Saturday, January 9, 2016


                  "That's the whole
          meaning of life: trying to find
               a place for your stuff."
                               -George Carlin

          Someone very smart once said, "Life's a garden, dig it!"  I've always considered myself a happy gardener and always enjoyed the fruits of my labor.  It's funny though, once I started to think seriously about my trek from Massachusetts to California I got the feeling I was laying down a new bed of soil, out of which has already sprouted the first signs of a simpler and happier life.
          In order for this trip to be possible I knew a lot would have to change.  Just over a month ago I had a condo full of stuff.  The usual stuff, nothing too crazy.  It didn't seem like that much until I had to decide what I would keep and what I would give away before moving back home with my family.
          To live out of a backpack for six to eight months requires a bit of mindfulness of what is actually essential to survival.  When you know you're the one who has to carry your entire home on your back you start to see how every ounce counts and how easy it is to tell necessities from luxuries.  I never had to look at stuff this way with my condo.  All I ever had was space for more.  I had a closet overflowing with clothes, a bed, about 100 books, a kitchen filled with cups, plates, coffee mugs, pots, pans, and a crockpot I never even used; not to mention nearly 500 records and a heavy duty shelf to store them all.  I never saw how cumbersome this all was until it had to be dealt with.

          As a quick fix to this excessive stuff situation I gave most of it away to friends and family and nearby donation centers.  It's nice to know the books and records that gave me so much joy have been given new lives in someone else's home, and all the groovy clothes I collected from second-hand stores are probably back on the racks now from where I first bought them.
          It felt great to cut out the extra clutter, to "weed out" the garden, so to speak.  However, when the day came to move back home with my rents I was surprised to see how many boxes of stuff I still had (not as surprised as my parents).  I mean, I couldn't get rid of all my records and books, and I still need at least one funny coffee mug and some of my clothes, and of course I need some of the junk that gets collected over the years that we don't know why we saved it but can't seem to get rid of it, either.
          I guess I still have some weeds in my garden but, even the occassional dandelion is pleasing to the eye.  What can you do?  Until I come back from my trip, all this extra stuff will sit in boxes in my parents basement.  Maybe by then I'll be able to find the proper place for it all and give my life meaning as Mr. Carlin suggests!

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