Today, children, we are going to talk about attitude and motivation.
Once upon a time, on a blog far, far away, I was attacked by someone who assumed, based on a few lines on a comment, that I knew nothing about hoarding. At first I was pretty ticked off, but then I had a realization….
I was just slammed for NOT BEING A HOARDER!!!! Now, I also realize this person knows nothing about me and has never seen my home, but I’ve learned to milk every positive thing I can about a situation. My brain happily tries to keep the status quo by reminding of everything bad that I did or that ever happened to me, so I need to consciously acknowledge the good things that do come my way.
Currently I’ve managed to distract my OCD into cleaning. I’m obsessed by ending not only the clutter, but the thoughts that cause the clutter. I had already mentioned that I was a hoarder and was trying to NOT bring it up in every single post about it, since the article was about Minimalism. I guess I succeeded!
I’m hoping that someday I won’t have to constantly be on guard against hoarding behaviour, both mental and physical. I’m working towards finding out what “normal” is for me. I have no desire to be a minimalist, but I do feel it’s valuable to me to see how the other half lives and thinks. I DON’T think it’s helpful to attack anyone else for their living choices. I enjoy other people’s spaces as pertinent to that person’s lifestyle. Noticing I was more comfortable at my friend’s neat home than I was in my own house helped inspire me to do something about my own. I would actually hang out there when I needed motivation.
Hoarding is not all about “stuff”, it’s all about attitude. I had never lived any other lifestyle except hoarding, so I had no idea about how to end it. You can’t end your hoarding habit unless you realize there is a problem and change your attitude towards it. That takes time, and work. Then you can find motivation almost anywhere.
It was a great article by the way. You can read it at Apartment Therapy
The Quote That Finally Changed My Mind on Minimalism
I’ll put the link here as soon as I get permission.
I’m adding this one from the article to my own mantra:
“Desiring less is even more valuable than owning less.” Joshua Becker
Evidently the man wrote a book about Minimalism. I’m not about to read it, so I’m happy that the author of the post brought that quote to my attention.
See? Inspiration from anywhere! I feel that it expresses exactly what ails me as a hoarder. What needed to be changed was my attitude was that every thing had value. I have trouble distinguishing what valuable is. I save things as memories or emotions. One of the problems with that is, things triggered memories I could live without. For example, I saved a formal dress that my mom had spent extra for. I loved that dress, so I kept it for my own daughter someday. However, by the time my daughter was 12, it was obvious she was never going to fit into that dress. Even though I realized this, I didn’t give it away. After all, mom had spent quite a bit on it. That had made me feel loved and treasured. But that also reminded me that I rarely felt that from mom, and that was not a good memory. Now I only have a photo of me all dressed up in my ruffled Gone With The Wind dress. I can actually see how I looked in all those flounces without having a big box full of pink tulle and netting. Also, my daughter values the photo, while she would have NEVER worn the dress.
On other other hand, I have a faded silk dress with beading from the flapper era that my grandmother wore. I love the 1920s styles. My daughter likes it too, so it’s a keeper. To us, that dress has more value than all my ruffles. It’s decisions like that which are really really hard to make when you are a hoarder. Our lifestyles are very different from the past, we no longer tend to stay in the same house our whole lives, or even in the same area. My mom had room to store stuff, my daughter and I live in small apartments. Mom only held a job for 6 months of her whole life. Her home and family were her work. My job required moving around a lot.
I felt a little guilty giving my pink dress away. I’m sure however that some young girl somewhere enjoyed my pink princess dress. After all, a dress has no feelings, nor does it pay rent for it’s storage.
Update: The person who made the comment did not intend it to sound that way, and apologized. It turns out we have a lot in common, so it’s just another case of text without nuance. But she did say that from what I wrote she had no idea I was a hoarder, so I still get to feel really good about that!