Tuesday, July 6, 2010

You Can't Get Rid of That!

The other night, I was looking at some old photos with my neighbor. He showed me a bunch of photos of himself as a child, and several of his mother. I got out an old album and shared some photos too, then my husband dug through a drawer and produced a stack himself. But when we mentioned something about my friend's wife having any photos, she told me something very sad. She had no photos whatsoever of herself as a baby, child, or growing up. She had no photos of her parents as young people. She had nothing. This occurred from a series of events I won't get in to, but I thought it was very sad.

Then, a day or so later I was chatting with a coworker who was talking about a fire they had several years ago. They lost basically everything. So I was thinking to myself how terrible it would be to lose those old photos, or old trinkets that remind your of your childhood. I was thinking I'd be very sad without a few select items in my life.

Some people have elaborate collections of things. My husband seems to become more and more into collecting things. To me, his collections often look like junk, but to him everything is meticulously cataloged and he knows where to find each piece. He collects a lot of things I enjoy, like pins and glasses, but he also collects stacks and stacks of papers, programs, magazines, and other things I don't enjoy looking at. Maybe this is part of his compulsive behavior? I'm not really sure.

So fast forward to last night, when I happened to catch a television program that talked about being obsessed with material things. Not just "fond" of certain things, but truly obsessed with them. Of course I was very interested, and had to watch!!

It's human nature for people to form intimate bonds with other people. But some people find it very hard to do that, and they somehow attach themselves to "things". The less they are able to connect with other people, the more they connect with things. Some people associate items with memories or feelings. If they've lost a person who was dear to them, they often obsess over items that they may associate with that person. For some people, like the poor bloak last night, the clutter eventually takes over their lives.

I guess collecting "stuff" is like anything else. Fun and healthy to a point, but not so great in excess.

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