Dealing with Messy Nostalgia
What am I doing this weekend? Preparing to announce the dates for the next Journey from Habit to Intention and clearing the clutter of the multitude of old photographs I’ve amassed.
The first task is pretty simple. Maybe a little time consuming, but I know how to launch my eClass.
The second task? The thoughts of clearing photographic clutter causes me to shudder, shake, and sweat. So I’m doing research to help me find the strength I need to make beauty out of the mess I have amassed.
I thought you might appreciate this article. It’s written from the heart and experience… just like I like ‘em.
LETTING GO OF SENTIMENTAL ITEMS
That’s when I realized that my retention efforts were futile. I could hold on to her memories without her stuff, just as she had always remembered me and my childhood and all our memories without ever accessing those sealed boxes under her bed. She didn’t need papers from twenty-five years ago to remember me, just as I didn’t need a storage locker filled with her stuff to remember her.
I can’t tell you how much “stuff” I’m hanging onto, when in reality the memories are with in my heart and mind. I lost my mother to Alzheimer’s. So you might argue “But, Gayle, what if your memory goes?” The sad truth is if my memory goes the mementos and pictures will become junk. They only hold meaning in my memory. No memory – no nostalgia.
I feel sad thinking about all of this, but I also feel freedom lurking on the outskirts. I am pissed off too. I am NOT a woman of clutter. It is not been part of my identity. It was, however, part of my mother’s identity. The problem is I am no longer functioning like who I am. I am surrounded by clutter. The clutter of my own doing is, in part, because I lived to be 56 years old and I’ve loved well. I’ve amassed a lot of memories.
I was 16 when my mother was 56. Maybe she didn’t start out as a woman of clutter either. Maybe her ability to love well caused her to amass stuff in the name of love. This weekend I’m going to begin stopping in the name of love. I have a plan. I have a starting place. I don’t know how it will end up. But I know how I will begin and that’s all I need to know. The rest I’ll figure out along the way.
Any tips you can share with me, will be greatly appreciated. Remember what I always say “In sharing our feelings and experiences for others to see, we find strength and connection. Freedom comes from knowing we aren’t alone.”
I’ll keep you posted, so to speak. More soon.