I am a big fan of decluttering. It’s my constant goal to declutter and simplify my life, both mental and physical. But, I have to say that keeping some momentos is important.
Awhile back I found a container with cards and letters in it. I decided to declutter it. Once I started looking at what was inside, I was amazed that I had kept what I had. Some of the cards and letters went back 30 years or more. The memories that the cards, notes, and letters brought back was priceless.
I remembered things that I hadn’t thought about in years.. Memories came back that I don’t think would have had I not kept physical items. My best male friend from high school sent me letters while he was in the Navy. No matter where I moved to, he found the address and sent me a letter. I loved reading his letters. They told me where he was mentally and physically in his journey and his words reminded me where I was at the time in my journey.
I had tons of cards and notes from my grandma. She was, and always will be, one of my favorite people in the whole world. Reading her messages made me instantly happy. She also gave me an insight into her world at the time and place she was writing. She also illustrated her character. She never forgot a birthday or anniversary and she always took the time to write a nice not, never just a quick signature.
I had letters from my younger brother when he was in the Marines. His letters were heartfelt and helped me once again understand where he was and what he was going through as well as remind me where I was at that time in my life.
I had letters from my dad that reminded me what he saw in me. Although I have memories in my mind of conversations we have had, there was something about having it in writing, especially with is distinct handwriting. It is so special to me to have his letters.
I found so many notes from my mom. She has always left me notes. She told me once that if she couldn’t be there when I got home at least she could be with me through a note. Even to this day, if I go to stay with her and she is in bed before I come in, she’ll leave a note. Or, if I get up later in the morning and she is already gone, there will be a note.
I also had letters and cards from my sisters and friends. I was just filled with love and emotion as I read through all my momentos. In a way it was like watching my life play out in a movie: each piece I picked up reminded me of a scene in my life.
I didn’t keep every note and card. I probably recycled at least half, if not more, of the container. But, I just couldn’t part with these treasures. Some day I will get out the box again and enjoy bits of my past from people I have been fortunate enough to know and love.
The last couple of years I have started a new practice to simplify and organize the letters and cards that come in. I have a big ziplock bag and label it the current year. When I receive a special note or card, I place it in there. A lot of what I receive I enjoy in the moment and then recycle it. By the end of the year, I will have a nice, manageable pile to keep for that year.
I hope the new year is treating you kindly. I also hope you are being kind to yourself and others.
Have a wonderful week!!