Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Letting Go of Things... But Keeping the Memories

So, I'm a rather avid watcher of the Style Network show, Clean House. This comes, I think, from a morbid fascination with hoarders. You know, those people who save things that most of us think are useless or worthless. Even the things that are useful are often more cheaply purchased again. So, now you're wondering what the intrigue is about hoarders. Well, I have to say Mimi is a bit of a hoarder. Not saves-bits-of-old-food-and-newspapers hoarding, more like saves-furniture-that-is-unneeded-and-every-book-ever-purchased.

So, at times, Mimi's House has had a Clean House "before" feel to it. Not always, but occasionally. So, these shows are a bit inspirational. One of the very interesting things that comes out in every episode is that often people are saving things that they admit they never use and WILL never use, but they have an "emotional" attachment to them. Last night was the episode of woman whose daughter called in Clean House. Her place was frightening in the level of disorganization and clutter. But more striking was the fact that everything her husband held dear was still in the house... 10 years after his death. Like most of the families, she felt like getting rid of the things, the physical manifestations of his life was getting rid of HIM and her memories of him.

I've been facing my own, getting-rid-of-memories dilemma lately. When we moved, we brought all of the Bean clothes with us. Yep, we brought baby clothes with us. We weren't sure what needs we might have and maybe 3ammoBean. I've been really hesitant to get rid of ANY of the clothes. I had large bins full of baby clothes that I don't really need. But, I told myself, if we had another baby we couldn't buy high-quality clothes like these. Sorry Jordan, but your things fall short when it comes to value for money. Nice things cost a premium and there's no Carter's outlet here. So, I've been hoarding baby clothes.

Well, the Egyptian guard at our church just had a baby girl, 8 years after his youngest of two boys. As they live in a one-room home, I guessed they likely had stored very little and definitely can afford very little. So, last night, I went through the baby Bean clothes to see what we have. As I opened that box, I was a bit teary-eyed remembering how cute each of the outfits looked first on ButterBean and then on JujuBean. Each item clothing has a fond memory of one, or both, of my Beanie babies. But, I had to embrace the wisdom that Clean House is so good at imparting - getting rid of the stuff doesn't mean getting rid of the memories.

So today at the Bean household, we're fully intact with memories, but significantly lighter on stuff. And, while I felt a twinge (yeah a really big one) while letting go, once the band-aid was ripped off, it felt immeasurably better...

Happy memories!


At 11:40 PM , Anonymous kinzi said...

Great post! I love that this little Masri baby girl will benefit from the Bean Baby wardrobe. I think it will be her mommy who loves it most of all. Especially after two boys!

I am so glad I got the privilege of seeing some of those cute outfits yesterday, ooooo-aaaaah!

At 12:29 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my single years, I dated a man - a successful doctor for that matter - who was a hoarder. But I didn't know it until a couple of months after we started dating when he invited me to his house.

Absolutely amazing: he saved everything on earth. He was considerably older than me and had medical journals (probably from the time he started med school) lining the walls. The house was like a giant maze to access anything. Oddly, though, the house was also incredibly clean - there wasn't even dust built up; just clutter.

Obviously it was quite a turn off. But I've thought about him often over the years - he was simply the nicest guy ever. Who could have guessed what lay behind his front door?

At 6:34 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

I am a bit like that - with books. There is something about books! I can't borrow a book - if I want to read one, I buy it and I very rarely lend them out as well (fear of them not coming back!!) - so when we moved to Jordan, I had to go through 3 years of books and be honest with myself - was I ever going to read this one or that one again. Heartbreaking experience. The rest I sent to my parents place where I have 20 years of books - wonderful :) - so quite a few! I suspect my mother to give some away now and again!

At 1:08 PM , Blogger abu 'n um tulip said...

Great post! Um Tulip

At 11:24 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

I did the same thing when we moved here 'just in case'. I finally, after six years of holding the things, started to let them go. It was very hard but I knew there were so many families here in Jordan who could use those lovely things instead of them collecting dust in our closets. We kept a few things to remember the good old days and the rest left. Now I suppose I should part with the maternity clothes as well!!

At 4:52 AM , Blogger MommaBean said...

Um Tulip, thanks. Nicole, I'm with you on both things. I've kept maternity clothes more because I never go into that part of the closet... Teehee.


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