Why don’t I feel attached to people or things from my past? Some people hold on to little items (my view of trash) to help them remember times in their lives that they want to keep.
Made-up-but-close-to-real-example: A grandparent lovingly cares for a boy through the summer, letting him have great adventures. She gives him a wooden toy gun that he plays with for weeks on end. Fast forward about 27 years and he now has kids of his own. He won’t let them play with the toy gun because it has sentimental value to him and he doesn’t want it broken.
I totally understand his feelings toward his grandmother who may or may not be around anymore, but I feel that the point of the toy gun is to play with it, not hoard it in a closet where no one can enjoy it.
A toy gun may be obvious, but I really don’t believe anything is off limits. Coins, belt buckles, hats, guns, clothes, houses, pets… I could go on.
I wonder if my personal experiences of slight tragedy has anything to do with my opinion. A month before I was 5, my family’s house burned to the ground. We moved to new places every few years trying to stay where the cows and pastures were so my dad could continue farming. We had pets–dogs and cats, along with chickens, geese, sheep, horses, and cattle. Some we kids were close to, others not so much. But when they died, we understood the way of life necessitates those things, no matter how sad it could be. Once, our 4-H sheep shut the door on themselves and pretty much roasted on a hot June day. My sister and I had to haul them away to the dead pit the next pasture over. I was probably 11.
I wonder, though, if these events have built a wall around my emotional ties. I have a dog and we feed him, but he stays outside most of the time. I could throw out most of my things I own and I have a tough time keeping any resemblance of scrap book for the kids. Forget about taking pictures more than at important events. More importantly, I think the man-boy with the wooden toy gun is an idiot who refuses to look forward and instead reminisces about how great the past was.
Sometimes I wish I could appreciate things, pets, and items that represent relationships better, but this is how I feel. I really hope my heart isn’t as ice cold as it sounds. I roll my eyes at the petty connections people have with their special items they refuse to give up. And I LOVE history, so I feel there’s a conundrum somewhere here.
Heck, Joseph built an iron statue that won reserve grand champion at the fair with scrap iron from dad and grandpa’s farm. Lizzy fixed up an old milk stool from her grandpa’s childhood for the fair. And I appreciate those things. But more importantly, I appreciate the time we spent together preparing for the fair.
I also realize that I tend to leave memories that I cherish in the background since I don’t have anything to remind me about them. Honestly, though, I would rather have my extreme of tossing clutter and making new memories rather than hoarding things and looking to the past all the time.
Please, argue with me!