“Are angles real”: Dealing with Sentimental Items

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up recommends putting all sentimental items together, and to deal with them as the very last category.

I am following that principle in my own way.

First of all, I disposed of quite a few sentimental items in my pre-KonMari sweeps because, as soon as I handled them, I knew I did not want to deal with them any more. Why fill up my sentimental item box with stuff I already wanted out of my life?

There were also quite a few sentimental items which I figured I probably would end up not keeping BUT I wanted to spend some time with them before I let them go, and spending time pondering sentimental items slows down the whole process. Thus, they went to sentimental items box.

I’ve reached the point where I’ve found almost every sentimental item I am going to find, so the number of items in the sentimental item box is no longer increasing. Considering how many ‘I know I want to let go but I want to spend some time on them first’ items there are in there, I dreaded the prospect of doing a clear-the-sentimental items marathon. Thus, even though I’m not finished with komono (i.e. the stuff that does not fit in any of the other categories) I’ve started the habit of pulling a few things out of the sentimental items box every day. That way, I can give myself as much time as I want to ponder them rather than rushing through them. Also, this way I do not get fatigued with going down memory lane – as soon as I’m tired of thinking about them, I put them away. When I am ready to let go of an item, I do so in the most appropriate way (usually via the recycling bin) and if I do not want to let go, even after I’ve had time to study and ponder the item, I either assign it a new home and move it there, or I put it back in the sentimental items box.

One of the items which I pulled out to savor slowly was a portfolio of things which, according to the dates, I wrote when I was 7 years old. One of the pieces I found most interesting was “The PE MONStER.” I liked it so much that I decided to transcribe it, and since I’ve already transcribed it, it is easy to copy and paste into this blog post. I was careful to preserve the spelling and punctuation of the original:


One day when we played trap the mouse at PE from the beging of the game everybody got in the trap on the fist try. Nobody wins. At child care time Jessica went to the upeer yard and she saw the PE teacher eating all the children in the yard. Jessica went to the child care room and told the fist class mate she could find who was Jackie. Jessica said to Jackie “There is a moster in the upeer yard in disguise”. “Show me if you want me to belive you” said’ Jackie. So they went to the upeer yard and they found the monster in it’s real Identet. I thoht it was in disguise said Jackie, NOT Any More! said Jesscia. right then the monster aet the two girls

The End

‘PE’ means ‘physical education’. Both Jessica and Jackie were both elementary school classmates, and even after all of these years, I remember their faces, and I know they were exactly who I imagined were the characters in this story.

I also have vivid memories of the upper yard. The elementary school is built into the hillside, which is why there are so many levels. There are three yards: lower, middle, and upper, connected by stairs and ramps. The school is on the edge of a misty forest, so tall trees tower over the upper yard. It is often foggy, and sometimes the wind blows little clouds of fog about a foot above the asphalt. I remembered running around chasing those little clouds. The fog would condense as dew on the tree leaves, and the wind would knock the droplets off the trees, so it sometimes seemed like it was raining even when it was not. Though it’s not written into the story, reading it as an adult, I imagine it happens on a foggy day.

There was one other piece of writing which I found interesting enough to transcribe: “Are angles real.”

Are angles real

What are angles?

Angles are pepole with wings that live in heven

What’s heven?

Heven is a place that you sometimes go to when you have died. There’s muisc, and clodas. It’s up in the sky

Where can you find angles?

You most le find them in anchen Fariy Tales.

Are angles real?

well I would say no. What do you say.

The End

Going through those things I wrote when I was seven years old was actually more interesting that I expected, but now that I’ve pondered what they mean to me as an adult, and have transcribed my favorite parts, I think the best use for these papers is for them to be recycled into new paper.

I definitely think it is worth spending some time with these items. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to reflect on them as an adult; many people lose their childhood stuff long before they have a chance to reflect on them as adults (and some people never live long enough to become adults). But once I’ve reflected on them, unless they are of great personal significance or I can find a use for them in my current life, I do not want to keep them any longer. I have other things to do besides reflecting on my past.

8 thoughts on ““Are angles real”: Dealing with Sentimental Items

      • I remembered having those thoughts at age 7 because they were really significant to me at my great grandmother’s funeral but i did not recall writing I just found from when I was age 10, a poem of mine published in a local newspaper that my grandmother kept. I have no recollection of being that kind of poet per se and people have told me it’s a thoughtful and insightful piece especially for a 10 year old and I’m just like. Well this clearly reminds me of Sara’s blog post lol… It says something abbot my young self and who i used to be i guess lol

      • Incidently, I’ve also found various bits of poetry I composed between the ages of 7 and 12. I was a little surprised by how good the meter, rhyme, sound, rhythm etc. was but the thoughts and feelings expressed in the poems were not particularly interesting, so they went to recycling.

  1. Thanks for sharing.The girls get eaten, I find this really fascinating, because you bet in a book for kids they’d defeat the monster. I wouldn’t be able to tell you if I believed in angels at that age, but I don’t think so. Comes with a rather secular family.

    • As I’m sure you are aware, many traditional tales have ‘the kids get eaten’ endings, and I know some people argue that the relatively recent trend of trying to keep all gruesome endings out of children’s stories is actually bad for children’s psychological development (FWIW I recall that I was really into the Goosebump stories around the time I wrote this story).

      • Yeah. I didn’t have much against the traditional-ish fairy tales and their sometimes gruesome endings myself.
        I’ve no idea about the value of gruesome stories for child psychological development. (I only recall being quite satisfied when the bad ones were punished. I still tend to kill off the baddies in my own stories, actually. )

  2. Pingback: Where did the notes go? | The Notes Which Do Not Fit

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