I can imagine one of my 17 nieces and nephews walking through my door someday and having no idea where to start. My significant other is an 11-pound Pomeranian; I’m the only one who knows what in my house has real value and who will treasure it when I’m gone. So I made a decision: I’m getting rid of it now. I’m 54, in perfect health. But I never want someone else to have to go through my stuff and decide what’s important. I want to be the boss while I can.
I started by digitizing my music so I could give it to the New Orleans Public Library, which lost a lot of records during Katrina. I hope some young girl from my old neighborhood will wander in, listen to Ella Fitzgerald like I did and just shut out the whole world. I’m gifting my diamond studs to my nieces on their 21st birthdays. The music that shakes my soul, the books that have kept me going, my best reserve wines: I want to share them now.
I’m unclear why getting rid of things seems both desirable and utterly impossible to me.