Monday, July 20, 2009

TO WRITE: Things Worth Saving
Why do we all get attached to particular physical objects? Whether it's an expensive car or a smooth stone in your pocket, nearly all of us feel a connection with certain items. Some of us even have trouble not "glomming on" to everything that comes our way.

With firestorm season beginning in California (not to mention the ever present threat of an earthquake in these parts), I wonder just what I'd save from my home if only given a couple of minutes. And how would that list expand if I had more warning?

After playing that mental exercise, I wonder how those priorities affect the way I look at my possessions in general. For example, why is it so hard to be ruthless when cleaning out a closet or drawer of old things that I don't use or care about, but which might be useful "someday"?

Play with this. . .
Writing quickly, jot down the items you'd save if you only had a few moments to get out of your home. (Assume that all people and pets are already safe.) Then enlarge your list to what you'd take if you had a couple of hours to pack. Next, write continuously for 10 minutes about what these lists tell you about how you live day-to-day and what you might like to adjust... Could properly backing up your computer leave you calmer? If you really treasure those old family photos, would you enjoy framing and hanging a few? If you discover that a certain book of poetry is very dear to you, do you want to make it a habit to read a page before bed each night?

I realized that I could give old t-shirts I haven't worn for years to Goodwill and that I'd love the empty space they left on the shelf. I also discovered that some of the meaningful greeting cards I've received and saved over the years would look great on my bulletin board and remind me of their kind words. Some things really are worth saving.

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