Last week, a friend called to see if the kids and I could come up and swim in the pond at their camp.
We recently moved. Looking at the piles of stuff around my house, I told her, “I just can’t. Too much to do.”
My memories, as they periodically do, began to consume my life. Let’s talk about Minimalism and Memories at Home.
Keep Memories or Make Memories
Many of the piles were old letters and journals. Some of them detailed the good times I’d had with my friend’s kids when we were all small.
As I plowed through, it occurred to me that if it weren’t for all this nostalgia, I could be out creating new memories at home with three generations of friends.
I had a choice to make: keep all the sentimental souvenirs to have to be sorted through again and again, or give some up to make more time for the people in my life.
Maintaining Relationships, Not Memorabilia
I’m extremely fortunate to still be friends with people that I’ve known my whole life.
Some of them are even the children of people my parents knew when they were young.
Now the third generation is playing together.
Old letters and journals are just distractions–I have a far more valuable reminder of times past. People!
People always matter more, and when things are coming between me and people, it’s time to reconsider the things.
And so, two days ago, I threw away almost all of my old journals. I felt lighter.
I discarded much of my old writing because the time I could spend reading, editing or digitizing it would be better spent creating new work.
Soon, very soon, I will go through my giant tote of letters and keep only the very best from each pen pal, those with substance and meaning.
The thank you notes and birthday cards can go, for the most part.
The memories at home are inside of me, the writing was just practice for other writing.
I have to choose what I’m going to make time for, and I want to choose people and the future.
I want my memories at home to be living and growing ones, not dead ones kept locked in the basement in a Rubbermaid tote.