I have this thing about things, my inability to let go of certain things—some of which are quite useful and others I store out of sight because I don’t want to take precious time out of my day deciding what to do with them.
There’s this box of things sitting in an obscure family room cabinet, things that go all the way back to high school, worse yet, grade school, things that only matter to me and no one else, which explains why I still hang on to them. These things from long ago really do matter, even though I rarely look at them—mostly black and white snapshots of classmates, many of which are now history in the truest sense. Still, throwing away those tattered snapshots would be like throwing a part of me away, my continuing history. Someday I will have to deal with this part of my history, my Pandora’s Box of memories. But not today. Or, tomorrow. Or, next week. For now, I have more important things to deal with.
As for dealing with the history of others, don’t get me started on my mother’s Pandora’s Box of Memories. Or, my mother-in-law’s Pandora’s Box. To throw away someone else’s memories somehow seems unthinkable, most definitely a lack of respect I don’t want cluttering my already over-burdened conscience.
Moving on to the compact kitchen, I find my somewhat adequate cabinets filled with too many things—essential skillets, pots, pans, knives, and utensils—none of which I have any intentions of giving up as long as I continue to cook, which does not rank among my favorite pastimes although I don’t mind eating once in a while, especially food better prepared than what I bring to the table. Any kitchen things bought new have been acquired for a specific purpose, or because they were marked so low I couldn’t resist the temptation. Things that have been passed down to me, I hold onto because I use them on a regular basis or when I do use them, I think about the previous owners who entrusted their things to me, knowing I would treat them with the same respect I treat my own things.
I even hold on to things I don’t like, this gift or that gift, out of respect for the person who gave it to me, the person who took the time to consider what I might like and then purchased it on my behalf. This would explain why I’m not crazy about receiving gifts unless I have a say-so in their selection, which supposedly takes away from the enjoyment of the giver. So, does that make me a control freak? Or the giver who depends on my input an enabler? Either way, it doesn’t resolve my dilemma of what to do with things I don’t particularly like.
For now, those things I like or don’t like or feel responsible for maintaining or for preserving can live another day. Better yet, another year.
How about you? Any plans for getting rid of your things? Better yet, letting them live another year. Or five?