Decluttering the web

redtailhawkYou’d think the Writing Spider would have a nice, clean modern web with no clutter or useless crap.

You’d be wrong.

Maybe it’s the New Year, which always feels like a fresh start to me. I have two big ol boxes of crap stuff to go to Goodwill. I have regifted a couple of things (I think regifting is fine if someone else will enjoy it more than I will, but I don’t think you should TELL people that you regifted) to the recipient’s (at least well-feigned if not genuine) delight. But I’m sitting here in my office/guest room looking at a huge pile of stuff that I don’t know exactly what to do with.

Most of what I am thinking of is old notebooks, though lord knows there’s more to consider. Last year, I put all of my old journals/diaries in my big cedar chest and I went through all my old letters. These are old notebooks that I’ve taken to creative writing classes or writing groups, and here they are, still sort of taking up this huge shelf in my office. I *should* go through them for inspiration. But I haven’t. It feels like when I watch a video of myself – cringe-inducing, embarrassing, and groan-illiciting.

I have problems getting rid of stuff, I know this. I was talking to my friend C the other day about it. She comes from very modest means, more modest than I did. We both heard, “We can’t afford that,” often. I worked through high school, including during the school year and the summer. I worked through college. This is going to sound white-whiny, but I never really got new stuff. I definitely never got trendy clothes, a new car, fancy toys. Most of my toys growing up came from yard sales. I think that now, as a grown up, I tend to hang on to stuff because I’m afraid I’ll…never get another one? Need it some day and not be able to afford it? Feel “wealthy” with stuff around?

It’s not rational, I don’t think, but I’ve been exploring this in my own mind lately. I am interested in pruning away this year – no more stuff I don’t need or want or use. No more relationships that don’t make me happy. I would love to really pare down.

When I drive on the highway, I see those big red-tailed hawks sitting on the lightposts. I imagine they’re judging people, but I look at those hawks and think, they have everything they need. They don’t have random scraps of paper from their sophomore years in high school floating around in a junk drawer. They don’t have seven pairs of jeans and only wear two of them. They do not have six sets of bed sheets for one bed.

I would like this year to be a pruning year. Ready for new growth and not held back by the dead branches.


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