Day 4: Buried in Memories

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My day 2 excitement of making money off of the books I had been hoarding for all of these years that I decided to clear off more helves on my tall bookshelf. With the release of each book came a relief that I no longer *needed* those books. Sure, I still have more books, but I plan on sifting through those and releasing them into the hands of the bookseller as I continue down this road.

I wish I could say books were the only thing weighing me down, as I know there are other things in my home and my life that would be more beneficial to just part ways. I know it will not be easy as I go through some areas of my home, but as long as I have the fresh memory of letting these books go, letting go should be that much easier.

How many of you have sat and watched shows like Hoarders (, Clean House (, or How Clean is Your House ( How many of you cringed at the thought of possibly having someone come into your home and publicly critique your housekeeping habits and collections? How many of you have started to clear out a corner of clutter in your home after watching an episode?

At times the hosts seem callous and uncaring as they shuffle through the clutter and try to make deals to makeover their home. And at others, your heart just cries out for those who have become so blindly attached to things that make no sense to us.
I will admit that I have feared having someone call and have them come into my home and drag me through the humiliation of baring my entire life for millions of viewers. And, there have been a few times where I’ve considered calling them to help a family member or friend. It’s too easy for us to judge without truly knowing.

Some people hold on to memories. Others hold on for the sake of holding on. Some it is compulsive behavior. Others it is giving up.

The one thing that eludes without intervention or realization is that there is freedom when releasing those items from our lives. And there are those whose lives could be saved by that release.

From those that I know, some fear losing a connection to someone they have loved and lost. I was watching a movie where a woman had collected odd items from a man whom she admired. They were things like a piece of gauze snipped from a bandage, a pencil he had used, or a napkin he had disposed. Once she realized why she was holding on to what she called “silliness”, she felt a sense of relief and the ability to move on.

But, when it comes to a parent, a spouse, or a child, how do we maintain that memory without burying ourselves in things that just collect dust and space. I believe in keeping things that bring us happy and joyous memories, but I also believe they need to be of some value in our lives, too. There are things that just become faded memories that lose their zest and luster. Our refrigerator doors would never see light of day if we held on tightly to every piece of our children’s lives. A shoebox can only hold so many love letters. A bookshelf can hold only so many knick knacks.

One of the things I’ve come to love is the use of shadow boxes that bring together small pieces of a loved one’s life together neatly in one spot on display. They could hold a love letter set on a one shelf next to a wedding photo, with valuable pieces of those memories surrounding that loved one’s life. We don’t have to let go of everything about someone we love who has long passed. We can keep things that bring back the warmth and love of that loved one. We just should never bury ourselves with everything possible, as it disallows us to allow new memories into our lives.

Love is a treasure we keep in our heart and is a memory that lasts forever.