I used to have a real clutter problem. I think most teachers do. We suffer from this pervasive idea that we can use this <insert random thing here> later. I blame Pinterest. And the fact that most teachers buy their own supplies, so we become glue-gunning magpies, collecting all sorts of shiny things to use later. Out of necessity, I got a little better at decrapification when I moved from Pennsylvania to Florida, but stuff still piles up. For no reason. At all. Except that I don’t throw it away. Because I might use it later. Oh wait, there is a reason…
So when prompted to decide what 5 items I’d take with me if my apartment caught fire, and everyone I love was out and safe, I was at a loss to come up with anything. I have a lot of stuff. Like a lot. But in the end, I don’t particularly need any of it. It’s stuff. That can be replaced. But probably shouldn’t be. Because it’s non-essential crap. So, yeah, I guess I’d leave everything behind.
We don’t need no water, let the m*f*r burn.
I have enough insurance to cover my laptop and a small professional wardrobe, so I can continue to do my job. All the important documents are in a fire safe, so leave those to do their thing. I mean, this is the existential purpose of a fire safe, right? So I wouldn’t deny its moment in the sun (blaze?). Everything else is non-essential. (See previous post re: boxes of spray paint and general state of simply having too much stuff.) Sure, I’d mourn the loss of my books, pictures, memory foam pillow, etc. But in the end, it’s just stuff. And most of it is crap anyway. So let it burn.
Wait. I lied. I’d take my cell phone. My mom would drive to Florida and kick my butt if she didn’t have a way to get in touch with me. And I don’t actually know anybody’s phone number. So yeah. Cell phone, then flee the inferno.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Burning Down the House.”
Today I learned… that my shoulder really freaking hurts.
I once posted about how I don’t carry a teacher bag. I don’t lug stuff home, I don’t have a giant organizer bag, nothing. Yeah… this morning I realized that while that may be true… I have a big bother of another bag. I don’t when I sold my soul to the big bag gods, but at some point I started filling up my purse with random stuff. Seriously. It’s weird. It’s like I subconsciously thought “well it’ll fit, so I’ll just toss it in for now and put it away later.” Somewhere along the way, I turned my purse into a giant bag of holding (if you don’t know, ask someone in a comic book shop).
Here’s what is inside my bag. I dumped it out and organized it just for you. Printed copy of student grades? Check. First aid kit? Check. Three lip glosses? Check, check, check. Lighter, even though I don’t smoke? Velcro for a bulletin board at school that I absolutely did not have to put in my purse and bring home? Even trial contacts and contact solution that, again, did NOT have to be in that bag.
Then I weighed it. 6 pounds. 6 pounds of crap I really don’t need. It’s got an undetectable extension charm. It’s bigger on the inside. Whatever. It’s over. I’m done. I’m breaking up with the giant bag.
Again, those of you carrying around a giant purse, messenger bag, or teacher bag, take note. Big bags are okay, as long as you aren’t packing them full of random things. That weight is murder on your shoulders, neck, and lower back. Just ask Oprah. Take inventory of what you really need on a day to day basis, and get rid of the rest. Can you keep it at school? In the car? Do you absolutely need to carry it around with you? If not, take it out of the bag. Your shoulders will thank you. I really like this article with tips for how to STOP bringing everything home with you. Teacher burnout isn’t pretty. Neither is a chiropractic bill. Ditch the bag.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go empty my