May 5, 2010

Letting go.

This week is Garage Sale Week.  The week where I peer into every nook and cranny in my house and assess an item's importance to me and more importantly, its potential worth to others. 

I have written about garage sales before (my post What's Your Best Offer? includes some tips/hints for having your own garage sale) and currently, on other sites, there are some great posts to be had about garage sales and spring cleaning.  The one that has struck me most is by Tsh of Simple Mom - she wrote a post about "stewardship":
This isn't to say having stuff is bad.  It's not.  Many, many times the material things in our life truly are blessings, and in light of these things, we must be thankful.  God blesses us richly.  Heck, nine times out of ten, He blesses us beyond all we ask or imagine, with things we don't even need.  He owns the cattle on a thousand hills.

But while on Earth, we constantly need to be mindful of our status here as stewards, not as owners.  And stewardship means to manage well.

Let's manage the stuff that truly is a blessing with honor and integrity, to the glory of Him who gave it in the first place.  And the things that are no longer a blessing for us -- let's bless someone else by giving it away or selling it.

Because with spring cleaning, that's all decluttering really is -- thanking God by fully enjoying His blessings in our life, and passing on everything else so that it can bless someone else.
Now, obviously, I could not relate to the religious part, but the overall message still holds true for me.  It is hard to part with special items, though.  For example, I have an extensive collection of Franciscan Apple (some vintage, some modern) sitting in a cupboard. While I use the garlic keeper, the bowls and plates on a daily basis,  I do not use the coffee cups, saucers, salt shaker set, the butter set, the creamer/sugar set.  But I love the set and I have had fun collecting it over the years.  But is it time to let it go?  I am still deciding.  I mainly keep it because I adore the pattern and in general, enjoy china.  I still harbor hopes that I will have a proper china cabinet someday.

But Tsh's comment had me thinking.  Perhaps, someone else would actually use those items and love them as much as I do.  And therein, probably lies my answer.

However, today's title is a bit more than just about labeling my junk for sale and giddily collecting dimes and nickels for it.

It seems overnight that my babies are now children.  They walk with me everywhere now.  Like, you know - real people with actual legs.  I often see them as companions.  I kid you not, I actually missed them the other day while waiting forever at the post office.  I was bored and it would have been nice to have them around for someone to talk with. 

This fall, Arun begins pre-K and before I know it, both kids will be in school full-time.  They are on a bullet train headed for adulthood and I am still grappling with that.  The sad thing about having babies 20 months apart, is that I spent so many of those months in a haze, just trying to get by.  Life is so much easier now and I am determined to relish it while I can.

I was sifting through my Flickr account and wanted to share a few of my favorite snaps.  They are not stellar examples of photography, but they serve photography's most lofty goal - that of keeping memories.  In this age of Photoshop actions and visual artistic renderings, we forget that the act of preservation is the most important aspect of toting around a camera.

It certainly makes letting go a little easier to stomach.

This is one of my favorite pictures.  Ever.  Arun was over the frocking MOON about the "bee-bee" and was so obsessed with her, that I was afraid we would have to issue a restraining order on him.  This picture truly captures his excitement on his face about the "bee-bee"

This snap is special because it was taken while were waiting by the train tracks for a train to come by. An activity that we have spent many, many hours doing. At the time, it was just about watching trains.  Of course, we realize now that it was about us being a family and enjoying each other.

They are such best friends.  That may change someday, but in the meantime, I enjoy watching their sweet relationship.  The inside jokes that I do not understand, the simple joy they get from playing with each other and discovering their world around them.  Some of my favorite memories are the quiet moments in the car when I get to listen in on their conversations.

The look on Arun's face says it all.


Anjali said...

This is exactly what I ask myself: Would someone else like it MORE than I do. We're about to discard a bunch of things ourselves, and particularly with baby things, I try to remind myself that I'll keep the memories in my heart for the rest of my life -- but really, another baby would appreciate the toys/bathtub/clothing, etc so much more.And that giving the stuff away doesn't mean you're giving your memories with the stuff away.

Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said...

That is a GREAT question and I will be using it as I trek upwards to the closets in our four (FOUR!) bedrooms. I have let myself keep a few baby clothes from each size. There is something very tactile about holding an actual outfit and remembering how tiny they once were. But I only keep 1 outfit per size and have limited myself to one box for both of their things. once that box is filled, I have to stop. So I am careful with what I keep.

Anonymous said...

Loved this post, have been thinking about stewardship all week, I had to come on back and say thanks, for making me think, sometimes post stay with you all week long. And this was just what I needed to help me purge! So hard to do! It never makes sense but it's true.

Mamma Sarah said...

This post just made my heart melt... maybe it's the prego hormones, but very sweet.

Rozanne said...

I hope you didn't part with any of your Franciscan Apple china. I have the Franciscan Ivy pattern (all reproductions); I was thisclose to getting the Apple. Anyhoo, glad you share my love of Franciscan china. Great pix of Arun and Anjali--seeing them always makes me smile!