By Cheryl Hansen
My family and I trekked to Eastern Iowa last week to help my dad move into a retirement community. Dad has a smallish house where he’s lived for 16 years. He’s always been a neat and organized man, so I figured it would be a breeze cleaning out his house for this decidedly downsized move.
I was wrong. Dad may be clean and organized, but he has a lot of stuff. Much of it was touching—his picture collection of his grandkids could fill the Smithsonian. But the more I dug in, the more I realized that he and I have something in common. I call it Moredom.
Moredom is triggered when you like something so much, you have to have More and More of it. A few tastefully placed frames of the best shots of those grandbabies led to a few (hundred) More. If I give my son 20 minutes on the Xbox, he demands More. When I cuddle with my daughter at bedtime, she always asks if I’ll stay longer. You get the idea. It’s not always a bad thing, but I think my Moredom may be More bad than good, and it is quite possibly the root of what has held me back for so long.
If one cookie tastes good, I want four. If I find a top that fits perfectly, I’ll get one in blue and, let’s face it, another in green. I even have two cats. What I am learning is that I’m getting buried in the More of it all. I have kitchen gadgets I don’t even know how to use. My desk is cluttered (I see seven pens, a sewing kit, a tape measure and a bag of nuts among a lot of junk mail). My closet is bulging with all of those shirts and my belly is—well thanks to those cookies, that’s bulging, too. Too often, I realize, when I feel sad or anxious—I feed those feelings with food or stuff. And that food and stuff piles up and makes me feel More sad, More anxious and—this is the important part—no better than before I loaded up.
The good news is that the process of clearing my dad’s house was liberating. Sure, it’s easy to throw out someone else’s More. But it became abundantly clear just how little we really need—inside and out. In fact, the less stuff I saw, the better I felt. And if I absolutely have to have More—maybe I can have More water, More yoga and More sleep, for starters. Have I found the cure to Moredom? I sure hope so.
I even said—More than once, naturally—that I wanted to order a dumpster for our driveway. Shoot, I might even order two.