My Antique Hutch
How Do We Decide?
Decisions can frighten me sometimes. I’m indecisive. The bigger the decision, the more I hesitate to make it. I tend to pace the room. I clean out my junk drawers in the kitchen. I wander around to tinker with my organization efforts (do you know how long one can spend organizing screws?… I do) Why the anxiety?….
One word: regret. I don’t want to be left standing in a big puddle of it after I make my choice. I’ve been there before, with my feet soaking wet…
Let me tell you about a situation involving myself, my dad, and an blue antique hutch…. It sat nestled up against the west side of our house when I was just a kid. Facing inwards, it’s back was to the sun. I never paid it much attention, after all, I was just a kid, and it was just an old piece of furniture. I must have passed by it a million times with each trip to the backyard.
Its color was robin-egg blue.
Fast forward to last summer. My love of old things had been established and my dad loaded my truck with this old blue antique hutch. I had someone very interested in it, and I needed a new tool. He was more than happy to let me choose whether to keep it forever, or to send it on its way.
I sold it.
I hesitated… but I sold it.
Then… I cried.
I cried because it was gone, and I was foolish.
I was heavy-hearted and broken when I pulled out my phone to call my dad. In his typical fashion guess what he told me?…
“It’s just an antique hutch.“
” You needed the tools, and I told you to sell it.” He automatically wanted to claim responsibility for the puddle I was standing in…….
I cried harder.
I s o l d o u t .
It wasn’t just a hutch to me. It was a symbol that held a part of my youth. There are snapshots of it in my head, standing there against the house in its pale-blue glory. If I close my eyes, I see it.
I see the summers, I see the falls, and I see the winters, with snow around it.
I see my dog, Otto, run past it, and I remember watching the biggest spider you can imagine make its home under it. And,… oh how I wish I could see it here now.
I want to see my dishes in it.
I want to stash random things in its drawers.
I want to hide my crafting messes from my husband in the bottom part, and in a messy, last second fashion.
I want to close its bottom doors and have it keep my secrets….
I know we can’t keep everything… (there is a name for that condition), but, I believe we should think hard about what we hold on to, and why.
Would it bring joy? Would it be useful? If you had to choose, could you give up something else to keep it?
These things around us hold stories. The scratches and marks over time become the proof of our past, and the visual validation of our memories.
The decision to keep, or to let go, comes down to this:
Will you add-on to those stories? Will your children pick up where your memories left off? Or will it just take up space?
We get to decide which memories require physical representation. At the same time, we decide which ones don’t.
Some things that we’ve kept, need to move on. They are meant to witness another life story, somewhere else.
But some things are meant to stay with you.
Like an old blue antique hutch.
Where is it now?….. ….in a local antique shop, living on as a beautiful display.
I miss it still.
My thoughts on memories, click here
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