I am the opposite of a hoarder, I opt to toss and deal with it later. This means an essential ingredient is always missing from my pantry, I exhaust myself digging for clothes I thought I still owned, and sometimes, I have to kick myself for discarding the “junk” of yesterday that’s selling for hundreds thousands of dollars on eBay, today. (Damn TY beanie babies!) So when it comes to purging the ever-accumulating baby items that are no longer of use, I don’t wanna make a big, fat, sentimental mistake. Wait, let me clarify: ANOTHER big, fat, sentimental mistake…like the one I may have committed when I donated Dylan’s receiving blanket to my dogs. They like blankets too…
You see, when the mood to exclude strikes, I just can’t help myself! I become a hyper tossy robot, unconcerned with matters of the heart; it’s just business baby! Everything gets sized up in two categories: use or lose, with “just get rid of it” making frequent appearances when the slightest hesitation begins creepin’. But wait, what am I doing? What am I going to miss? Am I setting myself up for a sad realization that I haven’t any sentimental belongings to whip out and say, “This was the outfit we took you home in!”, or “You used to kiss and feed this stuffed bear.”
Right now these objects exist in the moments of my day-to-day, but years from now, they’ll be remnants from some of the greatest days of my life. And if I lose the remnants, do I lose the memory? My connection to the past? Is this what storage boxes and attics are for? Losing the connection to my most precious and highly regarded life experiences is a real deal fear of mine. But an even bigger fear of mine is not having memories to connect to at all. And if I’m too occupied with holding on, I’m not letting go. And if I’m not letting go, I’m attached, not connected.
I’d have seventeen boxes stuffed with Hot Wheels, toy animals, and swaddles that Dylan clung to if I kept all the objects of my memory's affection. But dusty things make me feel trapped by the past and all I really wanna do is cherish it. I’m not attached to that bear, I’m attached to Dylan’s laughter when I made that bear dance, and keeping it isn't going to bring back the laughter or the feeling anymore than the memory itself does.
So as much as I want the moments of dancing bears to last a lifetime, and as much as I hope the feelings within those moments will be forever accessible by memory- the plastic goods, the stuffed toys, and the receiving blanket won’t be my connections. I’m too sentimental to hold on. If it’s not a drawing, a journal, a card or a picture, it's gone. Unless I come across another Princess Diana beanie baby...because that was basically my retirement plan.
Do you hold onto any sentimental items? First outfits? First toys?
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