It was THAT time of year again. Sitting on my office floor, I was surrounded by piles of papers that had been living in file folders but were no longer assisting me. They were just taking up space, so it was time for them to go.
I reached next for the bulkiest file of them all, where I had been tossing newspaper and magazine clippings for years. Material for inspiration, motivation and enjoyment. Landscaping ideas, interiors I might love to be surrounded by, the vibrant body-in-motion I’d be delighted with if only I could pull it off. That’s when I came across this portion of an article about downsizing from Better Homes & Gardens in January 2003.
Fourteen years after tearing this from the magazine and placing it in the file, I couldn’t tell you if it had originally been saved for the author’s point of view OR for the picture of a dressing table. I supposed that the latter would hold memories that would somehow be meaningful for me in this moment.
But I was wrong. They no longer mattered. It was time for them to go.
Seeing the ginghamed skirt reminded me of my own, which was teal blue fabric and covered a hidden drawer behind its folding arms. The kidney shaped dressing table was first used by my sister Betty, like most of the clothes I wore until I started sewing for myself, When I had graduated into enough “big girl” status to see my face in the mirror as I sat on the cushioned bench, I was elated.
Unexpectedly, most of what came to mind around my time in that setting was about my random curls being wound into submission around a headful of orange juice cans and lots of tape straightening my bangs onto my forehead. It wasn’t pretty and I didn’t feel so pretty afterwards.
Since this memory isn’t bringing me joy today and there’s really nothing motivating or inspiring to glean from it, I’m letting it go along with the clipping that triggered it. I may have thought I’d share with my daughter this view of how things were in earlier times. Now that I know her as an adult, I’m feeling that it’s not at all important to pass this story on to her.
(Just going through this exercise, however, allows me to acknowledge that I’m thoroughly satisfied with my decision to let my curls “do their own thing” these days! I can almost hear them cheering about being free at last!)
Being totally honest, I’ve held onto lots of stuff that reminds me of people and places where memories were made. I’m realizing, though, that not all of them lead into jottings for generations. That brings me to this month’s Tuesday Tip:
DON’T FRET OVER WHAT TO KEEP AND WHAT TO LEAVE BEHIND
If you follow the flow of memory and it takes you to an unfulfilling place, let it go. Your heart will guide you about what to leave behind.
However, for times when meandering memories lead from a clipping or mementos you’ve held onto into something you DO want to jot down for future sharing or personal inspiration, try this.
Capture those memories with your words and attach photos of whatever triggered those memories, so you won’t have to actually keep the stuff. Unless you want to, and then that’s perfectly ok too.
Let’s give it a try this month and let me know how that feels…
Capturing the Moments that Matter…Energizing Your Faith…Passing It On!