Sentimental Objects

So often we hold onto material things for their sentimental value: a piece of furniture, a book, a trinket, a photograph. Looking at these physical things remind us of a person, an event we experienced, and of a time in our lives. I remember keeping the programme of the first opera I watched, and the programme for the first ballet. I have kept ticket stubs to concerts, bus tickets for rides in the various countries I have visited, printed photographs of time I have spent with loved ones, the first pair of socks my baby wore.

There was a time, however, when I had to let go of the many physical reminders I had of my past. Relocating to another country brings on a need to purge your life of things. Many tickets, postcards sent to me from friends in the past, gifts, pieces of furniture and curtains that have been passed down to me. All of these were let go. Boxes of my life were given away for others to read, to wear, to use. What I kept were some photographs, a piece of jewellery. And my memories.

My memories are light and do not take up physical space. I can carry them wherever I go. Often when I walk outside, or am busy doing household chores, I take them out and savour them. I will think of a person, or an event from my past. My brain has stored them and I can take them out at will to enjoy. I may not touch, see, and feel an object; but the clarity of my memory brings that moment back to me.

I still like to keep the bus tickets of trips taken in different countries, bus tickets which I will slip into my scrapbook when I make it up. But I no longer keep so many things as memories of eventsΒ becauseΒ I have come to learn that I do not need them to remember.

Do you keep sentimental objects to remind you of events?

Β© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

(This post was inspired by Jake’s prompt: Sentimental Value)

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41 thoughts on “Sentimental Objects

  1. I have too… many, many,…. and also in my mind too. I don’t know is it good or not… On the other hand, the objects in my home have their own stories… I think I collect these stories… I am an emotional one dear Colline. Thanks and Love, nia

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    1. I think I am like you Nia – but I had to get rid of so many things when we moved. It was heartbreaking for me and made me really sad. Now I have to rely on my memories.

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  2. I tend to keep ticket stubs too. In the past I would’ve slotted them into a photo album on an appropriate page from that particular visit or trip but now that my photo albums are kept digitally I don’t really have a place for the ticket stubs. I’ll probably through them away when I move countries again. Or maybe photograph them to keep digitally too, but it’s not quite the same is it?

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  3. I’ve become less likely to require physical mementos in the last few years; moving a lot will do that to you for sure, and it doesn’t even have to be to another country. It’s hard to lug around…just…stuff. Though I dare anyone on the planet to try and take from me the ticket to the dance my parents went to on their first date. πŸ™‚

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  4. Great post Colleen and just like you I also threw out most of the clutter. It is like you say, most of it is stored as memories, especially the best ones. I let my photos do the rest for me. πŸ™‚

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    1. Photos are the best for me – and I am now snapping away more than I used to (the liberty given by digital πŸ™‚ )
      It is lovely to see you again Sonel – we have missed you πŸ™‚

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  5. The keepsakes are just an aid to memory, Colline. The further distant I get from things, the harder it is to remember. (maybe why I’m doing my Greek series now, but I still have to confer with Michael on some points)

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  6. Beautiful Colline.
    I know what you mean…..I went through a de-cluttering phase too – I do regret giving away some of those things though – and now carry most of my past in my memories.:-)

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  7. It is wonderful to keep all sorts of things as mementoes and what will become curiosities in the future. Not possible, alas, unless one has a very permanent family home and oodles of storage space. And money.

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  8. Wow! Colline…I love your interpretation of this Sunday Post! Memories are definitely of no monetary value per se…but are priceless. Thank you so much for sharing how you had to get rid of so many ‘things’…but were able to keep all of your precious memories.:) So true for all of us to remember this.:)

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    1. I think it would upset me even more if I could not keep my memories. Thankfully my children love hearing stories of the past, so I can bring them out often πŸ™‚

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  9. I’m not much of a pack-rat, but possessions really do add up don’t they?

    I have a box of greeting cards from birthdays and other occasions given to me over the years. I really do want to toss them; not because I don’t care about the well-wishes, but because… well how many cards can one keep? Because I don’t want this box to get any bigger and I hope to one day get over feeling as though I’m just tossing away the good intentions of others, I now ask people to not give me cards.

    It saves them the exorbitant price of greeting cards and as a nice side-bonus I get a few words directly from the heart over email. I feel much less bothered by sending email to the trash bin, somehow.

    I agree with you, Colline, memories are the best, photos a close second!

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    1. The box of cards is one of the boxes I threw away. I have kept a couple, which I scrapbooked, for my wedding and the birth of my babies. The rest are great as pictures for young children to cut up and create with.

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  10. I have so many objects of sentimental value. Since I am now a single and at least contemplating semi-retirement, I am sifting through my stuff slowly. I would love to downsize again, or perhaps go for the big adventure…moving abroad. Recently I began photographing my favorite things…chairs my father made…many paintings and objets d’art…old notebooks. I don’t know what I’d do with the grand piano! Thanks for stopping by my blog.

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    1. What my mom did is she passed her sentimental objects onto family members. So even if she does not see them everyday, she still gets to see them when she visits πŸ™‚

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