Wednesday, November 09, 2011

...sometimes the distance between the two is a fine line...

Every now and then, I catch a fairly new program on one of the cable channels, called "HOARDERS". And, it's a show that makes me uncomfortable. Why? Because the images on the screen resemble portions of my own life. I exasperated my Mom and Dad; it was so difficult for me to keep my room "straight". This has been a tendency of mine since I was a kid. Mom and Dad kept a very neat house; everything organized and in its place. So why was I more "Oscar" than "Felix"? I don't really know. Except that, I've always got a thousand things on my mind, and all that mental clutter renders me absolutely motionless sometimes, and it doesn't take much. I can sit in a spot for hours, just letting my mind wander. And I often do. And somehow, there's always little piles of stuff in my house that threaten to overtake me, and sometimes do.

This is NOT my house. Not yet, anyway.
So am I a hoarder? I think at various times in my life, I have been. It all depends on my frame of mind. When I get good and mad, or if I've got people coming to visit, I can clean house like the proverbial white tornado. I must be vigilant, though, forever on the watch, or little "messes" not addressed can soon become frighteningly huge, and seem to pop up out of nowhere. It's a helpless feeling. I also have, and have always had, a tendency to wander off task. I'll get going on a room, tossing, sorting, straightening and et-cetera, and then something will spring up to de-rail me. Any type of activity that involves drudgery and repitition will soon render me motionles after a couple of hours. It's a weakness, and its' always been that way with me.

I probably can be accused of Record-Hoarding. I bought records as a kid, but my collection was average; 200-300 records max. When I went away to college, a friend of mine introduced me to the world of second-hand record buying from shops that sold used LP's for two or three dollars a shot. We'd get back to Campus with armloads of vinyl. Throughout my life, thrift stores have always been a place to score, and score big. And it became a mission of mine to hear to all of the music I'd bypassed in earlier times, and the great thing was, I got that music for CHEAP at Goodwill, St. Vinnie's, Salvation army, you name it. A few years ago, I decided to clean house and tighten up the record collection. I gave away 24 boxes of albums, which I'd played once and shelved. I long ago got rid of all the records I didn't care about. Now I'm at the level where I'm now giving away albums I really like, but don't really need. I dub 'em, either partially or whole, onto CD, then, out the door they go. So maybe I'm a reverse-hoarder?

So it's a fine line between Hoarding and Collecting. Everyone Collects Something. It's when that Something interferes with quality of life that Hoarding begins. People who hoard have various insecurities ranging from depression or anxiety, and that has a lot to do with all the clutter in my life. Being bi-polar with all the attendant mood swings can stop me in my tracks sometimes. But another situation is presenting itself: I'm getting older and having to reduce the amount of things I have. And a box of records seems to weigh a lot more than it used to. At least that's what my back tells me. Hoarders have difficulty in choosing what gets thrown out, and I'm having difficulty with that too, but it's made a bit easier knowing I can preserve anything I give away on CD.

I once knew a family whose matriarch was a hoarder to the "Nth" degree. The picture at the top of this post doesn't even begin to APPROACH how bad their house was. A path led from the front door to the kitchen; another path led to the bedrooms and bathroom, and piled up at least four feet high everywhere were bags and bags of all kinds of things; clothing, electronics, canned food, paper goods, cleansers, pots and pans, and on and on and on. That scares me. I don't want to be like that, but at times I've wandered dangerously close.


Blogger Word Tosser said...

I think the older we get the more we thin out our "stuff" but it is hard, as you never know when you will need it.. lol.. but when I slide something in to a slot because I don't have a place to put it.. I know it is time to clean it out again...

8:16 PM  
Blogger Lil ol' me... said...

Thank you for visiting me blog, Cis. Always nice to know you stopped by.

9:52 PM  

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