Thursday, November 20, 2008

Stuff - my personal soapbox...

Posted by Terry McNichols

Speaking of brains, Wikipedia states that "Brain imaging studies (PET) have shown that the cerebral glucose metabolism patterns seen in OCD hoarders were distinct from the patterns in non-hoarding OCD. The most notable difference in these patterns was the decreased activity of the dorsal anterior cingulated gyrus, a part of the brain that is responsible for focus, attention, and decision making."

Recently in Seattle a very sad story evolved about an 89-year-old man who set fire to his condemned apartment building, supposedly because he was due to be physically evicted and could not deal with the things he had collected. He had a couple of cars filled to overflowing and storage units throughout the city, and could no longer access most areas of his apartment unit. He died in the blaze.

I realize that most of us are not OCD hoarders, but some of us do carry some of the distinct characteristics. I must go through my clothing and discard whatever hasn't been worn in a year, but every time I try to start the process, I get hung up on the decision-making process, instead thinking about how I will surely wear the item at a later date, a lower weight, or some day in the future when I will surely have need of business attire or find lots of parties to attend. It is painful to give up on those clothes that have served me well in the past. It's even more difficult to give up on the ones that were purchased and never worn, or worn once but proved uncomfortable or just didn't "feel right."

Ah, focus, attention, and decision making -- all things I seem to lack at this stage of my life.

Frank Lloyd Wright said that "Many wealthy people are little more than janitors of their possessions." I need to start sweeping, once again.
(Photo by elgin.jessica, shared via Flickr)

1 comment:

Karla W. said...

One of my favorite books is called the Quiltmaker's Gift. In it there is a king who is very unhappy but thinks he will become happy as he accumulates more gifts. Through the actions of the quiltmaker her learns that nothing brings more joy than making someone else happy and he could do this by sharing all that he had accumulated.

It's a nice story. There's also and instructional quilting book based upon it.

I know your story is much different, but it reminded me of this book. I'm in the same boat as you regarding having difficulty holding on to things especially clothes. Maybe we just need to look at going through them not as getting rid of something, but sharing the wealth. :)