Saturday, March 6, 2010

Attachment to new stuff

We got a puppy.


Tabby, our fire kitty, never came home, and I wanted another pet. We learned a while ago that I am actually allergic to cats, which was never an issue when I lived in a humid climate, but in the desert, it was bad! So no cats. We named him Sonny (to go with Shade).

Sonny is twelve weeks old, which is just lab enough to eat everything in sight. Shoes, toys, toys, bedding, he is non-discriminatory. Having a dog try to destroy all our new stuff has made me wonder if I have less attachment to this stuff... or more.

For the most part, I find myself less attached to most of what we own. It has no memories, no real sentimental value. I have been de-cluttering and getting rid of stuff we bought and didn't need or don't use. This is a big change for me, because usually it took a large move to part with anything. I sold the cat stuff on craigslist without worrying that getting rid of it would negate the memories I had of Tabby or her heroic survival through the fire. I carry that with me, without the stuff.

But there is some stuff that I am really attached to. I have one pair of platform clog-type shoes that I absolutely love. I bought them right after the fire, and they so embody my sense of style (which is more "comfortable" than anything). But I have worn them out. Prior to getting the puppy I was lamenting the need for a new pair of shoes. "But isn't it great that you need a new pair of shoes," a friend asked. In some ways, yes. We are finding ourselves further and further from the fire and life is certainly more normal than it has been in many many months. But another part of me isn't ready to let that go yet. The fire was obviously a pivotal point in our lives, and those shoes, as silly as it sounds, connect me to the fire and to what I had before the fire in a way the new things don't. I have been so ready for stuff to have value beyond the fire, memories, stories. But I know that I have need for the stuff that I needed immediately after the fire, things like shoes that made me feel grounded, like there would be normal again after the fire.

I am also quite attached to my house and don't want the dog to chew the siding the way that Shade had the other house. The fire solved our dilemma of how to deal with the chewed siding when we sold the house, though I would have gladly dealt with that issue.

In all seriousness, having the puppy has been a blessing. Shade has a buddy, which was a large part of getting the dog. He has someone to run around with and expend energy. He is also bringing a joy that had been lacking for some time. When Kellen was born, the joy of him was robbed from me in many ways because we were so busy trying to rebuild. I didn't get to spend the time I wanted watching and being amazed and entertained. In some ways the puppy is filling that loss. He is funny, and we are all entertained. Just as long as he doesn't eat my stuff!

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