Sunday, March 29, 2015

Subtraction

When did I haul out an Alana Waterford Crystal glass last? h'mmmmmm.

I remember hearing this a very long time ago on a retreat, that life was never about addition but about subtraction: of excessive possessions, ill-serving character traits and defects, poor behaviours, resentments, anger, fear, ad infinitum and replacing them with non-material goodies like peace, serenity, service to others, kindness, etc. You catch the drift.

So a daughter of a dear friend, now passed, suggested, nay challenged, those of us willing to rid ourselves of 10 objects out of our lives for 100 days, thus divesting ourselves of a 1,000 bits of clutter in a very short space of time.

I've been doing this sporadically but today got down to business, the serious business of removal and donation to the less fortunate when appropriate.

I was in the appalling state of piling clean casserole ceramic dishes on the dining room table because there was no room for them in the cabinets due to an enormous collection of granny-china, crystal, silver casserole pieces - note the irony - crystal and silver butter and sugar containers not used since the marital home. I can't count the years back to that.

So armed with newspaper and plastic bags I started to wrap all this detritus, readying it for donation.

I did contemplate EBay, but wrapping, postage, treks of 20k to the post office had absolutely no appeal and my time is valuable.

I must take pictures of this daily subtraction, it hadn't crossed my mind in the past few weeks as I wrapped. A silver sugar bowl memory (my granny's best friend gave it to me as a wedding gift with it's own wee hanging spoon, pinkies high everyone!)raises the barest of nostalgia in me, and my slave children are no longer around to clean and polish this now ridiculous silver collection.

Tomorrow I tackle an enormous collection of candles and their holders.

And vases, have I mentioned vases?

14 comments:

  1. Wonderful! At the end of it all, you will say, "phew!, I did it!"

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  2. I have a ton of china and glasses that we never used too. Instead of getting rid of it we use them now. Juice or water in a beautiful wine glass tastes so much better and food eaten off fine china seems to taste better too. I am going to get rid of some silver items though because no one has time to polish them.

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  3. Anon:
    Ah but you forgot the dishwasher factor! Unless it goes in the dishwasher I'm not interested in keeping it :)

    XO
    WWW

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  4. I endorse the photo strategy. Get rid of all the stuff you no longer use (giving your family right of first refusal). Take photos of the items that have sentimental value and keep them in an album (online or in a book), and maybe experiment with some "artsy" perspectives and display the result on a "memory" wall.

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  5. Excellent idea Tom, I love the sound of that artsy wall!!

    XO
    WWW

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  6. I got rid of silver wedding gifts decades ago. I don't polish anything, and like you, it must go in the dishwasher or it's outta here.

    A few years ago, before I retired, I got rid of about 500 books, giving them to libraries. I have tried very hard to give away the new books as I finish reading them, but it seems harder to connect with my friends who are readers. I took two next door yesterday to a neighbor who is recuperating from a hospital stay.

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  7. I gifted casserole and oven dishes that I no longer use to a young friend who was setting up first home away from home. She was delighted and I was pleased to have more space. Tea sets and Glass ware are next to go to charity, Elly has no interest in any of them.

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  8. My husband's cousin is the only woman I know who still hauls out the fine china and crystal and the little linen doilies and napkins. It's depressing stuff.

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  9. Family and others
    here for Easter
    and the first time I will not set a perfect table :)
    On the counter, paper plates, cups and everyone
    can help themselves. Some go on deck, screen porch
    and some stay inside. Many items I think special
    was recently told by youngest daughter, I do not want them. No time to polish and
    mama what is important to you - not to me"
    guess this says a lot.
    Admire her
    but do not like it :)

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  10. DKZ
    Can you find a bookclub at all? I find it a great source of debate and connection.
    Yes, books, well I started a library so that takes care of the overflowing collection throughout my house.
    XO
    WWW

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  11. GM
    The tea sets are causing me the most heartache due to the connections with long dead aunties and granny.
    XO
    WWW

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  12. Hattie:
    I like that you say "depressing stuff" as all of this folderol was so labour intensive....endless labour.
    XO
    WWW

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  13. OWJ
    None of the younger ones want this formerly valuable heirlooms. Now there are really worthless unless you count the odd sentiment attached. I have bags and bags now ready for charity drop off and not one photo have I taken.
    Odd that.
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete

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