As I wrote in my last post I am going through this process of reaching the goal of owning less than 100 items. In order to do this I am going through every single thing I own one by one and deciding if it is essential to my life. Does it make the cut?
Over the years I’ve hung on to things that pertain to events and people from my life. Because of this boxes of dead weight have been tucked away in the attic for years without a thought. But when I open them and start to go through the stuff that is in them a strange feeling washes over me. That feeling is nostalgia.
The word nostalgia comes from combing the Greek words for “homecoming” and “pain.” And it was used to describe a medical condition of soldiers in the late 1600′s through World War Two. Now we do not think of it as a disease or medical condition. These days it is more of an emotion and it has more of a positive vibe to it in today’s culture.
But I believe that it is indeed a disease in the way that it is something you don’t want.
At it’s core nostalgia is a longing or desire for the past. I’ve hung onto items such as ticket stubs from past concerts because of the memories associated with them. (And in the case of ticket stubs there is the proof that I was there.) Holding the Lollapalooza ticket stub brings back all the memories from the concert. But do I need a ticket stub to do that?
Thinking Long Term
I have decided to let go of all my ticket stubs even though they are attached to some great memories. I am doing this because I know that realistically what would happen if I keep them is that they would go back in the box and spend decades tucked away in the dark corners of wherever I call home. Then one day after I am gone someone else will be going through my stuff and will unceremoniously throw them away.
Now I can take a moment or two and dwell in the nostalgia of the stub before letting it go. I can even take the time to write down my thoughts and memories from the event to truly archive the moment in time. Because memories are all we really are.
Part of reducing the amount of material items I own is about living in this moment. This one right here. Not in the past and not in the future but increasing my awareness of where I am right now.
Nostalgia is living in the past. A place I can never return to so desiring to is a complete waste of time.
Wasting time is wasting life.