September 18, 2015 § Leave a comment
Hello, I haven’t written a blog post in over a year and half. This will be my first post as a married woman 🙂
I had a prompting to start posting again a few months ago and today I decided to actually do it.
Today, my husband Duncan and I went to the flea market at the Rose Bowl. It was so unbearably hot I couldn’t concentrate on what I was looking at. Everything became one big blur of stuff! I don’t think I can describe to you how much I used to love flea markets. To me, they were like entering into a great big closet of the past where you could sift through all the old treasures of yesteryear. If you know me well, you will know how much I love old things. Everything old to me seems more romantic, simple, better designed, and more interesting. I can’t begin to describe how much random stuff I used to have ex. old doll shoe (single shoe, not even a pair), multiple watch fobs (I still don’t know what they are)…Anyway, back to today…
I had a surprising thought/s today while I was looking at all the vintage/antiques. It’s surprising because I never thought of them before.
- Treasures can be found again
- Perhaps not everything is that special/one of a kind
1. Treasures can be found again:
I was a hoarder. The idea that “I will never find this again!” was a big part of why I kept things. I was afraid that if I let something go, I would regret it and never be able to get it back. So a brief back story of my past few months… We (my husband and I) came back from missions 5 months ago. After 6 months of being in Australia with only a fraction of my stuff I realized how good it felt to not have so much stuff and to also not have so many of my “treasures” with me (because I didn’t think it was practical to bring really valuable things to missions). Anyway, I came back from Australia wanting to live simply and ready to finally face my things, sort through them, and get rid of what I didn’t need. But the process was quite long and I did it in waves. I would go through one box and get rid of a few things but I knew in my heart that I hadn’t really gotten rid of everything I should have gotten rid of… There were always a few things that I didn’t want to make the decision about at that moment so I would think up some reason why I might need it in the future and use that to justify postponing my final decision. Anyway, then I read Marie Kondo’s book on tidying and it helped me so much! I think it was one of my biggest break throughs up to now. Back to the point, I realized today that for me it was hard to get rid of stuff because I thought I would lose the memory that was connected to that item and to me that seemed really terrible. I felt like that something special would be forgotten. But I was holding on to the past so I had little room for improvement. I don’t mean you should get rid of everything old so you can get all new stuff but for me it was so freeing to get rid of old stuff because I was able to ask myself, “what do I need NOW?” “what do I use NOW?” “what do I like NOW?” which was really hard to ask before because it meant getting rid of a lot of sentimental things. But after working through this process of getting rid of stuff, it’s been really fun to ask myself what I like now as opposed to trying to put all these items from different times in my life together, trying really hard for them to match or look cohesive. And when I’m having a hard time letting go I sometimes remind myself that if for some reason all of my things were burned up, there would only be a small handful of things I would really miss. And that helps me to have a more reasonable perspective on my sentimental things and though it may be hard/expensive, I could rebuild a home with stuff in it again if everything was to be burned it.
2. Perhaps not everything is that special/one of a kind
When I was walking around the flea market, I was kind of overwhelmed by the amount of antiques/vintage. Then I started realizing that a lot of the antiques/vintage I have at home that I’m having a hard time parting with are just about the same (in rarity) as these things at the flea market. I started thinking that maybe my stuff wasn’t as one of a kind as I thought. It was freeing and I felt relieved… I think I was holding on to a lot things because I thought it would be silly to get rid of such a nice/special ____ but in reality there is a sea of interesting vintage/antiques/things and so it’s okay. There will always be something else.
Last thing I wanted to share: I volunteer at a senior home and I was listening to a conversation two Chinese oldies were having. An old lady who had just moved from Beijing to the US was saying how she would like to go back to her house in China every few months. The old man asked her if it was because she wanted to see family, friends, or neighbors but the woman said no. All her family was here in the US, her friends were too senile and she wasn’t that close to her neighbors. She just wanted to go back and see how her house was doing. And the old man said, “Why do you need to do that? Aren’t things suppose to service us and not us service things?” I’ve been thinking about this idea recently. I don’t know when it started, but some time in my life I started to give inanimate objects life/feelings which really confused me as I got older because I didn’t know what was appropriate care/ time spent on items. I think you know that I’m not saying that we should just throw things around and misuse things but if something that is not living is sucking up your time/thoughts/emotions then something needs to change. For example, I used to have so much stuff that I felt like I was always organizing/putting things away/re-organizing and it took so much of my time! But now, I just don’t have very much stuff so cleaning and taking care of things is so much faster! Another example is my clothing. I used to have so much clothing that I would forget to hand wash or dry clean the delicate ones, wash out a stain on a blouse, etc but now bc I have less stuff, I have less to keep track of. So it’s easier to remember to wash out the stain or drop off my nice dress at the dry cleaners because I only have 1-2 nice dresses. Or in the past, I could get away with not doing laundry for upwards of 2 weeks because I had enough clothes (only when I ran out of underwear did I do my laundry) but now, I run out of shirts or clothes to wear, which is weird but such a nice feeling! It feels good to utilize what I have. P.S And it’s so much easier to get dressed because I don’t have as many options and I like all my options (plus they all match because of the color book I read, Color Me Beautiful, Carole Jackson).
I don’t know if anyone reads my blog anymore but it’s really nice to be able to write things out.