I like things neat and tidy. And while my family assures me this was not true of my adolescent self, I can't remember a time when I didn't prioritize a tidy space, a clean desk, and an orderly inbox. When I left my job earlier this year, I found it incredibly therapeutic to organize more than a decade's worth of files, mementos, and knickknacks, sorting out what to keep and what I needed to let go. I winnowed the items down to a single box of pictures and objects I couldn't bear to part with, and it has been taking up residence in my closet for the past five months.
This weekend, in a bout of belated spring cleaning and organizing, I tackled the box of keepsakes. I smiled as I sorted through the contents, among them a nearly 10 year old wedding day photo of my husband, a nearly 15 year old encouragement card sent by my mother when I was questioning my decision to move to a far-away city where I knew no one, a "sunshine file" of affirmations from colleagues and bosses through the years, and greeting cards I had picked up along the way in the hopes of always being prepared for the forgotten birthday or unexpected loss. With the benefit of distance, I was able to further refine the collection, giving some things away and throwing away others, but a few resisted such easy disposal.
My inner organizer was irked: Our house has limited storage space, and in the yogini-mama world, there is no office or a desk in which to house such things. If you haven't bothered to look at them in five months, you certainly don't need them. And finding yet another place to put them will only create the need to revisit this process at some future date.
And just like that - my decision was made: I ignored my practical side in favor of sentimentality. I want to unearth this box when I least expect it and relive fond memories. I may have generated more work for myself, but I have also created an opportunity to be reminded of a time of my life that brought me great joy - perhaps sharing the memories with my daughter as she grows.
What little treasures can you file away for a rainy day? What small tokens might bring joy to your future self?
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