August 15: Garage Sale

Garage sales are always a ton of work, and in the beginning I think, why am I even bothering with this... But then, when your useless belongings are finally laid out in the driveway and the customers start rolling in with their wad of $1 bills, you sit down and begin to appreciate the process. And then I remember that I like earning a little money for stuff that's just taking up space, and I remember that the people that who go to garage sales are quite interesting, sometimes a little strange {and cheap!}, and more often than anything, extremely pleasant. I met so many wonderful people today. As they strolled down the driveway and perused through items that tell the story of our lives up to this point, I got to hear bits about theirs. We laughed together, talked about family and loved ones, where they live in the community and how much they enjoy it, and what they planned on doing with the items they bought. I could totally do this every weekend {did I just say that?}.

Seriously though, for what these people are paying to walk away with some of this stuff is ridiculous. Makes me wonder why I EVER shop at a store when you can score such killer deals at sales. I need to put yard saling on my list for next summer, STAT. And thrifting. And I need to work on my negotiating and pricing skills, too. It's never a good thing when you suggest a price to someone at your garage sale and they reply with a surprised, "really????" Ya, they would've paid way more than that, apparently... Live and learn I guess. But hey, either way, it's money I didn't have before.

As I was going through all of our "stuff" to prepare this sale--boxes and bags and bins and piles of stuff--I started feeling the weight of all of it, literally and figuratively. In one way, it was really fun and nostalgic to unpack boxes, some of which had not been touched since our last move two years ago, and reminisce about where we have been, how far we've come, and how much our kids have grown along the way. They don't fit in the tiny little newborn clothes anymore or want to push around walkers {well, most of them}. The cute picnic basket we got as a wedding gift, and loved, is no longer practical for packing food for a family of six. Boxes of school textbooks, journals, photos, and notes tell of times past and a different season in life.

On the other hand, however, I was burdened by the sheer amount of useless junk I had spent money on along the way. Lots of money. Money that I will only see a fraction of again if at all. And it's all stuff that I NEEDED and had to have at the time. This process has made me reevaluate what I really NEED, and it's a lot less. Our society tells us we need to live big--to make big money to buy big houses to fill them with lots of big expensive things in order to be big and important. And matter. But all that stuff is really heavy, and you can feel the weight in your soul. I don't want to be burdened down by my stuff. I want to be free to use the money that God gave us to help people, bless people, and create memories for my family and I. That's way better than stuff any day. It feels good to start getting rid of all the excess and I hope not to have so much in the future!!

P.S. I probably only have two CD's that aren't Veggie Tales or Kid's Praise or Silly Songs--like, adult CD's. Sugarland and a Glee album {don't judge}. But I gotta say, I love me some Jack Johnson. So for all you yard saling peeps out there, if you happen to see one of his CD's at a sale somewhere, pick it up for a buck for me and I'll pay you back. :) Thx.