As one aspect of Susannah Conway’s Unravelling e-course, we took a look at the little treasures that we surround ourselves with. I took my camera and went on a tour of my home to see what inanimate objects I have assigned meaning or “emotional value” to. It was kind of fun! I encourage you all to think about what your favorite things say about you.
The story behind the first set of photos above: these lovely vases were an engagement gift from a dear, dear friend; this piece of artwork was given to me as a thank you by a friend who somehow knows exactly what I need to hear again and again; this watch was a birthday gift from my husband 7 or 8 years ago and I wear it every day.
I was surprised that most of my treasures are all so very sentimental. There is very little that I love just because of what it is unto itself. What amazed me in putting together these pictures of my favorite things was that they say a great deal about what and who I love and what’s important to me. Treasured memories are the best and I want to be sure to appreciate them and create more of them.
This is a group of things I would grab if the house were aflame: family photo albums going back generations; my great-grandmother’s (who I am named after) rolling pin; Mr. T, my buddy who I got 25 years ago and the softest blanket on the planet (it was on my bed when I was 9 and I’ve loved it ever since). I pin a small piece of it to the inside of my daughter’s shirt every morning before she goes off to preschool so she feels she is still with me; a tablecloth and set of napkins that my grandma cross-stitched for me as wedding gift.
I used to collect a lot of things… thimbles from travels, books, candles, etc., but mostly I don’t place value on ordinary things. There isn’t anything in my closet that sparked me to want to take a photo. I enjoyed this interesting article on Brain Pickings about “bridging the practical and the sentimental in a way that bespeaks our constant see-saw between rational and intuition.”
Here are a few items I love in and of themselves (but wouldn’t grab if the house were on fire). These towels in my daughter’s bathroom are nothing special, but I just love them for some reason; I got these charms exactly one year ago on a girlfriends weekend. Every day when I look at them above the light switch to my closet, I think of the friend I made one morning there and our special, impromptu connection, and I feel so good inside; some of my paper collection – I seem to be addicted to pretty paper; my shampoo and conditioner… silly to be a favorite thing, but I have finally found a product that understands my hair and doesn’t weigh it down!
I display some of the items I value, like photos from memorable trips or of family members, or books, or pretty things.
I am so glad to have this picture of me with my 5-day-old daughter. Every day when I see it, I remember the feeling of tenderness I had then and all my hopes for the future for her; I have this picture in my bedroom near my bed because it makes me smile. It was an impromptu outburst of song on my husband’s part, right before the ketubah ceremony of our wedding began.
Surprisingly, most of my treasures are hidden away. I have boxes of cards and photos I should look through and enjoy.
A random assortment of childhood photos; this letter from an lovely elderly couple at our temple growing up who would always have mint gum on hand for the kids. The letter made me feel so good because I was probably 9 or 10 and to get a typed letter like that was really something for a kid. I have it framed; anything with my mom and dad’s handwriting on it.
My new iPhone – I really love it!; my grandmother’s pocket watch, which she wore on a chain around her neck; a beautiful wind chime; this little sign my dad gave me; the ceramic house that I painted one summer with my best friend.
A blanket my mom made with iron-on transfers from some of my childhood artwork; a gift from my best friend; a doll with handmade clothing given to me by a great aunt. It originally came in a glass case, which my young self immediately (but completely accidentally and with great regret) broke.
Susannah asked us to create a collage that represents our interests and passions right now. I took literally 10 minutes to do this, so it’s nothing profound, but I do notice that I am drawn to coziness and pretty, delicate things… and books… always books.
So what about you? Do you have a theme to your treasured possessions? What do you collect? How to you display the items you most value? Or do you tuck them away somewhere? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments… I love reading what you have to say.