From What I Gave Away to What I Choose to Keep

Inevitably, when you choose to examine things you gave away, you end up with a pile of stuff worth keeping. And so I find myself here amidst a stack of favourite books,  my great-grandmother’s wedding ring (and to think I never knew that, she too, was a second-wife), a scribbled quote. It might be said that this blog is an online “gratitude journal”, a list of things I’m grateful for. That’s a fair characterization, but over the years, every time I’ve tried to “make a list of things I’m grateful for” my imagination runs cold.  Somehow I find myself writing “sunny days”, “blue skies” and “my cat’s personality” over and over. For me, hearing Ryan Bingham (“Up in the Air”) talk about filling a backpack with only his most valued possessions was more to the point. What do I value? If I knew for sure that my house would burn to the ground tomorrow, what would I stuff in my backpack? What mental habits would I keep? What did people say to me that I never want to forget? What song can’t I live without? Stuff like that.  That’s what interests me. My children are on the brink of high school. In a few years, they may be flying out of this over-stuffed nest of ours and leaving my husband and I behind, so the question of ‘what would I keep’ is very much in my mind these days. I am not the kind of girl who will leave all the packing to the last minute. So, what do you say? What would you keep?

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