Sometimes I keep broken stuff.
I have no idea why. Especially when I consider all the stuff I have and want to pare down, why would I keep things that are no longer usable? Why not just throw those things out and use the stuff that’s in good working order?
Granted, I don’t keep broken stuff that I don’t actually like. Anything I’m keeping that needs repair is an item that I have good intentions of fixing. But it is very, very rare that I actually do.
Take these earrings, for example. I’ve worn them a ton. I liked them so much I bought an identical pair in silver. But the last time I wore them, one of the pieces broke off. Look:
They can’t be fixed. I don’t even know where the broken piece is. The earrings weren’t super expensive or high quality in the first place, so as much as I liked them, it’s not like I lost an investment piece – in fact, for as inexpensive as they were and as many times as I wore them, I’d say I really got my money’s worth. But when I noticed they were broken, instead of immediately throwing them away, I put them back in my jewelry box. The next time I was getting dressed up, I pulled them out, remembered they were broken, and started to put them back so I could rummage for a different pair. Then I stopped myself, and tried to figure out why I wasn’t throwing them away.
I think I just have a hard time letting go of something if it was one of my favorites. In fact, right now, in my closet, I have a favorite shirt that is so well loved it’s literally coming apart at the seams, to the point where I’d be embarrassed to wear it. I wouldn’t even give it to the Goodwill – it’s not in good enough shape. It belongs in the trash. But it’s still taking up space in my closet. I even bought a similar shirt to replace it, and really love the new one, but have still kept the old one, even though I know I will never wear it again.
On a bigger level, I have acted out this cycle with other things that were not working for me -jobs, relationships, etc. I can look back on several misery inducing situations in my life and acknowledge that I stayed too long – even after I knew things were broken beyond repair. If I struggle to toss a pair of cheap earrings, you can imagine how hard it’s been for me to quit jobs or end toxic relationships.
So today, in an effort to do things differently, I threw the earrings out. I like to think I’m starting small – a pair of earrings here, a shirt there, maybe someday I will feel confident enough to cut things off as soon as I know they’re not doing me any good.