I was listening on the radio yesterday about travellers . The interviewee, Jake Bowers, was talking about the last several years of his life whereupon he's lived with travelling communities from the Northernmost parts of Alaska, to the Bedouin tribes in the Sahara and beyond. One comment he made that stuck in my mind more than anything was about possessions. Travelling communities, Romanies, Tuareg, Masai, whatever name they are called in the part of the world they descend from, all have one thing in common, they must travel light and thus, people, family and each other are of more importance than innanimate objects which take up all important space.
Sedentary groups with fixed homes, tend to gather and collect things, partly because they need to to furnish their home or make it look nice, they can buy that unecessary ornament that will sit on a shelf and gather dust simply because they can, it doesn't all have to fit into a caravan or on the back of a mule in six months time. Material possessions have a greater worth in the sedentary world.
Having spent the last 20 years moving from one house, town, county or country to another you'd think this is something that I would be good at . I wish I was able to live with less stuff, but I think I have inherited my mother's knack for hoarding which she inherited from her own parents who hung onto everything (world war syndrome of make do and mend) just in case they might need it or find a use for it or could make something else out of it! I find it incredibly difficult to let things go - the same could be said for my personal life!
I think some of this also comes from my creative side where upon I love to take and frame photographs, read books, make scrapbooks, knit, sew and genuinely, everything I own I use or can say it has a sentimental reason as to why I can't give it away.
But we're downsizing. The days of living in houses far above our station is drawing to a close. The home we've bought and fallen in love with (although not in that order!) has character, which in turn means we've sacrificed enormity (well and we're now paying for it ourselves!!) for age and enchantment.
So Mr Beehive and myself are on a new personal journey - living with less!
Each weekend that we have free we're working on a different room in the house, removing the stuff we don't need and giving it to charity. So far I've managed to donate a huge bag of baby clothes - I know, she's six in two months time and I'm just managing to get my heart into accepting that era is now over and I'll never be pregnant again or have anymore babies. So, that's been quite an emotionall and heartrending personal journey for me.
Today, however, I decided to start on my wardrobe. Gok would have been proud!
I have piles of jeans - probably around 8 or 9 pairs (that could be lying a little!), but at least three or four pairs are my "hopefuls". Hopeful that one day I will get back into them and hopefully have the body I had before I had my babies. Realistically it's not going to happen. My shape has changed. Even lipo wouldn't give me back my 21 year old body. So these needed to go.
A bin bag later and I was on a roll so started on Mr Beehive's wardrobe:
This man gives Imelda Marcos a run for her shoe allowance!
Mr Beehive travels - a lot! When he travels, he likes to claim what is rightfully his!
This means little bottles of bubble bath, shower gel, lip salve, packets of ear plugs, numerous eye covers and a strange assortment of soap *sigh* He has yet to actually bring me tissues, toilet roll or packets of sugar, but my own mother still takes the milk she doesn't use in her coffee and I currently have a sachet of vinegar in my handbag...but I have a wasp story for that one!!
Then he brings it home and stores it so that when he travels next time, he can forget it and instead use the new one that he gets given.....
He also likes me to buy his clothes for him - then, he doesn't wear what I buy him, in fact, he wears one of about three t-shirts and rotates them, none of which suit him or I even like.
He also goes to the gym once a week - but has four gym outfits- go figure!
He has two golf shirts - I should mention, he probably plays golf once every six months at the most - so either he has very poor expectations of my getting through the laundry in six months, or he needs to wear two for warmth, oh and get this....he has WINTER golf shoes - yes, I've been married to the man for 11 years, known him for over 12 and he has NEVER PLAYED GOLF IN THE WINTER!!!!!!!!
He's done a trip to Oxfam already today and is off to the tip and recycling centre later, oh, and I noticed he's changed his t-shirt *wink*