The word minimalism has been thrown around a lot of late.  I'm not sure if people are still in the 2014 New Year's Resolution spirit but there's been lots of shedding.  Shedding of weight, of things, of burdens, of responsibilities, of obligations.  There's also been this overarching theme of things are bad and experiences are good.  I won't say I haven't been caught up in it and didn't systematically pore through my bookshelf this weekend and pick out a dozen books that I won't be revisiting or that should really belong on someone else's bookshelf.  I plan to also do the same with my closet when this darn winter weather quits and spring decides that it's going to finally get it's lazy behind out of bed.  But I feel as though I have to de-emphasize the impermanence and dismissal of things, particularly when there are so many pack rats near and dear to my heart.

*ahem* Siri *ahem*

Things for them represent memories, experiences, and people.  After my grandfather died, my dad found my sister's pink Beauty and the Beast backpack from when she was a toddler in the back of his closet that he had saved because it reminded him of her, maybe less of a Beauty and more of a Beast(ly) child.  Siri, in turn, has is old air force military uniform as well as magazine clippings that he had forgotten our house, decades ago.  I can't bring myself to throw out the scores of letters between myself and my cousin, dating back to almost 25 years ago.  I've kept them, envelopes and all, in stacks and stacks of shoe boxes.  I keep (and have kept) every greeting card that I receive from anyone ever.

So these are the things that matter.  Maybe less so than the latest shoes or nail polish that I've bought.  Or my ever-growing Amazon wishlist.  But things can be important, can be nice, can be what keeps those experiences with us.  It's okay to keep some things.  And perhaps what we have to learn is not to focus on minimization but instead on maximization.