(Title changed in honour of my first ever comment. Besides, this one is a much better title.)
I have waaaaaaay too much of what a friend of mine refers to as ‘rah’. Rah is stuff. The sort of general stuff you accrete while going through life. And I have too much of it. Ridiculously, absurdly too much.
The reason this has come to my attention is because I am currently in the middle of moving 300 miles, and so we have been packing. Well, my husband has mainly been doing the packing while I’ve been taking care of the baby. Today, a team of removal men spent the entire day shifting most of our house contents onto two lorries (one to go into storage, one to meet us at the new place tomorrow) and left us with just a few minor essentials for getting through the hours until tomorrow morning when another lorry will come and pick up the last bits of stuff and we will then drive all the way to the new house. And reverse the process.
We went through all this last September, when we moved here. (I was seven months pregnant and had a 40-minute commute to work and didn’t want to be spending that much of my day commuting when I had a baby to get home to. Unfortunately, the houses in the area in question (Essex – I feel quite safe saying that, since by this time tomorrow we won’t be here any more and thus, even in the somewhat unlikely event of someone discovering this blog and deciding that their goal in life is to be my stalker, they’ll be out of luck) are all shit. Unless you happen to be a millionaire, which, unfortunately, neither of us do. It’s also way too far from the in-laws, and not really that convenient to get to anywhere decent from, and offers nothing very much in the way of employment opportunities for my husband (who currently looks after our son, but might want to get back onto some kind of payroll at sometime in the future) and, well, it’s just generally rather crap. So we decided that we’d just rent for now and then, once I was no longer pregnant, I would find a job in a nicer area of the country (again, I feel quite safe saying that, given how little that narrows the field) and we would move once again. In retrospect, this was not the smartest of decisions – we should just have stayed where we were and I should have put up with the commute for a few months. It would have saved trouble overall, not to mention a lot of expense.)
Sorry. That aside rather took on a life of its own. In fact, it sprouted several little asides and you were probably wondering whether it was going to start an entire new dynasty. Anyway. Where was I?
Oh, yes. The previous move. Well, before that happened we went through a giant sort-out and threw out massive amounts of rubbish (I mean, we hired a skip at one point and filled that up) and we still had so much stuff the removal men had to put in an emergency call for an extra lorry. My husband decided that we should just refrain from buying anything at all in the next few months. If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll recall that I was seven months pregnant at the time. I can’t actually remember whether or not I broke it to him that the not-buying-more-stuff plan wasn’t really an option, but never mind – I think he’s noticed now. So, on top of the ridiculously large amount of stuff we had already, we now have baby stuff. I actually did try really hard not to acquire too much baby stuff, but that isn’t too feasible an option either when your child is the first grandchild/nephew on both sides of a babyfond family. So. Yet more stuff.
It seems ridiculous to me. I mean, how can three people, one of them still fairly small, possibly have so much stuff? Because, the answer is, we are squirrels. Somehow, when I go through it, all of it seems to be either stuff that I actually do find useful (even if only occasionally) or stuff that I might feasibly find useful at some point in the future, or stuff that I keep around for nostalgic reasons (lots of that – I’m big on nostalgia). We stored loads of the inessential stuff in the garage after the last move, didn’t even bother to unpack it, and we still had ridiculous amounts to pack.
Some people dream of being rich, or beautiful, or famous, or talented, or witty. Well, OK, I dream of that sort of stuff too. But what I really dream of is being the sort of person whose packing would simply involve throwing the contents of a few drawers into a bag, packing several shelves worth of books into boxes, loading the whole lot into the back of a van, and simply setting off into the wide blue yonder.