Do you do this? Someone, let’s say it’s a family member, wants you to have something of theirs. It’s something they’ve treasured for so long, and it seems so important to them that you keep what they’re offering. It could be clothes, jewelery, a bread machine. Anything. And because of their insistence, and because it is important to them, you feel obligated to say yes. And you take what they’re giving because it would be impolite to say no (and your mother raised you better), and because you don’t want to hurt their feelings.
That’s how I came by these chairs. And they’re lovely, really. I’m told they’re pre-Civil War era with lovely delicate rose carvings. And they came to me, at my grandmother’s insistence when she downsized about five years ago. (Are you sensing a pattern? This time, these came from Mimi.) I’m sure they looked lovely in her home (I honestly don’t remember them), but they never worked in mine. You see, they’re too small to use to sit at a table, unless you want your chin in the soup. And they’re kind of miss-matched–two covers were once-yellow, and are two greenish. But I kept telling myself that we’d find a place for them. Two sat in my entry way forever (Come in. But stop and sit right here.) And two have floated around my living room. We moved them when we cleaned, when we had people over, when we decorated for holidays. They were never right. And quite honestly, one had been in the garage for the last month or so because I was frustrated with moving it around and around.
Today, I moved all four chairs for the last time. I put them on my front porch. And today, Jason took the chairs to a friend who will sell them in his antique auction on November 3. I don’t expect to make any money off of them. But I’m not selling them for the money. I’m selling them because they don’t work in my home. They add to my clutter quotient. It doesn’t matter how pretty or expensive or old they are or are not. I know that they added to the disorganized feeling of my house and my life. I’m acknowledging the love that they were given with. (Thank you, Mimi!) But I’m also acknowledging that just because something is freely given, doesn’t mean I have to keep it. And it’s more stuff that I don’t have to manage or take care of or organize.
They’re gone. It felt good to walk into my front door this afternoon. I felt like I was seeing my home in a new way, and what I saw was clean, without excess, comfortable. And more than just a bit more physical space, I felt like there was a little more space for me to be, well, me.