I can’t even remember how many years ago I started learning massage. It was something new and interesting for me to learn. The course I started with was a 6-month part time relaxation course with two-day intensives sessions to learn different techniques. Just imagine a group of people giving and receiving massages all day long. It might sound amazing but it was really painful after about the 12th massage!
I had this image in my head that I would use the skills I had learned all the time. Buying a massage table seemed logical and like the right thing to do.
Reality was a different thing. The only time I ever practised what is learnt was after my boyfriend had played soccer and would complain about his sore legs. And even then, we very rarely used the table as it was big and heavy and took too much effort to put up.
Despite this it has still taken me a long time to get to the point where I was ready to let my massage table go. I have lugged it between multiple homes and even across states. What I have discovered was that to me the massage table is aspirational clutter.
What is Aspirational Clutter?
I read an article quite a while ago where they were talking about the types of clutter. They described aspirational clutter as ‘the stuff you buy to try to appear a more interesting or skilled person. You might be trying to appear this way to others, or maybe you are just trying to appear more interesting to yourself. Regardless, these items are acquired not because you’re using them or love them but because of what they say about you.’
For me the massage table represented who I thought I should be. I was in a male dominated workplace for a long time. I guess massage was meant to be a way to release my feminine side and show my caring nature. And yes, it was a way of appearing more interesting! It feels so sad to admit that but it’s true.
From there to here
Now we have been in our new home for well over 2 years and the whole time this massage table has been in the way. We have just don’t have the storage space for something this size and so it would get shifted from space to space. It’s been a frustration point for me all of this time but it wasn’t until I dropped it on my toe (again) that I finally said enough! I listed it for sale that very same afternoon.
Within a few days a nice young lady came to pick it up. She was so thrilled because her table had just broken the week prior and she couldn’t believe the condition and the price of my table. (See even as I write this, I am referring to it as mine! haha)
Selling this table was like ripping off a band aid. I knew it was something I needed to do but I held off doing it because I thought it was going to hurt. And it did at first. I was so close to changing my mind. Even as the lady was walking away with a big smile on her face, I felt the pull of regret.
But what good is a massage table that sits in the corner and never gets used?! All because of an image of what I thought I should be.
Have I missed the table since I sold it? No, not once. The only reason I am writing about it now is because a reminder in my notes. It can be easy to confuse things when it comes to aspirational clutter. The line between useful and clutter is blurred. This isn’t always a bad thing. It can motivate us to do better, to achieve more and to dream. But it can also drain us and take away from our lives. If the latter is the case for you, take a hard look at the reason for keeping the object in question. Could it be aspirational clutter? Are you ready to let it go?