Moving our family of six into a new house has been a stressful process, but to be honest, the worst part was cleaning out the garage that we’ve neglected for eight years since we became parents. Before we had kids, the garage was a bit of a “man cave” where Mark had a desk and a sofa and drank beer with his friends. After we had kids, it became my office – or at least that was the plan. This plan never really materialized because there was usually a trail of boxes and other crap prohibiting access to the desk. It became the place where we threw stuff that we didn’t want to deal with. We did this for years. By the time we moved the garage was basically a big storeroom of junk. I’m embarrassed to post this picture, but in an effort to “keep it real”, this was how the garage looked prior to moving: I’m going to be totally honest here: moving the things from the old house to the new house? That was a breeze compared to tackling the crap in the garage. This was in large part due the the fact that the garage was full of all of these items that held some emotional memory. I like to say that I’m not that sentimental about “stuff”. But after having dealt with the garage, I know that would be a lie. Going through decades of stuff we’d amassed was surprisingly emotional, in large part because so much of the “stuff” represented dreams that never really materialized. For example: This was a design board from the semester I went to interior design school. I had big plans to become an interior designer. Until I got a few real clients and realized that I wasn’t actually interested in design unless the ideas were mine. Also: I had a box of about 100 acting headshots from 1999. Think it might be time to throw those away? I guess I don’t have any pressing auditions in the near future. And Mark did not like my idea of wallpapering his office with them. Oh look! Even more unused headshots! This was a fun find: It’s a desk that also doubles as a stationary exercise bike. I had big plans to multi-task my exercise routine while working out. I used it a total of 0 times. Never even took it out of the box. Then there is this: It’s my wedding bouquet. It was made of dried roses that Mark had given me while we were dating. Dried roses were all the rage in 1994, I tell you. I loved that my bouquet was made of them. Except, now it’s mostly just decrepit and falling apart. Most of the dried roses have fallen off and the silk flowers the florist used as filler remain. It’s hideous and Mark has been begging me to throw it away for years. I finally did. But lest you think I’m the only one storehousing momentos: This would be reels of football games from Mark’s glory days in high school. Why are we keeping these, you ask? I have no idea. It was also finding all of the old books I kept in my office as a therapist. Books on relationships, sex, domestic violence, addiction, sexual abuse, depression, anxiety . . . if someone didn’t know my occupational background they might think I had a whole lot of issues. Also filed under Things That Make The Babysitter Think I’m nuts: A rather large collection of documentaries on drugs. Because I teach an addiction class. I also found this book I’d bought to learn Haitain Creole before Kembe came home. This was another bittersweet thing to find. I remember practicing phrases and the big plans I had to be fluent in simple Creole before he came home. Then the earthquake happened and so many planned phrases were never used, because I had to leave him in Haiti and he flew home without me. Another item we bought and never used was this pop-up camp table. We bought it for all of those outdoorsy camping trips we were going to take. HAHAHAHA. I crack myself up. So there you have it. A stroll down our Boulevard of Broken Dreams. How about you? Are you sentimental about stuff? Any objects that you are holding on to because it represents a part of yourself that never got fulfilled? And even if the stuff has been tossed, what’s on your metaphorical Boulevard of Broken Dreams?