Among the allure of New Years is the hope for a new start which is why we make resolutions. One of my resolutions is to confront the monsters in my basement. The problem in my basement was not always that bad, but over the years the monsters have grown and multiplied to the point that one can hardly find a path through them all. Of course there are not literal monsters in my basement; I mean the stuff that has accumulated over the years, the monsters of my past.
For the first couple of decades of my adult, married life, we moved fairly often. My wife used to say that when the baseboards needed to be cleaned, it was time to move. The moving has slowed down and we have been in the same house for more than a decade now. The baseboards have long passed the need for that initial cleaning and as the years have drifted by, the basement has filled up.
It is a daunting task to tackle one’s past, to clean out the junk and organize the things that are useful, to decide which sentimental items to hold on to and which to let go of. Even finding a starting point is not easy. I am not, never have been, never will be a handy person, and so I figured the place to start cleaning out the monsters was on the work bench in the basement. My first thought upon sorting through the junk piled on the workbench was wondering how, why and when a person as unhandy as me managed to accumulate such an assortment of nails, screws, nuts and bolts. My second thought was trying to remember if I ever worked for a phone or cable company because it looks like I have enough wire to take care of a small subdivision.
After a day and a couple of trips to take out the trash, the workbench was clear but there is still a lot of work to be done. There are the toys, toys that belong to boys who are no longer boys, toys that have followed me through my life and books filling bookshelves and in boxes as well as an abundance of miscellaneous stuff.
But I have made a start on ridding myself of the monsters in the basement although there is much work that remains. It also occurred to me that this is an exercise that is fitting not just for my basement but for my life as well for over time we let our lives get filled with stuff too. So this year my resolution is to take control of the monsters, those in my basement and those in my life.