After reading a blog yesterday of someone who owns a minimal amount of possessions, I got the urge to tackle a couple of boxes that have been looming over my mind recently: the personal history/keepsake boxes. I have almost two Rubbermaid tubs of things that I have kept since I was little--my "Special Stuff" bins. I have read of people who feel a weight lifted off of them as they learn to let go of the mementos that have been cluttering their living space and mind space.
As I was going through the children's books, toys, journals, and reminders, I thought it was less effective to save something just because I had grown up with it: "I read this book as a kid." I was something that someone else produced that I interacted with. It was just a moment in my history. Then I came to a box in which I had put my dad's dog tags and his father's dog tags. I thought that those held more weight than others things I had previously chosen to save. These tags represent a choice that my family made to serve. They were dedicated and selfless in their decision. Just thinking about their hard work made me reverence those tags.
I came to this conclusion: I'd rather save things that represent what I did rather than what I used. I realized that I am the editor of the physical trail of my life. I get to decide what my children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren get to witness about my life.
I have scanned many things, and I will scan two large stacks of journals I set aside, but I do not have to keep my childhood books, old Christmas ornaments, or those mate cups I got in Argentina. There are going to be many more objects I come into contact with, and I don't have to keep those either.
I feel like 100 years ago, since people didn't own as many things as they do today, possessions held more weight: "This was their family Bible for generations," etc. Wouldn't my kids want one or two of my possessions, rather than two- or three hundred?
What about you? What is the difference for you as to whether something is worthy to "pass down" or not?