Oh good Lord – the memories! All the bloody memories….. not just in your head brain. Physical ones too.
I was listening to a podcast yesterday while getting ready for work, Happier with Gretchen Rubin, in which they were talking about decluttering and also creating a personal timeline. The premise of the timeline was to reduce the possible stress of trying to remember certain occasions in your life; by recording when you did the stuff, where you did the stuff, the addresses of where the stuff was done. So, should you suddenly need to remember, say, which year was the summer you had a snog and a fumble with the hottest boy in school, or which date you fell off your bike on the way home from the hotel kitchen job which left a two inch scar on your left knee, or indeed which school toilet cubicle it was that had ‘Panky loves a good spanky ‘ scrawled in twelve inch letters – you would have a handy little reference to consult. The podcast actually referred to filling in an application form that required five previous addresses and her daughter’s volunteer work, but honestly – I think it’s open to interpretation.
Then there was the decluttering, and it led me to think: I live in thirty five square metres, which is full – where the hell would I keep all the stuff of the child/children? I literally love to declutter, I do it two or three times a year. There is no greater satisfaction than plonking a heaving bin bag of clothes onto the counter of a charity shop (except that the reason they are in the bag is my ever increasing arse), or seeing newly revealed and dusted surface space. You may argue that maybe love, good sex, exercise or getting a pay rise is more satisfying, but as I’m not currently experiencing any of those things, I’ll take the former. And as a person who is not particularly fond of looking backwards, reminiscing and who actively elimates whole chunks of time from her head (it is something I’m exploring with my therapist), I’d find it incredibly difficult to find a good enough reason to keep those adorable little babee bootees.
My mum has a lock of my baby blonde baby hair, for example. Honestly, it only serves to remind me that my hair game was at its strongest when I was one or two. And for all families there’s all the pictures, paintings, scribbles and constructions. The school projects, the text books (are they still a thing?), school reports, record of achievements and certificates from sports days, martial arts belts and music and/or ballet grades. The first shoes, the christening outfit (possibly), the junior school blazer or tie, the class/year photos of every single school year from year dot. Some people, I’m told, even keep that crusty bit of umbilical chord that plops off, (are you actually shitting me?! *boak*). Sometimes this can be found in a box along with milk teeth and that baby hair I was talking about – like some kind of weird voodoo doll preparation kit, for when your offspring inevitably piss you off at around age fourteen.
I’m not overly sentimental, nor am I really one for keepsakes and with that in mind, I know I’d be an epic disappointment when my kids were home for Christmas or some other annual event (once a year with me is more than enough), and decided to recover some old ‘treasures’…… Imagine the reaction to, ‘oh yeah, I ran out of space so had to free some up, I had a big clear out and burned everything on a bonfire in the back and the salvageable stuff has gone to charity. But you’ll be delighted to hear I did keep the human remains – you just never know when those might come in handy.’ *big self-satisfied, cheesy grin*.
Eagerly discarded keepsakes and memories, and not ruling out using voodoo on your own kids is my ‘reasons why I don’t have kids’ #70.