Saturday, February 16, 2008

Life Lessons from the Yard Sale

Thomas and I survived out first ever yard sale today! It was a fun experience (i think?) and definitely an eye opening one. We ended up having a pretty successful one though we didn't meet my projected goal (which Thomas says was overambitious anyway). But, mostly, the whole thing was pretty hard work. From the dragging out things, to the pricing, to the waking up at the butt crack of dawn it was no picnic. By far the hardest thing about the whole process, though, was saying goodbye to clothes, furniture and other items we loved for fraction of what they were worth. People can be cruel with your belongings. Anyways, that said, I learned some lessons that I am going to carry beyond the yard sale and they are:

1. You can never be mad at someone for getting something out of you that you don't want to give. The truth is, you are still in control so no one is "forcing" you to give them a cheaper price than you want. I think, for me, this translates into a practical lesson because I often find myself getting angry that people (friends, family, or strangers) convince me to give or do more than I want to. I get angry at them when the truth is I can't get mad at someone for something I control.

2. It's not personal. It's hard to believe when people are digging through your belongings, but the fact that they don't like something doesn't mean they don't like you. It doesn't mean they think you are a bad person, they just don't need/want what you have. Still, I'm the type to take EVERYTHING personal so that is a tough one for me. I think it brought to light, though, the fact that most things in life aren't personal for the people who aren't on the receiving end of them. Does that mean that it's not a big deal just because someone doesn't mean it personally? Of course not. But, I do think I'm going to think twice before falling apart of the smallest perceived offense. I'm also vowing to be more vigilant about my own behavior so as not be so callous in my actions toward others.

3. It is okay to let go. As if you couldn't tell from our carport, Thomas and I have a bit of a problem letting go of things. It's why our basement is a mess. And our car is a mess. It's why I have every scrap of scribble and art from my girls. I can't let go. It is the most difficult thing for me to do. But, throughout this (and my various Craigslist selling adventures) I've learned that you won't actually die from selling a chandelier that you took out of your first house and saved ever since. Your children's lives will not be irreparably damaged from you selling their collection of Happy Meal toys. And, old clothes that don't fit are better off being sold for $1 a piece (regardless of what you paid) than left in trash bags in your basement. This was an important lesson for me and I'm glad I've learned it. In fact, this whole cleansing of material goods is kind of addictive and we're already looking forward to another yard sale experience!

Of course, I feel like a big dork for finding "life lessons" in a yard sale, but I needed something to blog about today and I truly did find a little enlightenment in the whole yard sale process so don't make fun of me too much. Or do. 'Cause I won't take it personal...

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