Friday, June 26, 2009

Precious Possessions

I try to read an inspirational book every night before I go to bed. Currently I'm reading Alexandra Stoddard's "Time Alive, Celebrate Your Life Everyday." It is perfect reading for night because each chapter is a short essay reflecting on living a balanced, happy life. So even if I am tired I can manage to read a few pages and gain her wisdom/perspective. She is also the author of "Choosing Happiness," another gem.

In her chapter about our homes, Alexandra writes about some of her most sacred possessions. She lists her love letters, photographs of friends and family, gifts/objects from friends and family, scrapbooks, journals, unpublished manuscripts, her collection of well-read books and a gold pin that belonged to her best friend who died at age 44.

After I read this I decided to consider what my most sacred possessions are:

- photos/videos of family
- all art and schoolwork from when the boys were young
- gifts and cards my boys gave me
- craft projects the boys made that I display all over the house
- my decorative birdhouse collection
- old journals
- all my knitting books and patterns
- my mom's blue antique hobnail cup
- my vintage sampler collection

None of these things has any great monetary value but they are priceless to me. As I de-clutter out from years of accumulated "junk" in my home, I want to focus on all that is meaningful to me. Whether we remain living in this home or move elsewhere, I want to bring more of what is sacred into my life. As soon as I am able to have some free time to myself I will make it a priority to organize my photos into albums and put the boys' artwork and special school papers from when they were younger into scrapbooks. I will frame more of their artwork and put it on the walls; I will put the photo albums out where they can be looked at regularly.

I still have a lot on my plate right now to complete with the home (and then tackle the weeding/gardening outside). But I'll keep this goal in the back of my mind as incentive to keep plugging away with the hard part of the housework. It will be joyful to get to a point in my life where I can surround myself with what is most precious to me after having gotten rid of the stifling, less important stuff! I have read that to move forward, we need to sometimes get rid of all the clutter/stuff that is weighing us down. That getting rid of old items frees the space to let wonderful, new things in. What a posivie and hopeful concept!

Today I am grateful:

1. For the new day.
2. For the perspective I gain from others.
3. That we are all adjusting to my working and the boys are handling thisngs well with their summer schedules.
4. That we are healthy, knock on wood.
5. For my sacred possessions.


  1. It is a good exercise to narrow things down to the barest essentials. Someone recently asked me what I would grab from the house if it were about to burn down, assuming that the dog were OK. I actually narrowed it down to one photograph of the two of us and a painting we bought together at a particularly happy point in our lives. (Oh, and my back-up hard drive, but that is rather more prosaic!)
    I can't say I would be happy to see the rest go up in flames, but I could be at peace that I had the most important things with me.
    Sacred is a good word for it, I think.

  2. I think that I need to get those scrapbooks and photo albums put together and organized and then maybe put in one place (with the negatives stored in my storage shed). Because when it comes right down to it that is what I would really only want from the house - the mementos/photos of the past. The rest is all replaceable stuff.

    Thanks for helping me pare my list of sacred possessions down even more!