April 26th, 2015

You’ve Got Questions? April 26th, 2015

Every two weeks, I get to write two blog posts in one day.  The two blogs do not particularly intersect, so one does not tax my ability to do the other.  However, on those days, my brain tends to tick off the “blog” box in my list of daily mental habits…and I frequently end up suddenly remembering that I’m only half done.

(If you’re interested, the other blog is RootLocal, it’s published every other week (usually) and it also runs in a local newspaper named The Grapevine.)

My mother, faithful reader that she is, expressed that she is still not entirely clear about the “packing party project” in which Max is our first participant.  As I know from years of schooling (and my 2 year stint in teaching) it is rare that only one person has a question.  Usually, for every person asking a question there are at least several others who are grateful s/he was brave enough to ask the question.  In that spirit, then, I’ll try to explain the process with a little more clarity.

The purpose of the packing party is to go through the same process most people face when they’re packing to move…but skipping the part where you move.  You pack up all your stuff into boxes and label them.  Then, as you need things, you unpack them.  3 weeks later, you see what you use the most frequently, what you never use, and what you use sometimes.

There are several opportunities for thinning things out along the journey.  No one packs things they don’t want into a box.  Sometime the very act of packing results in having less to pack than one had counted on.

Unpacking brings another opportunity.  As you become more aware of your essential “things,” it becomes easier to loosen the grip some of your stuff had on you.  It’s kind of the opposite of “you don’t know what you’ve got ’till it’s gone.”  This is more out of sight, out of mind.

There are caveats to this, of course.  In a 4 season climate, there are inevitably things you will use frequently in one part of the year (snowshoes) and things you will use frequently in another part of the year (rain boots).

But the point, however, is not to ruthlessly whittle ones belongings down to the absolute minimum. Well, that’s not our purpose, at least.  It’s a way to re-evaluate our “things” and force ourselves to interact with stuff we wouldn’t normally rifle through.  Max, for instance, tends to skim the top piece of clothing off what is in his drawers.  Actually taking the pieces of clothing out and putting them into boxes is making him make more conscious decisions about what he’s wearing.  And, likely, causing him to remember that he has X piece of clothing that he’d thought was missing.  Of course, at the rate he is growing, if he hasn’t seen it in a while, it likely does not fit anymore.

I will let you know how his unpacking proceeds.

Day 177 scorecard: 885 down, 940 to go

…as for the ongoing month of sleep…I hit an “I can’t stop reading” roadblock last night.  More on that tomorrow, probably.

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