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When do you let go?

May 5, 2020

I was doing some spring cleaning in the diningroom yesterday. Mostly this involved emptying some of the bookshelves, giving books a dust and the shelves a wash. One of the bookcases contains cookbooks and travel books.

In the latter category there are guides to and books about all the countries Mike and I ever visited. At one end of the bottom shelf there was a forgotten folder which contained programmes from pretty much every play Mike and I ever saw, along with postcards and other bits and bobs from various trips.

The folder sparked a few questions. When was the last time I looked at this? When am I ever likely to look at it again? Should I hold on to all these bits of paper or should they all go in the paper recycling bag? The latter option seems mighty cold. And yet…

If I’d completely forgotten the folder and its contents existed, why would I hold onto it?

I don’t want to sound maudlin, but the fact is one day I am going to die. Hopefully that day is still many years away, but when it comes, do I really want to leave it to my friends (there will be no family around as they’re all in the UK) to deal with things like postcards and opera programmes? Is that fair? I know that in various nooks and crannies about the place there is other detritus, reminders of what now seem like lives lived a long time ago. When do you let go of all this stuff?

Who, other than me, is ever going to be interested in looking at the big, fat photo albums that take up space on one of the bookcases? Perhaps a friend might have a fleeting moment of enjoyment seeing photos of me when I was a kid, but I’m sure they could live without it. Is this stuff just clutter? Should I be decluttering my home?

Maybe, but not today. Today the sun is actually shining and I have a different job to do.

dead cedar

I think we can safely pronounce this spindly cedar dead. It’s time to remove it and, thanks to a sneaky visit to Rhodo Dave and Jan yesterday, I have his pruning saw, so it’s time to get the job done. God knows when we’ll see the sun again, so it’s the great outdoors for me today.

From → Blog

One Comment
  1. krysross permalink

    Get it. Finally unpacking the books. I started with fiction (excluding mysteries) and have been putting them in alpha order by author. It’s clear there will not be enough shelves for all the books. My plan is to ‘cull to fit’ at a certain point. So far I’ve managed to toss (gasp) three books. And there’s a shelf of fat photo albums. Think about saddling James with all of it if Covid gets us. Used to be able to drop books at the LCBO and they’d sell them off for $1 or $2 to support United Way. Missed my chance.

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