The Story of Stuff


Everywhere I look I feel like there is “stuff”.  I’m not sure what all of it is and I want desperately to just throw it all away but it doesn’t seem to be that easy.  I secretly yearn for Peter Walsh to come to my house so I have an excuse to throw things away.

I remember the first time my husband and I went out.  Before I left my house I had my driver’s license, a credit card, a $20 bill (just in case) and my phone.  Nothing else.  I stuffed them in my back pocket and I was off.  He laughed at me but I felt free.

Ask me today if I feel that way? Not at all.

Look in my purse – yes I had to get one; and you’ll find diapers, legos, pieces of flowers that were picked for me along the way, a cookie, maybe a bottle of water.  Just more stuff!

When my 1st son was born I remember how people advised us to go to Babies R Us and select the things we would need.  We weren’t parents before and were so in love that we really didn’t listen to anyone’s advice; I wasn’t too into reading books about other people’s experience so we really had no idea what to expect.  So what to buy?

Our friends took in upon themselves to shower us with gifts that were supposed to make our life easier when the baby came.  From the diaper genie to the bathtub for inside the bathtub to a basinet, to a shopping cart cover there was “stuff” everywhere.  I felt claustrophobic.

And three kids later I can’t get rid of it fast enough. And, it just keeps coming!

After one month of preschool my eldest two children came home and I was handed a pile of art work, early writing assignments and activity pages.   “Great” I thought to myself. “Am I supposed to keep all of this?”

I felt so conflicted.   On one hand I wanted to show my children that I cared and I was so proud of them each and every moment.  On the other hand all I could see was an endless barage of stuff. So it got me thinking, just what is a “moment?” and am I really living in it.  What is all this “stuff”?

I couldn’t keep up.  Two weeks after that I had another pile and then another.  Birthdays, holidays, just because, all just brought in more stuff.  And, for the life of me I can’t figure out how it’s possible to lose so many pieces within five minutes of opening a box.

I spend my days racing around trying to pick up the pieces while trying to instill the values that both my husband and I feel are important but who am I kidding; their kids.  They still need time to learn.  It’s really me who’s left with the responsibility to actually clean it up and keep it together.  I’m just praying one day it rubs off on the rest of them.

I watched a movie once called The Story of Stuff.  I think it’s accurate to say that after becoming a mother I learned that the stress of stuff can literally drive me crazy.  Especially, if it isn’t organized.

There’s an endless flow. And, I feel that a large part of my time is spent unpacking and repacking stuff back into their proper containers.  Unfortunately, I can’t live any other way.

Ask me to sit down and stop cleaning and know that I still have to do the dishes.  Or, ask me to leave toys laying around and just ignore it…Yeah right.  At some point, I just have to take action.  I’m a mother who actually take prides in the fact that I can keep up with my laundry.

But, after three children I am happy to say that I now know that they don’t “need” any of it.  But, that’s TOTALLY unrealistic.  However, I firmly believe as mothers we are in part responsible for this issue.

I need constantly remind myself that this “stuff” is just tools; and this too will pass.  And, I keep praying that I can hold on to my sanity.

For now, I’m just trying to be selective about my stuff.

Live and Learn. We all Do.

Thanks for reading.  Please pass along to someone who means something to you.

About julia29

Hi. My name is Julia El-Haj. I am a Hall of Fame Athlete, an MBA, Professional Certified Marketer, Certified Youth Fitness Trainer, a Specialist in Sports Nutrition and a licensed Real Estate agent. I gave up my "seat at the table" to be home with my 3 children because that's where I was needed most. I blog about everything with Wellness in mind.
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