We left off yesterday, perhaps feeling a little melancholy after listening to my playlist of sad songs. I was looking forward to something a little more upbeat today, but had not expected it to be such a difficult topic.
My Most Prized Possessions
I’m not a stuff person. Too many “things” stresses me out. I’m a relentless purger and in constant search of easier and better ways to accomplish tasks in my daily life with less stuff. I’m trying to craft a certain kind of childhood for my kids that focuses less on having things and more on experiences, with varying degrees of success. The stuff still creeps in, one birthday party goody bag at a time, one Saturday spent thrift store shopping, birthday parties, holidays, and that damn dollar section at Target when the kids have some money burning a hole in their pockets. It is difficult to strike a balance when we live in a time and place where we wont for nothing.
My most obvious prized possession would be my family. They are not replaceable. But what do I actually OWN that would devastate me if I lost it?
I thought about it for a long time and eventually came up with a couple of things.
But even these things are replaceable. If I broke another spoon or wasn’t able to rescue my dutch oven from my burning house, I would always remember them.
I eventually decided on something I truly could never replace if something were to happen to our house: my photographs.
Digital photography didn’t become popular until I was in my 20s, so every photo I took prior to then was done with a film camera. I would feel an overwhelming sadness if I were not able to hold those pictures in my hands and lose myself in the memories they hold. Photographs are one of the few tangible connections I have with my childhood and my ancestors. Albums of black and white photos circulate throughout the family, a new story emerging every time we look through them. My kids’ entire lives are documented in digital format. In their old age, they will have access to thousands of photographs taken in their lifetime, telling the whole story, perfectly preserved in cyberspace.
I know I won’t be taking any of these things with me when I die (except maybe the dutch oven, because it was heaven sent in the first place), but I’m so thankful to have them with me here on earth to cherish and enjoy.
Tomorrow’s topic: Things to Do Before Dying