(I’m back after being ill and I just hope that I make sense! I have no idea why it posted in italics.)
This week: If you had to get rid of most of your belongings in order to move into a smaller place, what are the things you would not be able to part with?
I know that I have addressed being a ‘keeper’, who is married to a packrat.
I actually went through this in my head a few years ago. I thought that we were going to downsize and move.
Things did not work out that way, and here I need the room again, but after being insecure and wanting to hang onto everything all the time, I thought that it would be freeing to let go of quite a bit.
When I was a kid, I ‘designed’ a home with storage, storage, storage so that I could keep everything that I wanted. Several times I moved good distances and let go of some things, things that I wish I had not. Several times family members, close and extended, have left family items in other states which got lost, sold or were destroyed by vindictive exes.
Those break my heart.
My granddaughters want family china and the like, so I know those will be taken care of when I am gone, or they get their own places, so those will never be gotten rid of. However, all the serving dishes, equipment, etc., that I still have would have no place in a small place. I am not doing the fancywork I used to do for so many years, so some would have to go. I still kept a box of candy molds, plus candy cups, cake molds, fancy boxes, baskets and bags for them to be given away, but I have parted with many already.
I hate admitting that some things that I did will just not be done again. It was fun, it was creative, it was something with which I put myself out there and impressed people, giving them joy. I enjoyed myself more, but my life has changed. Fewer people, and even fewer appreciative people. People here who do appreciate good things and want special foods I do accommodate, but gluten-free pumpkin bread is just not as satisfying to me as making fancy tartlets, molded candies, painted cookies, but it is more important, I suppose.
My serving/warming trays remain in cabinets, unused to a number of years. It’s been a long time since I had enough people here to warrant their use. I miss those times, but I think they are gone.
I have a few cherished toys of mine and a great deal from my kids and grandkids. Fortunately, Son #1 lives not far and has an attic and a basement in his new house. He took most of the toys to his place; I am grateful.
I have a lot of material and some craft supplies that I do not use, and as much as they have become old friends, I can give them away, after I finally make the few items I have been [putting off for a long time.
Holiday items would be impossible to part with. I have let some go,but many I have had all of our married life, pieces I picked up traveling, others made by kids, all of which are in my heart.
We have an extensive library. Giving books away locally is a waste and they may even be ditched. We have considered selling a lot of them, not to make money mind you, but to see that they would probably go to people who would want and appreciate them. However, when I say that ‘we’ considered it, that means that I would have to be the one to actually do all the work, and I need to take more time for my own writing. If I won a big enough lottery, I would love to find an established library that would keep our books as an endowment. I know that others have tried to will books, only to have someone come along later and thin out the collections. Again, I would hate to see these on a ‘quarter table’ at a sale only to be cast off.
I have many books that would be hard to part with. I already gave away many cook books that I had gathered, been given or inherited. Most of them have a very few recipes in each that I have used, use, or have tinkered with. Still… I have many notes of my own recipes. Will I make most of them more than a few times? Who knows? I am always adding more.
I would have trouble getting rid of the boxes of my aunt’s papers. I have written of her before; he radio logs, etc. I learned so much and there is so much family history there, but who else will appreciate them?
Photos are something that I would have to keep, although, again, who will want them? I know one granddaughter is particularly keen on the old family photos, but I have tons that I took myself. They do stretch back fifty years and many, I suppose, are now family history, but golly, there is a lot on my external hard drive, flash drives and burned into discs that are probably not worth anything to anyone but me.
Also on the external hard drive and flash drives are my writings, ‘starts’ to completed works. Again, few would be of interest, especially to family.
The hardest things to get rid of would be … everything. I think at this point I could do it, if I felt secure enough. The biggest problem is that let me get rid of anything, and one of us will need it in very short order, no matter how long whatever it was had gone unused.
Most of my life, I have been attached to things of my own, because so little belonged to me alone. Borrowed things never got back to me, no matter ow many reassurances I got that they would be returned. When I go to buy things for myself, very often someone else needed something else more.
But they are THINGS.
Leave me with some of my favorite books and movies, my comfortable clothes that look nice, a few cozy blankets. Give me a computer with internet access and a cellphone to text /call the kids and grandkids, and at this point, I think that I would be good.
Life is shorter than I ever knew it could be.