As I write this, I am taking a break from packing. Neal and I are moving in March to a home that is under renovation. Our house we are in has sold and we are very grateful for that. As I sift through 20 plus years of stuff, I have come to realize several things:
- Things that I knew I would need forever… I don’t. As I unearthed books that I had long-forgotten, I realized that I didn’t go back and read them again as I had planned. I can barely remember reading it the first time. And that outfit that was the perfect style for me looks nuts with shoulder pads big enough for football players. Linda Evans on Dynasty inspired those, I believe. Or was it Sue Ellen on Dallas? Who can remember? I even had the sewing patterns to reproduce those outfits. Why did I keep them? Maybe I expected the style to repeat, but then would it fit? Speaking of fitting, how many of us have a section of our closet that we will “get back into one day”? Mine is dusty.
- I would find another use for things I refused to throw away. Wrong. I have drawers of stuff waiting for another life. In fact, I have wrapping paper remnants that have become so brittle they crumble when you touch it. How about the candles that are half used? Waiting on 120 power outages to really take advantage of that collection. I could fill a large container with empty jars, plastic bowls with lids from Cool Whip containers, and my favorite—shopping bags with handles, just in case I need to carry something.
- My kids don’t want my stuff that I have saved for their “first houses.” In fact, they have nicer stuff than I do. What is wrong with this picture? I have framed photos the size of a poster. Really, what was I thinking when I ordered prints of my children that large? Now who will want those? Nobody. But heavens, who can throw away photos of their children?
- It’s OK to say I am finished with something. That is hard for me, as I always think I will need it again. Who am I kidding that I will ever wear those 4 -inch heels again? I have boots for snowy days (we get one per year here, and I stay inside), shoes to wear when gardening (okay, that one is fine), and flip flops that have never been on my feet. Isn’t that like flossing your toes?
I remember with a great chuckle, my grandmother, who died with drawers of pajamas and gowns that she kept ready for the hospital should the need arise. Those just-in-case clothes dry rotted in the drawers, as she never went to the hospital. I looked at the drawer of socks that I have accumulated and thought about her.
My photos are probably my most cherished possessions. I looked at our wedding photos and thought wow, will that suit fit again? And I wore 4-inch heels with it. Maybe one day. I seemed to have changed shape. And hair styles… I had some really big hair through the years.
Photos that document my life are cherished. They are reminders of the people that matter most to me. I could relive in my mind occasions, holidays, costumes, school days, and days of great fun. I have had a very blessed life. Going through my “stuff” reminds me of that so much. I am changing locations and taking my memories with me. For that, I am so grateful.
What is your most cherished possession?