The things we leave behind [204/365]

For today’s post I was out of subjects. Started to look around in WordPress Daily Post, and found an article “The things we leave behind”. It was interesting and well written.

harnosand_viewWhat first came to my mind was my home. I left pretty much my whole existence behind when I moved in May 2004. I brought a box with me … 20 kilos … that’s what was I deemed important enough to ship. Little items … mementos … Now, all my “stuff” is packed and stored away back in Sweden. It is just that: stuff. I’ve lived here for twelve years now, and haven’t been in any dire need for any of that stuff. How important was it all?!

blue_cupSometimes I think of some little item, fondly, and feel a little tug of the heart strings. Honestly, it can be really silly things, like a towel or a coffee mug!  Then I ask myself what’s important. They are just dead things … not living beings like my husband or our cat. I should be happy that I have had them instead, and I can always look at this, blue cup here in this picture, knowing it’s safely tucked away in a box. Besides, in twelve years, I have accumulated plenty of new stuff that I really like. Should I have to move again, I’d be faced with the same questions … what to leave behind.

I also left behind a whole country … my little hometown … family, friends, co-workers — the list  goes on. Took me close to eight years before I ever went back again. They all made it just fine without me, and likewise I made it fine too. Life goes on, on both continents. Nothing is static. My town had changed, but not so much, at least not visibly. Sometimes it happens that I sense that little tug of the heart strings again, when I think of my hometown, but those times are becoming more and more rare. Strangely, it’s the town in itself, somehow — not necessarily the people in it.

The country seemed to have changed too, but I couldn’t really pin-point what it was — something about the atmosphere — it felt colder. Now it’s been two years since I was there and since then they’ve received 190,000 refugees. That’s a huge amount of people considering how small a country it is. That fact has certainly made a difference. The population of Sweden is approximately ten million people. To put this in perspective; Canada has received 25,000 and it’s a huge country.

Now, this is stuff I know nothing about, but from what I read in the media it has clearly affected the country.

To sum this up: I’ve left a lot behind as you can see and that didn’t mean a thing. Not to me, not to the others. All in all, I think if we’d stop paying such great importance to ourselves, and to “stuff”, we’d see things in a whole different light. That is what I’ve learnt from all of this.

18 Replies to “The things we leave behind [204/365]”

  1. I saw the post you refer to in the Reader and loved the header image, but didn’t read it because I feared it would be sentimental. It wasn’t so much, now that I went back and read it. I’m all for leaving things behind. It’s impossible burden, material and mental, to carry all that you’ve ever accumulated around with you. I left a lot of things behind when I was moving, and it was a smart thing to do because not only would I not use the memorabilia for anything, but I don’t miss them to the extent that I hardly recall now what things I used to own.

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    1. Yes, you’re right. Would be great if it was as easy to rid oneself of the mental accumulations too. That’s what I’m working on with the Morning Pages. A person I used to know always preached that he didn’t want to own more stuff than it could be carried in two grocery bags. Now he has a house, wife and children LOL …

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      1. The mental baggage is more difficult to deal with. But getting rid of material evidence of it helps too! A house, a wife and children is what I’m trying to avoid. And will probably succeed, surely in the wife part 😉

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  2. I wonder if when we are missing things we used to own, or have stored away, it is really a time in our life we are missing, or maybe even just a touch of loneliness. If ind when I am missing what I think is a different life, I look at the lives of people who have never moved, never left anything behind, and I am glad I made the choices I did.
    It’s interesting, too, that some of the ‘stuff’ I brought here, I am now finding new homes for.

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  3. Material things mean little to me in most cases. Now the art work I have collected over the years is not one of those ‘things’. The artwork pieces remind me of where I was on my journey thru Life. Especially the aboriginal art. And there are childhood books that I have kept for years.
    For the most part tho’; I can part with ‘things’ easily.
    When I moved from Hamilton back to Owen Sound I left behind family; friends; support groups & my way of Life there.
    I do not regret leaving Hamilton itself. It is a noisy dirty city. Mind you, I have a million memories.
    Being back here now for 20 years, I see how the place has changed. City Council brings in many people from out of town for REHAB & then some stay & fall off the wagon & we have so much petty crime & addiction issues & mentally ill people wandering around the place. I do not even feel safe to walk out in daylight, never mind night time….
    IF I were to leave this town behind I would miss the place I grew up in……
    but at this point, I guess I am here to stay…..
    ((hugs)) Sherri-Ellen

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      1. Owen Sound used to be one of the safest places to be in the province. People always came back here to live (like I have done). Now people are leaving….good solid people who work & do good things. And this place fills up with the underbelly of life…….
        None of us feel safe walking by ourselves anymore…..sad but true. Downtown is shabby & rundown….so many drug addicted teens wandering around; it is so sad….
        And then County Housing with their open policy to let drug dealers & drug makers live here because ‘everyone has to live somewhere’…regardless if they are sane, sober & trustworthy…..
        Anyway, I can’t change things. have to accept things & hope a new opportunity comes along at some point…..

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          1. It is VERY sad Rebby….my childhood home used to be one of the safest places in the province. Now it is not….I always go out with someone; never alone…..just in case…..
            I never used to worry about being out on my own 😦

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