Friends. I’m gonna come clean.
I am addicted to storing cardboard boxes in my basement.
So… let’s set the scene, shall we?
My family, last Christmas: Gleefully unwrapping way too many presents because it’s a pandemic and I wanted to buy their happiness.
Me, last Christmas: Sitting in a corner, lovingly stroking an amazon.com box muttering “my preshus” to it while the dog looked on with concern.
There have been repeated box interventions on the husband’s part. They usually consist of him going down to the basement to work out and then shouting at me, while kicking boxes all over. Phrases are used that are clearly anti-cardboard box, and a bit anti-wife as well if I’m being completely honest. He then lugs a bunch of them out to recycling, but I just sneak more down there when a fresh order from amazon arrives.
And so, the circle of life continues.
Here are a few other items that I can’t seem to stop piling up in the basement:
- Broken lampshades. You never know when you’re gonna need a wonky lampshade that leans to one side.
- Paint cans with one inch of dried paint in the bottom. You never will need them, but it’s important they stay there for forty bajillion years.
- Rugs that your dog chewed on but somehow might come in handy somewhere because you paid a lot for that ###@ rug and so it must remain. THERE WILL BE A USE FOR IT I JUST KNOW IT.
- Dead crickets.
- Massive chunks of styrofoam from random appliances we bought. Once, when the boys were little these would come in handy for building twains. We would grab a box (And repeat after me: YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN YOU’RE GONNA NEED A GOOD BOX) from the basement, and festoon it with styrofoam smokestacks and wheels, and voila. Childhood just became more adorable.
Don’t believe me?
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you… My (badly focused) children.
In a box:
Ok, granted, this looks like there is some sort of fireman theme, but you get the drift.
And, sidenote: this picture completely sums up both boys.
Kid on left: Studious. Focused. This is a serious box.
Kid on right: Nutball.
Fast forward to today. There are still a lot of boxes down in my basement. 2020 happened and we threw our credit cards and online ordering at it. This morning had me staring at a computer screen because I had just finished a large-ish project, and I couldn’t focus. After one project is done, it seems I am a bit… adrift after. So, this morning, I felt glum. My purpose had been all poured into one thing and now that thing was all over. The strength and energy needed to redirect the brain and creativity of Dana to the New Thing was stalled out.
And that’s when I spied an email from the boys’ teacher. A STEM project was in need of… RANDOM BITS OF STYROFOAM.
When in doubt, help others. Which in this case meant grabbing this mess from my basement (cat not included):
Why yes, it was all packed up and ready to go. It had been our train box. We hadn’t touched it since the boys were little and cute and said “twains” instead of “trains.” And I must admit that as I loaded it up into the car, I felt a little sad. But now it had a Purpose again.
The moral of the story:
When stuck, help someone else. It shook the cobwebs off for me, and now I’m on to another thing.
And also: You really, really never know when you’re gonna need a good box. Don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise.