I was in the second grade. My father was old fashioned and didn't think his girls should have short hair. However, after much pleading and begging, I convinced him to let me cut my hair like Twiggy, a very popular fashion model who had extremely short hair. The result was a very stylish hairstyle and a long, braided piece of thick, healthy hair that traveled with me from childhood to adulthood. After my failed attempt to donate my hair, I learned that old hair was acceptable to Locks of Love, as long as it met all the requirements.
So I ventured to the attic, looking for a box of childhood memories which I knew held that braid from that long ago haircut. But I couldn't locate that box. I looked in box after box, thinking that I had finally found what I was looking for. I never did find it and I woke many nights wracking my brain trying to think of what could have become of all my childhood possessions. I felt ill over the loss. Then one day it occurred to me: if I hadn't even thought about that box for years, how important was it to me? My conclusion was: not at all.
I'm not a very sentimental person when it comes to things. Memories are wonderful to have but I've always been one to discard all but the most special items. Of course, I do have baby books for both my children. I've saved all of their report cards and lots of artwork. I have one baby outfit for each of them. And lots and lots of photos. I save these things because I think it should be their decision as to what to do with them when they have a few years of life experience under their belts. Personally, I like to keep most of my memories in my head.
This past week I spent cleaning out our condo in Tampa. My husband has retired and we no longer need the place so I am preparing it to lease. Things I had moved from our house to the condo almost 10 years ago ended up going to charity. Several items I had saved because I thought I (or another family member) had sentimental attachment got donated. As my vehicle had limited space for bringing things back to Virginia, I considered the true value of each object. Almost all had no value to us but potential value for someone else. I made several trips to a local thrift store, unloading item after item. It was freeing as I realized much of what I felt was sentiment was really guilt. Guilt because someone had made or bought something for us.
Returning home, I now know I need to do another purge of my house. So many things I hold onto really have no value to us yet take up space and energy. As soon as I have time, I'm going to begin a room-by-room purge, where I consider the significance of each item in each room of my house.