Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Trusting My Keep-O-Meter

In my never-ending pursuit of an organized home and simple living, I spend a lot of time sorting through my possessions, asking over and over again this fundamental question: keep or pitch?

I tend to be a keeper. I'm fairly careful about buying only the things that I love in the first place, and I am always game for re-using or re-purposing something that I already have. So generally speaking, I like to hang on to what I've got.

But eventually this waste-not, want-not attitude catches up with the physical limitations of my house, and I have to get serious about pitching things that I don't need as I once did. Arg. It's such an emotional battle. As I consider my keep-or-pitch pile, each possession has some sort of happy memory for me, about how, why, where, when, or with whom I bought it. In the process of letting go, I have to let myself drift through all those remembrances, and then remind myself that I can still treasure those memories even if I let go of the thing to which the memories are attached. Then I quickly drop the castoff into a 'pitch' box and hurriedly move on to the next thing, never allowing myself to look back.

I have a hard time with this battle of keep or pitch.

Of course, my worst fear is that I will pitch something and later regret it. Honestly, that almost never happens. Which reassures me that my 'pitch' decisions are fairly sound.

Today, I had a happy affirmation of my 'keep' impulses. While sorting through some random garden-related stuff, I came across a twisty piece of wire. Immediately, my brain snapped back at least ten years to a rosemary topiary. I spied it in my grocery store's floral shop, in all its overpriced glory, and wanted it desperately. Took me several weeks to set aside the extra money to buy it, but eventually I brought home that heart-shaped, sweet-smelling pot of green, and it warmed my heart through several long dark winter months.

Eventually, the plant died. Sigh. Wanting to savor some aspect of this treasure, I pulled the wired heart-shaped frame out of the pot and tucked it away for safe-keeping.

As this story flashed through my mind, I simultaneously visualized the healthy pot of rosemary currently growing on my herb bench. With the old wire frame in hand, I dashed out of the garage to my backyard, and with a few quick tucks and twists, a new heart-shaped rosemary topiary was born.

Which just goes to show, sometimes it pays to trust your keep-o-meter.

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