Having lived a peripatetic lifestyle for my 20's and 30's, I found not accumulating a lot of personal possessions to be a sound strategy. One favorite practice was to simply give away a lot of stuff while preparing for a move, either to shipmates who needed stuff or to Goodwill. This allowed me to travel relatively lightly through my naval career, but there is a certain almost irreducible and in-compressible amount of stuff a normal man accumulates over time. So when I cast my lot with this trio of Eastern Shore women, I needed to claim space for the things that I had accumulated over time--kitchen stuff, random pieces of furniture, towels and linens, uniforms, obsolete computer equipment and peripherals, the detritus of my undergraduate and graduate school studies, my ridiculously wonderful bed (I love my bed now, but it is a shadow of the splendor of my former one) and so on. This led to me procuring a storage unit.
I visit my storage unit infrequently, perhaps three or four times a year. Before yesterday, the previous time was in January, when I rooted about in search of a few implements designed to make hip replacement recovery easier (sock aid, long shoe horn, etc--successfully located). Yesterdays trip was designed to stow some random personal papers and photos that had accumulated and indeed a few more monitors and peripherals. Each trip to my storage unit confronts me with my past and causes a bit of reflection.
Why, you may ask, do I keep the stuff in the unit, other than the personal items? At first, as the Kitten and I spent a few years sizing each other up, it was--honestly--a hedging strategy. Getting rid of all those Calphalon pots and 600 thread count sheets struck me as akin to the Greeks burning their ships at Syracuse, and I was not as bold as they. Now that it appears the two of us have settled in for the long haul, the storage unit serves as a shrine of inspiration, a place that I go to ponder the possibilities of a bright and exciting future, a future driven by the election of a Republican President and the prospect of serving in such an honorable administration. Each time I throw open the Unit's door, I begin to dream anew of a day in which I would be logistically persuaded to obtain a pied a terre in Arlington (I will NOT live in the District of Columbia) in order to support my professional life, a place to which I would retire at the end of long and frustrating days to feel once again the pleasure of wall-to-wall carpet under my feet (The Kitten loathes wall-to-wall), and to eat whatever it was that I set aside to thaw in the morning before I left. The unit represents hope, the hope of sane government and the opportunity to serve within it. It also represents 3.5 hours added to my day (sans commuting) and a bit more sleep.
For now though, it is the symbol of a dream. Keep hope alive!