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Philosophical Monday: The Things We Threw Away

This story about an Israeli daughter who threw out an old mattress that she later found out had her mother’s lifesavings in it (over a million USD) stopped my heart cold. You see while my sister inherited my father’s packrat gene, I totally inherited my mother’s love of throwing things out.

Photo Credit: Eric Kilby
Photo Credit: Eric Kilby

If I haven’t worn something in a year or more, it goes to goodwill. Thanks for the birthday card, but no matter how beautiful it is, it’s going straight into recycling. And I get especially horrible when I travel. If my bag gets too heavy, it’s time to leave some stuff behind before I head to my next destination. I might be the only person who cleans out her bag before she heads home.

This attitude has actually served me well throughout my life. I already have enough emotional baggage, it’s nice not to have to carry real baggage along, too. Also, there’s just something so satisfying about throwing a bunch of stuff out and keeping the things that I keep lean and mean.

However, this practice has gotten me in trouble a few times. Ask my best friend MMKV from “Political Physics” about the time I had to call her in the middle of the night to ask her to buy me a bus ticket from New York to Pittsburgh over the phone. I had just returned from London, had no money left in my bank account, and I had accidentally thrown out my Greyhound ticket for the last leg of my trip during my pre-return bag clean-out.

Still, this hasn’t stopped me from loving to throw the things out that I no longer use or need. But how about you? Are you a pack rat or thrower away of things? And if you’re like me, have you ever thrown something away that you really needed later?