Time--2017 A to Z Theme

My theme for the 2018 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is "Cleaning the Clutter"--I might literally be cleaning my closets or figuratively clearing the excess from some other part of my life. I'm sure you can think of other things this could mean for you as well.

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

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Friday, April 6, 2018

Forgotten Things (#AtoZChallenge )






The more we have, the more we tend to forget what we have.  I should create a directory to my house.  But then I'd always have to remember where that directory was when I wanted to find something I was looking for...  





Forgotten Things

          This has happened to you I'm sure.  You're cleaning a closet or sifting through stuff when you find something that you had forgotten about.  Has it been there for months?  Years?  Decades?   What is it?  Forgotten treasure?   Stuff that you just set aside for later?  Now that later has come, what next?

            It's more than a matter of wants or needs.  What we need later might not always be apparent.   Sometimes serendipitous, the truly useful found item is more anomalous than something that happens on a regular basis.  More often than not we come across that which has been hidden away only to examine it briefly with bemusement as we ask ourselves why.

         "Why do I still have this thing?" is a question that has likely crossed your mind as often as it has mine.  That is, unless you are a methodical keeper or disposer who understands future value as much as what will eventually become a useless bit of saved detritus.  To some extent I admire that person.  And yet that person might be cursed by the archivist of history who hopes to run across accumulations of objects of the past.  The explorer of the past would likely rather explore attics or basements than layers of refuse in a landfill.

         My house is not a museum, a library, or some collection open to public perusal.  However, in some sense, it is--or might be someday in the same way as my mother's home seemed to be after her passing.  Family members sorted and culled through the possessions she left behind.  We found things that we'd forgotten about as well as things we never realized were there.  Strangers came into the house to buy whatever we could sell.  We had yard sales and took things to resale shops.  We kept a few things to take home to our own collections and then donated or trashed the rest of it.

           Life goes on and we collect and we forget about many of the items in that collection.  We buy things, receive things, and sometimes we find things that we had forgotten about.   Sometimes what we find is a delightful surprise while other things remind us of past disappointments and failures.  Those latter things might be worth forgetting.  There is so much to remember in most of our lives that much becomes easy to forget.  Remembering the right things might not be as easy as it would seem it should be.

            Forgotten things are just another part of life.  Sadder still is when we forget people.  Or maybe another way to look at it is that we just stop remembering.   If we don't remember those whose paths we've crossed in our lives then how can we forget them?   People are not "things" to be forgotten.  Once we've cleared the clutter of friends, family, or others who have played a role in shaping who we have become then we have little left than a houseful of forgotten things.  Things cannot console us like someone who cares about us. 

            What do you usually do with something that you find that you had forgotten that you owned?   Do you adhere to the advice of getting rid of things that you haven't used or thought about for a year or more?    Who is the last person you called or visited that you hadn't had contact with in many years?





44 comments:

  1. If I come across an item I had forgotten I usually keep it as memories to me are precious.
    I am enjoying your posts Lee. Missing the challenge immensely.

    Yvonne.

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    1. Yvonne, I consider my memories precious as well--at least the ones I can remember.

      Lee

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  2. I am a bit of a chucker outera - xplanation my mum was a hoarder and my dad too in his own way and I got to clear their hoards twice . and yes as you mentioned your mothers home it was kinda interesting and people came and rummaged thru and much laughter with remember this and never seen this before and also so sad unbearably poignantly sad to be in the position of decision making about the 'things' of another persons life . But i do keep stuff as well so i reckon I have a nice little balance going on between these tow parts of my personality. now people well thats for another day. cheers

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    1. Faerie, I know some people just like to throw out stuff left behind by another, but I see it as an opportunity to learn more about a life of someone I loved. After they were gone, I discovered things about my parents that I had never known.

      Lee

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  3. If I find something I'd forgotten, then I probably didn't need it. Although certain things do bring back memories, which is why we're keeping them.

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    1. Alex, need and want are very different criteria for keeping these and at times the line is blurred between the two.

      Lee

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  4. This is ringing so many bells, Lee! Hubby and I are both notorious for keeping stuff "just in case" we might need it again someday. The result? Our basement is a disaster! Still, it's hard to get rid of things we've had for decades. We're working on it...As for people, I renewed a friendship with my best friend from high school (also Maid of Honour at our wedding) after getting a computer for the first time in 2008. She had moved back to Italy many years ago and neither one of us was good at writing letters. Now, thanks to the internet, we talk all the time.

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    1. Debbie D, the internet has brought me into contact with a few people from my past with whom I had lost contact. It's nice to rediscover old friends--sometimes.

      Lee

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  5. Lee,

    What do you usually do with something that you find that you had forgotten that you owned? DH is really good about remembering what he's bought over the years but the thing is we can't find it. When you out grow a place and things get stuffed in a whole of heres and theres then you can't find it. Which means, you go out and buy it again knowing one day you'll find the original item.

    Do you adhere to the advice of getting rid of things that you haven't used or thought about for a year or more? I like the idea but it doesn't happen around here.

    Who is the last person you called or visited that you hadn't had contact with in many years? I don't think anyone I know falls into this category but there are many people I know who I haven't done either with in years. :(

    Thanks for hosting the A2Z fun, my friend!

    Curious as a Cathy
    A2Z Creating iPad Art Sketches ‘Fairy’

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    1. Cathy, I almost always know the whys and wherefores about stuff I've kept, but every once in a while that mystery item will pop up. I suspect that they are usually things that someone else in the household had acquired at some time in the past and now it's stored with my stuff. If it's something cool I'll keep it, otherwise it will go.

      Lee

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  6. Ahh yes, I just found..let me rephrase, my hubby found that i had forgotten I had. I love both items but because my mom became ill with dementia, I did not look through many boxes. He found a beautiful small stained glass angel done in the old style that i received years ago and wanted to hang up. I came home and there it was hanging up. My hubby also found a box with 3 hand made golden glasses that one places a tea light in. I wanted to place that on my mantle 2 years ago and now it is there. I took away something I am aok in giving away to have these 2 items. When my mom went to the long term care facility, we went through her tons of craft items. She saved tons..tons of pistachio shells. Every little craft boxes held these shells. Knowing her, she could paint them to look like rocks, turtles or a boat that she could then place into her eggs she was making. She made faberge style eggs and created her own scenes from chicken, goose, emu and ostrich eggs. It's funny...my family owned a large home-4,000 sq ft home and each move my mom made, we slowly(slowly!) got rid of stuff. Finally she only had what was in her room. The memories linger and I cherish that because my mom lost many of her memories. She forgot all the adventures she was in and she forgot her passion of creating those eggs. I would rather have nothing if I could keep my memories and not forget.

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    1. Birgit, the idea of the pistachio shells is something to ponder. I can imagine craft things that could be done with them. Maybe I should start crafting something. I've always wanted to make a collage. Something to think about while I can still think.

      Lee

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  7. I find things and usually keep them. The person from my past who came into my present came through facebook. I wrote a post on a high school Spanish class and my teacher. I had not seen or heard from him since my graduation in 1964. One of his children saw the article and he got in touch with me! I was so surprised. He is 97 and planning to make it to 100. I am sorry that I've moved so far away, that I will probably not get to see him again, but we are in touch almost daily on fb. He's amazing.
    http://findingeliza.com/

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    1. Kristin, now that is a pretty cool story. I've rediscovered a few folks on Facebook. Also, a few people from the past have contacted me through something I had written on my blog that they found through Googling whatever I had written about. I really like it when that happens.

      Lee

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  8. We moved 1 1/2 years ago and I had opportunities to discover alllll sorts of of items. Some were thrown out, others went with us. Now I regret tossing some of those items, mostly paper stuff, parts of my past.

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    1. Susan Kane, there's a lot of stuff that I've missed that either I tossed out or just disappeared somehow. But I still have a lot of stuff left so I don't think about those gone items all that much.

      Lee

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  9. It depends on what it is. Some are treasures that I am delighted to have found. Most of the time it is just junk. You are helping a lot with these posts, Arlee. I am getting inspired to clean out the junk (I mean go on a treasure hunt).

    Janet’s Smiles

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    1. Janet, hopefully I'll continue my organization project even while April is on, but keeping up with the blogging is important to me as well.
      I wish you well in your hunt.

      Lee

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  10. My grandmother tended to buy gifts whenever she found something just right for someone. She would later find the occasion to give it to them. When she passed, we found a lot of future gifts and we were fortunate that many of them had names on them. The utensils with the name Emily on them went to me. The strawberry towels went to the family member who decorated with them. It sure helped with sorting.

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    1. Emily, that's actually pretty cool that there were identifiable gifts left. Me and my sibs split a lot according to who had given it to my parents.

      Lee

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  11. Hi Lee!

    Typically when I run across something I forgot I had, I'm happy all over again ;-) I fully agree one should toss what they haven't even looked for in months or years, I just can't often bring myself to do it.
    Once, I'd packed up a tiny porcelain tea set, wondering why on earth a person had given it to me. When she passed soon after, I was scrambling to get the tea set back out of the donation pile!
    I've known folks to start giving away things in advance so as to keep things peaceful later.
    My good friend Patti and I hadn't talked in several years but when we did, it was as if only a week had gone by ;-)

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    1. Diedre, unless something is pretty ratty or unappealing, I will tend to keep it. If things are at least organized to know where to find what then the accumulation of possessions is not so bad.

      I've met up or spoken on the phone to friends from way back and had the same experience as you. There's one friend from high school who I talk with on the phone a few times each week. We usually meet up for lunch at least once a year.

      Lee

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  12. Well put. The ending made it the best post of the series thus far.

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    1. CW, thank you. Those are the kinds of words I like to hear.

      Lee

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  13. It depends on what the item is I guess. I tend to hang onto a lot of my stuff even if there's no room to display it all. I love my collections.

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    1. JoJo, I'd like to have more display space too. Til then some stays in boxes.

      Lee

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  14. I limit the amount of things I hang onto, usually a box for certain specific sentimental items like birthday cards. I try to declutter every year.

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    1. Marquessa, I have some specialized boxes for the sentimental items as well as other categories like business related stuff and things I think of as reference material.

      Lee

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  15. My brother was a hoarder...like you see on TV. After he died it was a nightmare. I understand why it happened to him and how it could happen to anyone including me. I am careful of what I keep and at least once a year sort through closets and cabinets and clean out what I don't use or need.

    People are a different. I like to hang onto them. There are a few that have slipped away that I wonder about.

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    1. Patricia, I don't think I could ever become a severe hoarder. I feel like I've been sorting through and recycling through my possessions for most of my life. There are quite a few people who I wonder about. A few times I've found someone I was looking for and reconnected. That's cool.

      Lee

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  16. I read in a magazine once that when decluttering you should take pictures of the things you've loved but are needing to let go of. You past the pictures on a paper and beneath it write why the object was important to you and who gave it to you (IF, that is, you can remember!). The you always have the memories where you can see them. The last person I hadn't been touch with forever and reconnected with was an office associate I worked with in 1978! We're emailing a lot now. And I loved your last paragraph up there. So wise!

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    1. Calensariel, That's a good idea to take the photos and make notes. In fact a photo inventory is often suggested. Seems time consuming to me though. And even now I have so many photo albums that I very rarely ever look at. But it would be good for insurance purposes I guess.

      Thank you for your encouraging comment.

      Lee

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  17. Oh the clutter. In the past year, we have been the recipient of "stuff" from my mother-in-law who moved from a 4,000 SF home to a two bedroom apartment. She had to go for safety reasons, but the only way we could get her to, was by "storing" some of beloved items in our basaement. Add that to our daughter moving home from college...and then leaving her collection behind when she moved out of state last week and we are overwhelmed with stuff! Having cleaned out said mother-in-law's house, we don't want to leave behind a mess ourselves, but right now, things are not looking good...cross your fingers for us as the first five bags of "stuff" get donated this week. Feels like there are mountains more...

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    1. Liza, my mother's house was always a catchall storage place for me and other family members. That was a lot of what we had to deal with after she died. I wish you well. In a cleanup project it seems like the piles barely dwindle at times and when progress does seem to be made in one place, new piles begin elsewhere. It's the story of life I guess.

      Lee

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  18. Hey Lee,
    I seem to realize more and more lately that people have more stuff they forgot about because I think in general, people not only have more hobbies and interest, but more disposable income to spend on those hobbies. This seems to lead to being time-challenged and not "getting back" to painting, writing, reading, baking, gardening, woodworking and such. Then it's "I can't throw it out, because "I want to get back into that......when I have the time" which usually doesn't come. Zulu https://zuludelta45.net/2018/04/07/letter-g-guantanamo-bay-when-gitmo-was-cool/

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    1. Zulu, I know between my wife and I we have a lot of stuff that we've bought and then have yet to use. Some of it is still in the bags we brought it home from the store. I can say that in my life I've blown a lot of money on things I've never used.

      Lee

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  19. I'm a total packrat, and don't easily relinquish any items! I've run around some things I forgot owning, mostly little things (like tumbled rocks with inspirational words engraved). Other things I found in the crates in storage in my ex's parents' cellar for a long time. When I'm back North, I have to get a large animal print pillow at his house, which I'd forgotten I have until being reminded of it in a picture. He's a whole lot of things, but I can at least trust he's going to keep his word and not give that pillow away.

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    1. Carrie-Anne, I'm probably closer to being a packrat rather than a full-blown hoarder. I've had things scattered among different people's houses in the past, but thankfully after 20 years in one house all things have come together.

      Lee

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  20. We we have a clean up or when we move house we often find long forgotten things

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    1. Jo-Anne, when you're least expecting it while looking in the oddest places things can get noticed in surprising ways.

      Lee

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  21. In recent years we made a pack to not buy any more DVD/Blue Ray movies and only purchase movies digitally to reduce the clutter. Last year I wanted to know what movies we owned on DVD/Blue Ray so decided to catalog them. For many, I could be heard saying "What were we thinking?" but nothing is more frustrating is when you find that you own more than one copy of a movie. I guess someone bought when we didn't know we already owned.

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    1. Maryann, we have so many movies now and I don't plan to pay for any more unless there is something I feel that I must have. When my wife retires we might be watching more movies.

      Lee

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  22. When I find something it is generally a good surprise! (or something I couldn't find when I needed it.) I saw a a friend of mine I hadn't seen in over 10 years last night.

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    1. Mike, it's usually kind of fun to catch up with an old friend not seen in a long while. Sometimes I'll just pick up the phone and call someone I hadn't talked to in a very long time.

      lee

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