How do you handle losing something of sentimental value?
This is a question I’m thinking about more and more as we gradually downsize our life in preparation for the trip.
I bought a ring in 2001 from a street vendor in New York. It was October, everyone was still in shock from the terrorist attacks, and I had just completed a year of personal upheaval and a cross-country move. So many things were going through my head at that time, and the previous year had been both more fantastic and more heartbreaking than I could have ever imagined.
The ring wasn’t expensive, but I loved it and wore it often. It reminded me of being scared to death but doing big things anyway.
Last week I lost the ring while out to dinner with a friend. I didn’t even notice it was gone until the end of the evening, and by then it was too late to retrace steps.
At first I was really upset because of all the things that ring represented and how much courage it gave me when I was scared or unsure of myself.
And then I had a moment of clarity.
The ring didn’t give me courage. The ring symbolized all those experiences and emotions, but it didn’t contain them. Sure, it is nice to have a visual reminder, but without one does it mean those experiences don’t exist? Or that I will forget all the lessons I learned?
Have I been giving the power of those emotions and experiences away to material things?
I’ve been thinking about this more and more over the last few days in relation to our downsizing project. There are some sentimental things I’ll be keeping, but do I really need the Eiffel Tower statue from my honeymoon? I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to remember that trip.
What is really of value to me and what is false value?
Value = the experience of travel. False value = receipts and tickets from travel. (why have I been keeping these?)
Value = a love of reading/learning. False value = books I will never re-read. (why haven’t I shared them with others?)
Value = Clothes that fit me and my lifestyle. False value = high heels and suits from my old corporate life. (will I ever forget what big business taught me?)
What do you hold valuable in your life? Is there anything of false value?