Currently, I'm reading a book, "Throw Out Fifty Things" by Gail Blanke. At face, it looked like something for me to declutter my life, especially with me feeling I have so many things I don't need anymore.
The book addresses emotional decluttering, putting an emotional attachment to each item in the place. One wouldn't realize it until you have it in the hand, ready to put it in the box to donate to Goodwill; I remember when I got this, in Inner Harbor, Baltimore, with friends... remembering the memories.
*snap* You're hooked. You could not let the item go, after all. It goes back on the shelf to collect dust...again.
For me, it's items I had saved so much from when I was a child, when I had dreams of having children, and what I would teach my children, as the poster up here shows, of Calvin and Hobbes. Calvin had saved his doll, Hobbes to give to his daughter. For me, I had preseved my childhood book "Little Princess" by Frances Hodgson Burnett, pages worn and faded. Two Breyer horses, awaiting little hands to play with or pretend being real horses; the horses with chips from when I played with them somewhat tough. My dad's book "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer" printed in 1939, when he was a little boy. A stuffed Teddy bear that my grandpa had given to me before he died.
There are so many things tied to memories...
Dreams of having children, and to pass to children, what I had enjoyed and loved.
So reading the book, only on the second chapter (despite that I had started last November, would you believe that?), "Throw Out Fifty Things" is harder to read than to read "Peace and War" emotionally. My mind is able to read, detached from emotions, yet I can hear the inner mother within me, saying
(in a firm tone, no less.)
I skipped many areas of the book and focused on the three rooms I can easily determine what to get rid of....
The bathroom, the living room, and the kitchen.
Into the donation box; unopened piles of soap, many packages of pads/pantiliners (thanks to Costco almost two years ago- hadn't a need after the SURGERY), many self-care things I had gotten from family for many Christmas or birthday- (who needs that many bath bubble bottles??!-17 really?!), brand new jars for preserving, extra pots and pans, so many cookbooks, shampoo and etc. Many empty frames collecting dust in the hutch's drawer (this was the hardest thing for me to do.) A lot of decorations from the living room- including many ornaments- One or two is enough, instead of 20 items to shout out my love for things British.
Into the recycle box; magazines, aluminum cans (I had saved a lot of Cafe Du Monde chicory coffee cans, in thinking that I'll make a nifty wall decoration with them like I saw on HGTV), and so many papers I had saved from high school and college (I thought I would have used them for work or parenting advice for myself.) Many magazines will go to collage art box at where I work- kids can use them for art therapy.
Despite that I had gotten rid of so many books last year and the year before, I still managed to get rid of more books (63!) with reminding myself that it is very much likely that I'd not read them again. I love the books, but would I find myself reading them again? I'll need to remind myself to use my Nook more often. There's very few authors that I'd not mind reading again, like Laurel K. Hamilton, Sherrilyn Kenyon, J.R. Ward and Kresley Cole. Those novels I'm keeping.
Soon I'll be dropping the stuff at the shelter for survivors of domestic violence- they would appreciate the self-care items, especially the romances and fiction books!
For the children stuff, the childhood stuff, dreams...?
Not going to touch with a ten-foot pole.
I'm listening to the inner mom, for now.
I'll get there to the point I'd be ready to re-evaluate the childhood stuff, and that means looking again at my dreams. Some day.
Just not now.