I have shared before my love of going to the dump. It is one of life’s true joys, at least for me it is. There is nothing like tossing things over that metal rail and hearing them crash into the bins below. And today the dump did not disappoint when I brought it several bags of garbage. So much fun!
I’m moving next month so I figured this was a great opportunity to get rid of stuff that I no longer need. Not all of it is going to the dump; clothes are going to Value Village and books are off to Rivendale Book Store. But there is plenty going to the dump.
I’m calling this a purge. But I’m not sure if I should use that term, because it is often associated with some of the most tumultuous moments in history. To “purge” is a term history has bestowed upon dictators who want to rid their governments and communities of anyone who may threatened them. Stalin, Kim Jong Un, and Mao Tse Tung (among others) have all been accused of “purging” their countries of those considered unwanted, undesirable or unproductive. For example, the purge by which all other purges arecompared was “The Great Purge of 1936” in which Soviet leader Josef Stalin executed, imprisoned or banished as many as 1 million people whom he saw as a direct threat to his power. So, when I call takinga carload of stuff to the Barrie landfill “purging”, it may be a bit of an over-reach.
I can promise you that no one was harmed in my purge.
But despite Stalin’s maniacal means of keeping power, the word purge is actually quitea positive term. It comes from a 12th century French word “purgier” which means to wash clean, refine and purify. I can’t say I washed anything clean, but there was something purifying and refining in getting rid of stuff. I always leave the dump feeling lighter and a little more free, as if by opening space around me, I have opened space within me.
As I look into the future, I am trying to commit to living with less stuff and less need for stuff. I want to go through life a little bit lighter. Or said another way, I want less stuff in my life, and more experiences and more adventures. I want to meet interesting people and go to inspiring places. I want to try things I have never tried before, andpush my own inner boundaries that I have fortified around myself. I’m not saying I want to climb Everest or whitewater raft down the Amazon, but I would like to start scratching off things on my bucket list that have been accumulating like odd socks in my closet (all purged now!).
The writer Joshua Millburn said, “the more we detach from things that don’t add value to our lives, the calmer, the freer, and the lighter we feel”
I think’s he right. Purging the stuff around us is just a start, the real adventure starts when we can purge some of the stuff within us that is weighing us down. But that’s another discussion for another time. For today, I am feeling good about letting go of stuff that I no longer need, and I look forward to a lighter, less cluttered future, one in which experiences and adventures are leading the way.