Specifically, I've been thinking about this during the last few days while staying here at my family home in California as a result of some major water damage in one of the rooms. We discovered the leak/sopping wet carpet late on Saturday night and spent the better part of two hours clearing the room of the most important items, in particular some fairly important artwork that is related to my family's side-business. The next morning, reinforcements were called in to assist with the clearing of this "gallery" room and it took almost two full days to pack and clear everything out. Not fix the water leak, mind you, but just to clear the room.
It was during these two days that the thought occurred to me: I do not want to *ever* own that many things. Ever, ever, ever. The stress related to the obligation to care for these items, these things, overwhelmed my father and radiated out to affect the rest of the family as well.
When I made the decision last year to move, sell my house, leave the country, and, ultimately, come to LA for Bikram teacher training, I knew that I couldn't "take it with me". So everything had to go. Everything. I used craigslist, ebay, and had a major tag sale that lasted the whole weekend. Salvation Army was the lucky recipient of a number of items I couldn't unload for cash and I gave a number of things away to friends. But this process was a liberation for me and it became very clear to me that the Western focus on acquisition and consumerism as a barometer for happiness and success is completely f#@ked up. But remembering this is very difficult and a constant battle since I live in this culture and will continue to rub up against it no matter where I go.
All of this brings me in a roundabout way to the laborious act of going through a number of boxes from my childhood and diligently selling what I can on ebay. The parents have been bugging me about these damn boxes for years and I thought it best to just suck it up and deal with it while I'm home. So if anyone is interested in acquiring an extensive set of unicorn figurines, an awesome pink and gray Polaroid camera (with carry-case), or an charming Alice in Wonderland toy tea set (circa 1989ish), I'm your gal.