babies helped me die to myself. They didn't do it purposely. They didn't rise up out of their cradles and say, "You MUST take care of my needs before your own!" Obviously. The fact of their beings made me die to myself. There is so little opportunity for self in the life of a young parent. A baby's needs swarms everything. Every waking moment, every conscious thought, even every dream in the half-baked slumber that make up those first months of new family's life. It's grueling, if one thinks of it in one way. A new parent doesn't hoard self. Can't. Just plain can't.

But one usually doesn't. Usually a parent simply dies to self because the exceptional joy of it all surpasses it all.

That's where I want to get to today. About my things, about my attitudes, about everything I hoard within. I want to die to it all because the exceptional joy ahead--of a sleeker home, a lighter load inside, a sweeter disposition--yes, a greater joy surpasses it all.


M said...

I'm definitely a pack-rat too. What I hate most about it is that I hoard things inside me that haven't even happened yet, making me a very pessimistic pack-rat. Luckily I'm getting better at letting go but there's still miles...kilometers to go!

Pamela M. Steiner said...

I guess that is why we seem to click...the pack rat thing...yes, I have a hard time letting go of stuff and things inside and out too. Just when I think I have it whipped, something else comes along to attract my attention...
Anyway, the thing I keep reminding myself of as we are giving up our weekends to take care of my mother in law is that this is temporary. But the investment we are making in her life as we make these little sacrifices of time, energy, and space have eternal value. If this life were the only thing we have...we'd be really frustrated. But thanks to Jesus...we have an eternity of no sorrows, frustrations or reasons to be pack rats!
This was some good food for thought. Thank you.