I have been trying to figure out the answer to this for years! I have managed to let go of stuff here and there, but more times than not, I regret it. Often times I end up replacing it…but truthfully, those things are mostly cookbooks and kitchen items. The problem is, there is a bunch of stuff in my house I want rather need* to get rid of, but there is a slight emotional attachment to them. Well, that is not true about everything, some of these items I keep out of obligation, they were a gift and I feel like I should keep them.
So, how do you let go of the feeling that you have to hold on to things? I think I may have found a way, at least I am hoping that is the case. For one, I am not getting rid of cookbooks or kitchen items, not yet, but the other things I am allowing myself to say goodbye to these items and simply hold on to the memories. I figure when I get old and cannot remember where these items came from, it will not matter anyway. Now, I will keep things that are very important, like my dragon. It was a gift from one of my favorite people, and I love it more than just about any decorative item I possess. If we moved into an RV fulltime, it would go with us.
I am curious as to why we put so much value on objects and spend so little time actually creating memories? Why are so many of us so materialistic? When did we become that way? My thought is that it probably happened after the great depression, I figure when you grow up with so little, and then are provided with the opportunity to have and/or the exposure to so much variety, one would feel the need to get what you can…right?
So, many of us are not doing without, so why do we do it now? I have already told you that I suffer from FOMO; I like to have the latest and greatest, even if I rarely use it. It is the dragon** in me, but instead of hoarding gold and gems, I collect cookbooks…reading that sentence made me feel a little sad, but I will unpack that at another time. I have no idea why other than there is some sense of comfort I find in it…which is disturbing on its own. I tell myself that I like the idea of being able to cook whatever I want, myself – but let’s be honest, how often am I going to do some of these really fancy meals? There are things I use, and I love, but I do not need every new cookbook that comes out; although I honestly enjoy reading them, even if I do not cook from them, they give me ideas for my own creations, and most of the stuff I have now, I use, maybe not daily or even weekly, but I use them a few times a year. Really not the point though – I have stuff that serves no purpose other than to look pretty – how do I get rid of that?
I recently had an enlightening experience that really put a fire in me. I realize that the items I have, although some may be useful, some may be valuable, some may even not be replaceable – they are still things. They may have brought me joy at one time, but now, they take up space and collect dust. Joy and happiness do not truly come from these items, they come from the experiences I had around these items. If I had to walk away with just a car full of items I needed, besides my husband, Chaucer, and of course, my dragon, there is not much I would have to have to be happy. In that realization, I think I found my answers. I can let go of things, hold on to memories, and choose to be more present in my life. It will be a process, I know, but I think the journey called life is filled with lots of processes and ah-ha moments.