"I've had this since I was a child."
If you didn't notice, I used this picture just the other day to talk about stuff I had from my children's childhood. Today I'm using it to talk about stuff from my own childhood. To be honest, I don't have a lot of clutter from when I was younger. Maybe moving every 2-3 years helped decrease the amount, or maybe it was because I went on a decluttering rampage one year in my past and tossed stuff out left and right. One thing I do still have are all of my year books. You can see the stack on the right side of the picture.
I have yearbooks from at least third grade, if not kindergarten, on to a year or two of college. I saved them, maybe, because I didn't have any contact with any of the people I went to school with. I wished I had been a better letter writer, and I had big dreams of staying in touch with friends, but it never happened. The ironic part is I have never gone to a reunion, and I probably wont. I have a tendency to fall right back into the high school thought process when I even think about being at a reunion, and I worry about not fitting in, not being popular, and no one really remembering me.
Having those books up in my closet allows me to trace my childhood in a tangible way. I can see the pictures of people I once knew, even if I don't know them anymore. When I look at the books it's usually just a glance to the top shelf, for I rarely bring them down and go through them. I simply can't imagine not having them, or even how to get rid of them. I get overwhelmed and let the stack stand right where it is.
These books, however, do not do anything to help me move into the future I want. They simply tie me to the past I had, or wish I had. They give me a false sense of connection to the people I once knew. If I want to really know those people facebook gives me the opportunity to do so at this time and there have been a few people I have reconnected with through that tool.
Maybe it's time to let the books go. After a quick online search I realized I could put the books in a recycle bin, so now I know what to do with them.