Thursday, October 17, 2013

Atari in the attic

I have always maintained that I would rather "do things" than "have things." It is one of those mottos that I smugly think I live by. For instance, I would rather go to a restaurant than buy clothes (and I love clothes!) I would rather take a trip than have a fancy car. That said, I have still accumulated a "small" collection of stuff in my 40 years on this planet. Until a few weeks ago, I had 5 guitars (1 acoustic, 1 acoustic-electric, 2 electric and a bass.) I have had even more than that when I was active in the band (Remember The Renders? http://bitly.com/1bZSeil Probably not. We were not famous. Though we were on the Tyra Banks Show and Gene Simmons' Mr. Romance.... anyway...) I have 4 amps, a PA, mic stands, recording equipment etc... and I consider myself a minimalist. Ugh. I also have a few easels, plenty of paint and other art supplies. I have art. Some that I have painted, some that I have collected (not nearly as much of the latter as I would like.) I have small antique items that my dad has given me. All of which I have carried to the U.S. from Ireland in my suitcases, that I must now bring back. I don't really own much of any monetary value (I am not collecting Picasso's that's for sure), but its all stuff that holds value for me.

My DH, on the other hand, is an aspiring (but until now, failing) minimalist. He is a brilliant human being who can make or fix anything. He is an immensely creative person who sees potential where no one else would. For instance, a ceiling fan will break, he will say "oh, I can use those parts to build a robot." (*NOTE, DH reads this blog and adds "I would not build a robot out of a ceiling fan. Its the wrong type of motor." Well its for illustration purposes, the KIND of thing he would say. Anyway...) And so, said ceiling fan will find its way into our attic. Let me tell you about our attic. It starts with our living room. The living room is a big, glorious, light-filled space. It measures 15'8" x 25'5". Above this living room is a walk-in attic that we can access from the second floor. This attic has been jam-packed with big rubbermaid bins and boxes full of "stuff." Aside from the electronic casualties hoping to be upcycled, there are old clothes, toys (when you work in animation and visual effects, as we both have, there is an endless supply of marketing materials, I mean toys, to be acquired.) etc... As ardent DIYers, there are tools and supplies for just about anything we might want to make. Soap, you say, who needs to buy soap? We have the supplies to make it in the attic. Somewhere, hmmm, where would those be? That is the problem with our state of abundance. It is not organized and we can never find the soap-making supplies when we want to make soap. There is also a two car garage, again full of "stuff." Not sure what, but if we need something we probably have it. We just can't find it!

We also have two kids. Kids get SO many toys! Even though I try to keep it minimal. Its not always within my control. The excess and materialism that is my privileged children's existence really disturbs me. So now, we are being forced to cull the herd and I like it.

We have taken so many trips up and down our three flights of front steps with boxes of "stuff" and our house still seems full. Its like a clown car, the stuff just keeps coming. I think in all its lonely years hiding in the attic and cracks of our house, our "stuff" has figured out how to multiply. Nonetheless, DH leaves in little over a week and he has been putting in such a valiant effort, so I am finally optimistic that we will see the light at the end of the tunnel (or attic, in this case).

I am SOOOOOO excited about this international move, because this big issue of "stuff" that has loomed over our ten years together finally HAS to be dealt with. It can no longer be swept under the rug or avoided. We need to purge this stuff that is often more of a burden than a help. Its that simple. I am so excited to explore the idea of "distribution of labor." We don't really need to DIY everything, do we? We can buy soap!

**NOTE If you want to see an example of what was in our attic- check out my DH's atari (and vintage video game) collection here: http://bitly.com/175ce1n  Make sure you scroll through the whole collection! Yep, he is getting rid of that too. I am so proud.

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