A couple of days ago I wrote about keeping family stories by recording them – for me that means writing about them! I was thinking of items I have which conjure those memories and have connections with family and others from the past, some people such as my paternal grandpa, and six of my great-grandparents, I never knew and its my parents and uncles and aunties memories. I’ve received some lovely comments and suggestions from people who read my story and I have a plan!
However, there is still lots of things, some old things, which have little value in any way – either intrinsically or as triggers to family and other stories. I find it really hard to throw things away! I am good at taking things to charity shops, to passing other things on to friends or people who might use them. However, sometimes I look at an item and think to myself ‘who would really want this? Even if it was given to them, who would actually want it? If I send it to a charity shop will they just put it straight in the rubbish?’ I’m not thinking of broken a damaged items, but things I have a stupid attachment or even affection for.
There are probably lots of reasons why, probably the way I was brought up to look after things, not to waste anything, to make-do and mend. However, I think it is also to do with my imagination, that I invent or invest in the character of an inanimate object. Maybe I read too many children’s books where objects had personalities, characters, feelings – and not just toys and teddies. Toys and teddies are bad enough – when my daughter (who doesn’t share this characteristic at all) was getting rid of most of her soft toys, which meant I had to put them into bags to take to the charity shop, I found it hard to ignore their plaintive expressions, their sad eyes, their loyal little faces. I did it, of course, but I felt guilty and sad – and just hoped some other child would love them.
This ridiculousness extends to other things. An extreme example is old socks; those socks have walked miles with me. They have kept my feet warm, stopped shoes rubbing, have been stripy and fun, were given to me as a gift, were a silly extravagance that I treated myself to. OK, now they are a bit thin in places, a couple have gone baggy round the ankles, some have a hole, or two –
I put them in the recycling, but are socks recycled, they will probably just go in the general rubbish, and it makes me feel a little sad, those noble socks who have walked so many miles in my shoes…
Declutter! Clear the decks, don’t be sentimental and foolish!
As for old photos, even of people I never knew and in fact don’t even know how they might connect with our family… I guess writing about them, writing about it all is my only hope!
Who is the man in my featured image? I have no idea, but I don’t like to get rid of him.