I’m thinking about moving, which is getting me to think about the things we throw away and the things we keep. And the things we keep that maybe don’t serve us.
For example, I feel like I could make a trip to the thrift store, a trip to the recycling, and a trip to the trash every day between now and when my house goes on the market (if it goes on the market) and I’d still have exponentially more random useless bits and bobs than I need. And just the oddest smattering of stuff, too— the full set of chairs from the dining room set I replaced two years ago. Bottles and boxes and jars and bits of broken things and parts and pieces. Things from a time and place where they seemed helpful and useful, but now they belong to something I gave or threw away years ago.
I think we do this on a life level, too. I know that I’ve been guilty of assuming that once I saw something from someone, it was always true of them. I remember a conversation with a therapist, who said, “well, have you told [family member] what you think?” and I said “no, you don’t know how it is in my family, that’s just not how we do it…” and she said “Are you sure? I mean, have you checked lately? Or is that old information?”
I said it was old information, but I was still sure. But then, out of curiosity, I checked. And the person didn’t react the way I’d predicted. It was an old script. And it’s happened to me several times since. Every time I test the theory, I have to incorporate new information, because we’re changing constantly, sometimes for better, sometimes for worse, like it or not..
I heard the old saw about how every cell in our body gets replaced on a seven-year cycle. It’s easier to believe that people never change. But they do. We do.
This is not to say that we should pour infinite time and resources into people when they’ve hurt or disappointed us. But I’m convinced that if your information is more than a few years old, insofar as it can be done safely and reasonably, it might be worth looking at updating it.