It is amazing how attached we get to stuff. It seems the longer we hold onto things the harder it is to get rid of. I don't know if it is the fact that if we do get rid of old things that we are in a sense invalidating that person we once were who felt we needed to hold onto it? Okay my use of "we" probably makes me sound a little crazy but after watching shows like "Clean House" and "Hoarders" I realize that I wasn't the only one who holds onto "stuff".
The past few days I have been doing much more purging and keeping in the back of my mind the idea of "less is more". And it really is. I have thousands of music files on my computer but I value much more my humble (in comparison) vinyl record collection. When I have too much it is much harder to enjoy.
This week was probably the biggest step in reducing my stuff, I got rid of my letterman jacket. I have been obsessing over this for years. I would tell myself, "It's an old jacket from high school and since you are in your 30s now there is absolutely no reason for you to wear it so why keep it."
Well here is my answer. In my 10th grade year of high school I joined the track team. I really wasn't that good at the time but my legs got really strong from doing my paper route every morning and I really started to enjoy running so I figured why not. I went from 10th grade where I had the nick name Thumper because my form was so bad you could hear me coming to my 12th grade year where I ran hurdles and earned the coaches award. I was proud of that time of my life because I had a goal to get better and I didn't quit. The lessons I learned from that has carried over to my adult life. So when I looked at that jacket to me it represented that time of my life. The idea of getting rid of that felt like I would lose the memories with it.
The thing is is that I don't need that jacket to remember those times. I don't need to hold onto a jacket that I once wore with pride at Clovis High. Those memories will live with me for many years to come even without it.
I didn't completely get rid of it. I kept the letter. Someday soon I am going to make a display with my coaches award and the letter. Do I need to keep those too, no, but it will be fun to display and if anyone asks about it I can tell the stories of that special time in my life... about a time when I had a goal and I accomplished it.