The more I have, the more troubled I am!
And that is after three years of simplifying my life. I still feel that I am owning too many stuff for my own good. I started digitising magazine cut outs so that they do not take up precious physical space. That helps a whole lot although it might become a time bomb in the future to tackle a glut of virtual clutter.
I gone through my books once again and at last, I am able to let go of five more books; I’m in the process of finding good homes for them.
For things which are really precious, such as souvenirs and presents gifted by my closest friends, well… these are difficult. Until I found this article by Amanda Kendle who offered me a solid reminder:
Tip No 5: Use them. Accept that they will one day break, or worn out, or stop becoming useful and that would be that.
I am both happy and troubled whenever a friend gifts travel souvenirs. I’m very happy that they thought about me even when they are overseas but I feel troubled trying to find a place to keep them. Even when I have completely used them, I will still end up keeping them for I have quite an exceptional memory for many of the memorabilia which I received.
A few months ago, I have started using the collection of fridge magnets and key chains which I received from my friends. They have currently found a home in my office (where i spent most of my time) nicely displayed. The idea is once I feel that they no longer serve their purpose, I will let them go. And I will do what Marie Kondo do: thank the item for their service and the joy that they have given me and let go of it.
The hardest thing for me is to convince myself that letting go does not mean that I do not treasure the friendship.
I think it is about how we let the gifts go when they no longer serve the purpose they meant to serve.
And this is how I let go of my most treasured present…
My most treasured present: a set of bowling gear which was gifted to me from a group of officers at the Navy whom took great care of me. I no longer bowl and don’t intend to pursue bowling. It was a big item that took up a bit too much space and a yearly hassle to maintain it and just to look at it purely so I can remember it. Yet, it was a painful process to let it go.
After what seemed like over 8 years of contemplation, I suddenly knew how to do it. I found the bowling gear a new owner, an aspiring bowler who would bowl with it instead of gathering dust like what I did with it. On the final day, I took pictures of my bowling gear and have a bowling game with the new owner while using my gear for the final time. During the game, I continue to polish the ball as I usually would, treating it with the same respect as I would.
At the end of the day, I handed my bowling gear to the new owner and reminded the owner to treat his “new” bowling gear well. I let him know the history and the value of the gear and my reasons for letting go of it.
The only thing I kept was the pair of bowling shoes which could still serve as great memory to use it if someone ever invite me for a bowling game.
I let go of my most treasured present in the best way I can to honour the gift and honour the friendship and the circumstances it was given to me.
I will continue to remember how it was given to me.
Most importantly, I will remember the mentorship and the fellowship that you have given me, even though our ships are now heading towards different directions.
I will remember it in my heart.