Person, Place, or Thing

While recently visiting my parents, I spent an afternoon helping my mom rearrange and clean out their den. She and my dad had purchased two new recliners and wanted to make this space a little cozier and less cluttered. My mom is the queen of knick-knacks and definitely has difficulty throwing anything away. My dad also tends to hang on to certain items…just in case he might need them. I may take after them just a little bit…

After our work was finished, some unused/no longer needed objects were gone. The room felt very inviting and everyone was happy. Our little project caused me to think about my own view of things. My husband has often accused me of being too sentimental toward certain possessions. Shhh…don’t tell him, but he may be right.

What is it about those things? Items you just can’t get rid of. Things like gifts, cards/artwork from your children, concert programs. You get the idea. Yes, when you received them, they touched your heart. A memory was planted in your brain forever tying that one thing to a specific person or place.

Here is my question. If you no longer have the object, is your memory any less significant? In times past, I would have argued that logic. Surely if I give away something given to me, I might run the risk of forgetting someone or someplace important. Even as I type the words, that logic sounds a little silly.

As I’m getting older, the thought of simplifying my life becomes more appealing. Perhaps I could be persuaded to change my thinking concerning getting rid of some possessions. Of course, some would automatically be excluded. The serving plate and bowl my mom gave me. The Hummel’s and candy dish which belonged to Gart’s grandmothers. Unusual items, not easily replaced.

What happens if I choose not to keep every single thing ever given to me by another person? Does that make me a bad person? Does it mean the person or place represented is no longer important? Of course not!

I’m beginning to understand that it’s always the person or place, not the thing, that I am actually holding onto. The impact someone had on my life. How being in a specific place changed my perspective and possibly my direction.

Keeping material momentos has no bearing on any personal relationship gained or influence bestowed. Truthfully, these three words should always be listed in the following order of importance:

  • Person
  • Place
  • Thing

That being said…when it’s time to pack up this house in which we’ve lived fifteen years and raised three children, getting rid of certain things will most assuredly be difficult. Nonetheless, I’m determined to simplify life and stop hanging on to the unnecessary. I’m quite sure my husband will be relieved to hear of this recent revelation. Let’s just hope I can stick to it! 😉

“…Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”  Luke 12:15

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