Is it really clutter?


All my life I have been collecting little pieces of my past, thinking that the future me would appreciate all the little special memories these things have been a part of. Perhaps it would help me remember the moments, as with time I am beginning to forget a lot of things. I think I only remember what I need to, but I don’t think I know what that is, so it’s really really selective.

My friends recall so many little events and I wonder if they were significant to them or whether I am just too forgetful overall. Anyways, I was tidying up the study because it looked like a bomb had hit it. Ever since we moved into the new house we haven’t had a chance to put some order into things, so I went through my old files to see what I had saved inside and to throw away some of the junk. I had old bills and the funny habit I have is to collect them all and then order them into monthly piles, staple them together and then sum up the totals from all the receipts, check it against my bank account balance and understand how much money I spent on CLOTHES. Clothes that are not able to fit in my cupboards anymore and everything is overflowing. I did donate about 7 bags worth of clothes last month, but that hasn’t helped one bit in terms of my cupboard space. I am really going to quit shopping for clothes…..? 🙂 maybe.

My husband unfortunately has picked up the habit of collecting things and when i try and throw away the papers for the hotel bills, he looks at me and shouts “No way! Those are memories!”. You would swear we both scared of becoming senile. 🙂 So its maps, little cards / tickets for events, receipts from restaurants and hotels. You name it…

I began by throwing out my bank statements and the receipts, the amount I managed to throw out was only from two folders and it amounted to one full plastic bag. I then moved on to the next bag filled with goods, what was inside do you think?

Well it seems that this bag was packed in South Africa, probably in year 2002. It had all my German School Yearbooks; inside these I had circled people I liked, and cut out some faces and all sorts… strange kid!

Then there were 3 plastic folders:

1. One of the plastic folders had all my English short story assignments, which I obviously treasured. As you can read, I love writing. There was even a description exercise in there I had to do it on a boy in my English class Ben-G. By the way some of the pieces still reflect the way I write today, so I probably haven’t changed much.

2. There was a folder with a couple of my design works for school, amusing and colourful.

3. A plastic folder with 1 poem, 2 letters and 1 printed photograph. Now these really did hit some heart strings.
The poem was from a friend of my grandmother’s. He was a writer and had written it for me when I was a kid. Sadly he has passed away now.
The first letter was from my mother, she wrote it to me one night after we had a big argument and had left in not such good terms. The letter was sweet and genuine and she had mentioned how proud she was of me on my graduation, which had a lot of drama surrounding it. It was really dear and I am keeping it to this day. Sometimes you really do learn a few valuable things from your parents.
The second letter was from my grandmother, written by her best friend. Again sadly they both left us in 2002. The letter was written in 1999, it was again full of genuine love, caring and lessons. She had mentioned how poorly she was getting and how she didn’t know how much longer she would live. How she wanted me to move back and live with her and study in Europe. The letter ended with a few words from her best friend, which still mean soooo much. I can’t say that it didn’t stir up a lot of emotion in me and thinking about it still does. It made me feel closer to her so many years later. When you are a child reading things, you don’t absorb as much, so I am glad I kept it to remind myself of the importance of family and love.
The photograph was printed by a friend of my dads who found a picture of my granddad when he was in the opera and had been performing. My granddad has sadly passed away, he passed away in 2003.

So memories are important, unfortunately some are sad and fortunately the others are happy. We remember things because they mean something to us, they are special and because they form who we are.

We appreciate life that much more and value it. What has all of this taught me? Well that life is short, its fragile, it can be wonderful and mysterious, but most of all I love my family. Bless you all.

What treasures do you collect and what have you found? Did it make you reassess the past?

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