The greatest step towards a life of simplicity is to learn to let go ~ Steve Maraboli
As I have mentioned in past posts, my husband and I moved into a new home a few weeks ago. As we are going through the mountains of boxes to decide what we will keep, what we will take to our property up north and what we will get rid of to simplify our lives… we sometimes struggle with what to keep and what to let go of.
My mom has always been a Hang On Hannah type person… she hung on to everything until she moved from her home into an apartment twenty years ago (she then sent it all off to be packed away in her kids’ homes). Subsequently, I have dragged around my grade school report cards, old Girl Scout manuals, First Communion greeting cards and every other little (and big piece) of childhood memorabilia from one home to the next. Considering my husband and I are now on our fifth home since we were married twenty years ago, my boxes of stuff have travelled many miles throughout the years. Interestingly enough, they have only been opened maybe once or twice in the last 20 years, the times when a bit of nostalgia hits me when we were readying them up for the next move. Once we got settled into a new home, they were packed away deep into the recesses of closets or storage rooms for a few more years…
So now I am tasked with the big question once again … what do I hang on to and what do I let go of? The things I struggle with the most are my childhood memorabilia… that old Girl Scout canteen that I took with me on every camping trip when I was a little girl… the lava lamp from the 60’s that my grandmother had in her house that I used to stand in front of… mesmerized by the ever-changing globs of “lava” as the lamp heated up..
I asked my 89 year old mom yesterday, “why do we hang on to all of this stuff…?” and her reply was simple… “memories…”.
Yes, memories for me but not the memories our children look fondly upon because they are not THEIR memories… the items that are in those boxes are truly mine and mine alone…
So do I hang on to these objects and store the boxes away for my kids to go through after I am long gone from this earth or do I move forward… retaining the memories in my heart and letting go of the space-cluttering objects that have no meaning to anyone but me…?
I’ll let you know after I spend one more day going down memory lane reading each of the greeting cards that span the time from my birth through graduation(s)…, opening my Girl Scout manuals to read notes in my childhood script… and admiring all of my achievement badges while I sit under the soft glow of the orange lava lamp!
Are you a Let It Go Lenny or a Hang on Hannah? Is there value in hanging on to the past?