Today was a simple day. I went for my third walk. The weather was beautiful and there was a huge flock of waxwings that seemed to be following me around town. I scared them out of a couple of spruce trees as I walked past and from there they just seemed to wheel overhead wherever I went. They were a delight to watch.
I heard a little chickadee singing his Spring song and I said to him, sorry, little guy, but Spring is still a long way off. Hearing his little song made me feel hopeful, though.
Today I got rid of old hair products that I’ve had for longer than I can remember. I buy hair products usually after I’ve visited with my sisters. They are all great with hair and they take it upon themselves to do my hair whenever we’re together. I love it. I love the attention and the conversations we have while they transform me.
I’ve never been one to fuss and primp, but those girls can get me thinking that I should.
So, once our visits are over I go out and buy hairspray and mousse and serum and god-knows-what-all and fuss with my hair for a week or two. Then, it just gets to be too much work, and without them, no fun. The products get stuck in a closet or under the bed or in a drawer that I don’t use. Occasionally I’ll decide to try again, but then I wonder about chemical breakdown and whether using them could damage my hair.
But throw them out? No. That would be wasteful. Today, though, I grabbed that fifteen year old bottle of leave in conditioner that has been in my medicine cabinet since the day I bought it and I threw it in to the hazardous wastes container. Along with some twenty year old mineral make up that I only kept because it had a nice brush. That I used maybe twice.
Then I got rid of some more food stuff from the fridge. What did I think I was going to do with that single tablespoon of cherry preserves? Obviously, I forgot because it was just mouldy sludge in the bottom of the jar when I dug it out from the back of the fridge. It looked like something that Stephen King might have written about in his younger years. I was tempted to pitch the whole jar, but I couldn’t do it. It’s a glass canning jar, after all, and I can re-use it. (My purging only goes so far.)
Then there was the container of homemade chocolate sauce — maybe enough left for one dish of ice cream. I don’t remember when I made it, but I know I made it for my grand-kids. It got shoved in the back on the second shelf behind a jar of sun-dried tomatoes and some jars of bouillon. When I opened it the top was all speckly and pitted. It looked more like congealed gravy than chocolate sauce. Again, I saved the container.
I know why I hang on to things for as long as I do. It’s not because I’m thrifty, or lazy or just forgetful. It’s because these things have in some way brought me pleasure. They remind me of simple moments of joy shared with people I love.
I’m only four days in on this 100 days of purging, but I’m learning that letting go of things does not mean letting go of memories.