Unpacking the Box in the Hallway


When we moved back east years and years ago, we transported a lot of things from Michigan that we should have gotten rid of. Our new house was about 1,500 square feet smaller than the old one, though we did gain a (very creepy basement). But although we had a basement, we had one large box labeled simply “Upstairs” that never made it downstairs.

That moving box, which was about 3′ x 3′, lived in the narrow hallway leading to all three of our bedrooms and only full bathroom for over two years. We walked by it every single day, usually brushing against it because of the width of the hallway. I suppose I had looked in the box as we were unpacking, but I soon forgot what was inside, assuming it must not have been important. It wasn’t until we started a major remodeling project that I finally opened the box to find three or four stuffed animals (our daughter had so many she hadn’t missed them) a mismatched set of sheets, and some placemats. The box hadn’t even been full.

When I think back on that box, and how we spent two years walking around it, being blind to its presence, it cracks me up. I don’t know why we let it sit there so long. It was probably a fire hazard not to have the hallway to our bedrooms clear. Was I afraid of something inside it? Was I just lazy? Looking back, the whole thing was a little silly.

I’m much more careful about that sort of thing now–I try to do a deep decluttering in every room in the house at least once a year. *gives side-eye to four Lego boxes in the dining room*

But if something as obvious as a 3′ x 3′ box can be a hallway obstacle for two years, how much easier is it to let ourselves be blind to emotional clutter that gets in our way?

How blind do we become to our own unwelcome habits, negative thoughts, or even emotionally harmful people? We function, getting by, skirting around them. They are effectively almost invisible to us. Almost. It’s often not until we are in the middle of some crisis that they suddenly manifest. Surprise!

Sometimes they’re significant enough to throw us completely off-balance, but sometimes, like my 3′ x 3′ box, they reveal themselves to be almost hollow, and easily disarmed simply by examination.

Either way, it’s time to be brave. Unpack those boxes.


P.S. I took the above photo when I went to a sideshow at the DuQuoin State Fair. I was actually in that very box back. Read about it here.


February 26th Words

Journal: 420 words

Long fiction: 0 words

Short fiction: 0 words

Non-fiction: 0 words

Blogging: 425 words

Exercise: 30 minutes yoga

3 thoughts on “Unpacking the Box in the Hallway”

  1. skyecaitlin says:

    What an unusual but very apropos analogy or metaphor. I think many of us go through life with blinders on: It’s time to open the windows and fell a cleansing breeze.

    1. Laura Benedict says:

      And spring is a most appropriate time!

      1. skyecaitlin says:

        It’s another spring – like day in NJ, Laura. Happy Fat Tuesday.

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