Monday, May 16, 2011

Decluttering a Life

We were in the garage, my friend and I, thinking it really was not to lofty a goal to drive an actual car into my actual garage.

“I thought you didn’t have a dog,” she said, as she pulled out a large clear bag (the zipped kind that once held a blanket) from the row of boxes and boxes on the garage shelves. “That’s my dead dog bag,” I replied. When you look at it objectively, perhaps it is a bit nutso to have stuff from your dog (and cat) so long after they are gone. I looked at the contents: nylabone, collar, dog dish, kitty dish, cat collar, dog bed cover, the last chewed Frisbee, the last chewed tennis ball.

Then I saw the small manilla envelope. Labelled 1/95, it had 3 bulleted items listed on the front:

  • A bit of Tux’s fur
  • Tissues with my tears
  • (I forget the 3rd thing because I was too busy crying after reading the 2nd  thing)

Why the holding?

Why can’t I see it the way the Buddhists do – life as a river, constantly changing and evolving? It’s like I want to stop the river because it was fun there, and sunny, and just a plain old nice spot. But it runs through my fingers anyway, and really even a dusty bag of stuff doesn’t really resurrect those times. And here’s the thing. This bag held DEAD dog stuff. It’s a memory of his death, not his life.

What’s on the other side of the dead dog bag? Well, the baby rug, of course. And up above, on the other shelf? The box labeled “pregnancy and sequins.” The few pregnancy clothes I didn’t give away, plus some fancy clothes I never wear.

The rug goes on craiglist today.

And I think the decision’s been made.

I just needed to hear him say it. And it didn’t come after an hour long conversation, colored by red wine or deep discussions. It came much more humbly, on a cloudy Saturday, as he got out of the shower, and I was still in, as we talked about to-do lists and doctor appointments.

My ob/gyn wants me off the hormones. I’ve been on them a long time, in a holding pattern, keeping my uterus at the ready should we choose to jump on the bandwagon again and use those last 2 embryos.

“It’s reality,” he said. “Just like today is Saturday the 14th. This just wasn’t our path. We wanted it to be different, but we can’t change that.”

I felt relieved, I think.
But now I’m kind of sad. 

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