Hoarding…and Pokémon?

I come from a family of hoarders or varying degrees. There must be something genetically programmed within the Asian genome that causes this desire to gather, collect, and hoard. Perhaps having more is perceived as being prosperous? Or is it from growing up poor? I remember working at a nursing home in college and patients would stash napkins, sugar packets, and other consumables in their rooms – lingering side effect of living through the Great Depression.

My parents grew up poor. Reusing everything they could. My dad would tell me stories to include how he only owned two sets of his school uniform. The one he wore, and the clean one – hand washing the dirty one as soon as he was done wearing it. I actually got to see the two-level shack where he grew up during one of my visits to Thailand. No running water and shoddy electrical work. My mother’s childhood home was all boarded up when I saw it and was made entirely of wooden boards. This was where she and my aunt and uncles (all 6 of them) grew up.

_35For me, I didn’t think much of it growing up. It was “normal” to have clutter around the house. Let me emphasize it was clean, but cluttered. I think I was about five years old since my parents were able to park a car in the garage. Visiting my childhood home as an adult was an entirely different experience. It made me anxious, wanting to declutter and purge their things. My last attempt was during Christmas of 2015 where I uncovered a box – brand new never opened Corelle dinnerware set that was over 30 years old!!! When I tried to talk my mom into donating it, she said my grandmother bought the set, it was too nice to donate, and she wanted to keep it just in case.

Just in case? The three most dangerous words according to The Minimalists. Just in case in the next 30 years someone in our family would need to use the Corelle dishes that weren’t used at all for the last 30 years!

As I look around my 3-story townhouse, I have managed to declutter several times, but it was always a work in progress. Even when my parents used to come visit, my dad would bring things he thought I needed. I threatened that I would donate them. He said to hold onto them until his next trip to take them back. A lot if not all of those items ended up going to Goodwill. Since the beginning of the year, I’ve already made two trips to Goodwill with many more to come. Decluttering is so therapeutic, but what I love is seeing the joy on the faces of the people who get to enjoy the items I’ve given away.

So what does this have to do with Pokémon?? 

025pikachu_pokemon_mystery_dungeon_red_and_blue_rescue_teamsI was introduced to this game by my friend Roger last summer. I actually did watch the cartoon when it first came out on TV (I’m clearly dating myself). Not ashamed. I also went to Pokémon the First Movie when it was showing in the theaters. Still not ashamed. Roger showed me the basics. How to get more poke balls at pokestops, how to catch Pokémon, etc. The fond memories of all the Pokémon I had from college (and what they sounded like) started to flood back.

Playing Pokémon Go gives me an outlet to hoard Pokémon and pokeballs…and since they are all virtual, essentially no additional physical space is required. Far less harmful than hoarding clothes or anything that may require a 3-car garage. You won’t ever find me attending a Pokémon meet up group, but it sure is a fun way to pass the time while riding the light rail to work. Doesn’t hurt having two pokestops right by my desk at work either! 😆

Gotta catch ’em all!!


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