“One day you will wonder what was so important that you put off doing the most important things. ‘Someday' can be a thief in the night.” – Deborah Brown
“You can’t bring that back with us,” my husband said pointing to the travel shampoos and lotions in our medicine cabinet.
He was also referring to the closet of clothes I would save for some day (when I was thinner, hipper and bolder) and a bookshelf with books I “should,” read. To him, they were potential signs of a hoarder. To me, they were evidence of a well-traveled life.
I could do away with the bottles that came from cheap motels, but I held onto the more luxurious ones because a girl should not give up every thing for a boy.
Of course, the issue did not end once we moved. Two years later, we had a toddler and new baby on the way. My husband didn’t need to furrow a brow. I felt the weight of my stuff suffocating our tiny home like a mom’s muffin top spilling from her jeans. The medicine cabinet was the last thing I held onto. But I knew I couldn’t cling to the space forever. It was prime real estate for important stuff like baby medicine and booger suckers.
The Comfort in Hoarding Stuff
Prior to this, I was convinced hoarding skipped a generation. My uncle was infamous for saving things. He once bought a brand new pair of shoes and stored it for eight years. On the day he finally decided to break them in, they disintegrated like Oreos in a pool of milk. Instead of things, my mom hoarded joy. That sounds like a good thing, but it was collected like my bottles, beautifully displayed, but never fully experienced. Her scariest year was the one she got married, won money in Vegas and became a grandma. Calamity had to be around the corner.
It was the fear of turning into my family that returned me to those stored bottles. And it was my grandmother in particular that finally made me open them. She passed away after a years of battling Alzheimer’s disease. At her funeral, I spoke about how she was always busy baking, sewing, and cleaning the house. The first time I ever saw her rest was when she was in a care home.
Flowers, babies, and laughter are underrated I told the grieving crowd in her hometown. On a coherent day, she said it’s all that mattered.
Waiting Until Your Worthy?
Death makes people do crazy things. Some travel the world and jump out of airplanes. For me, it was hotel shampoo. The experience wasn’t death defying, but it opened up my world.
Somewhere between a half empty container of Hawaiian coconut shampoo and Italian rose conditioner, I became aware of the intangible things your ancestors pass down to you. A generation of relatives who struggled financially taught me to believe that only the wealthy could afford happiness. Only the fortunate ones could fill a cabinet with trinkets from their travels. But I was near forty with two beautiful boys, and a loving husband.
I didn’t need to buy into the belief that happiness had to be earned. I didn’t have time to wait for someday to experience pleasure.
Stop Waiting & Make Someday Today
I started by donating the clothes that would never fit and snipped the tags of ones I deemed were too good to use. Inside the folds of the clothes was a secret thought that bellowed to the surface when I had the gall to use it. I thought I had to be a perfect version of me to fit into those clothes.
Recently, I asked my husband “Do you see it?” I point to my face donned in a new shade from an unused makeup palette. But what I really mean is, do you see me? I am one of the lucky ones.
Related Resources to Stop Waiting & Start Living
- 11 Questions to Check if You're Living Fully
- 6 Piercing Realizations that Spark Life Changes
- 6 Signs it's Time to Change Directions
Brandi-Ann Uyemura has her masters in counseling psychology. She’s been freelance writing for over a decade. She writes about purpose, meaning and inspiration at her home in Oahu where she’s working on children’s fiction, and raising her two rambunctious sons.