I cleared out more than just old junk from the loft the other day.
An unwelcome task, which had been put on hold over the years, as other more important and interesting chores pushed their way to the fore. Finally, the urgent need for dates stretching back decades ensured there was no further postponement. After all the embassy required certain information to procure the passport.
My heart sank a little as I donned my cleaning garb of oldest tracksuit bottoms, worn jumper and gardening coat. Why did I leave this to cold autumn days, why had I failed to take advantage of the warm light of summer? At last with old trainers on and a bucket of clean water on standby at the bottom of the rickety ladder, I headed into the darkness of the attic. I pulled the light cord and a satisfying twang later the space beneath the roof was alight in all its messy fusty glory.
As ever awed by quite how much stuff accumulated over the years I gritted my teeth, clambered up, spotting spider webs in the darkest recesses. Was there time to scamper down to fetch a shower cap for my hair? Would goggles over my glasses be an idea? As excuses flitted around the edge of my attention, I set to the task with intense vigour.
Quickly any misgivings were replaced with excitement; a treasure hunt into my past. Boxes were shifted and sifted through with speed. The ones behind me to be hauled downstairs, the rest to be left for another day. Only two or three boxes were supposed to make it to daylight, yet ten found their way to my studio.
The dust and grit from the loft followed me, a hazy cloying musty cloud hung around my body like an unkempt aura! Once outside I beat the muck out of my clothes and performed an unceremonious jig on the patio, ruffling my hair as it was released from the confines of the green silk bobble!
Surprisingly it wasn’t the major items, the most vital papers, which reached into my heart that day of sorting, of tidying. The smallest, most insignificant objects tugged my emotions in a most unexpected manner.
I laughed out loud as my old troll sought to escape the confines of the box, its vibrant orange hair tousled, the white knitted dress shimmering with a light coating of grey dust. Yet its eager cheeky smile was intoxicating and I realised how much I missed my friend! Not to be abandoned again, my old / new friend stands proudly by my computer screen. Did I see it shift its feet to take a peek at my writing?
My brother’s green Morgan toy car skidded out of another box and landed with aplomb upon the carpet, the thick pile an impediment to any further forward motion. How had I ended up with this toy? Was it from our childhood, or more likely he lent it to my son during one of our visits.
In an instant I’m bombarded with such strong sensations I reel backwards, luckily sitting comfortably in my chair. Our childhoods, those of our children inextricably intertwined.
My next discovery leaves me beaming away as my head is filled with music. A badge lies proudly on my desk and I remember with joy and glee of being one of the first worldwide members of the Bucks Fizz fan club. With my two best friends we listened avidly to their music, devoured the club magazines, pinned up the signed group photographs, practised the dances endlessly. The sense of freedom, lightness, the sense of unhampered possibilities soared within me.
My greatest moments of enlightenment, such was the power and revelation, were reserved for the perusal of my folders.
Years and years of study notes, essays, so much work safely secured inside the multicoloured array of folders. So many courses, most forgotten, some seared into my heart. Keats was an immediate love and one not forgotten, but who was Bruckner? The Russian translations had me in shock, how did we go from knowing no Russian to translating Dickens into Russian and reading Chekov in the original language in less than a year? Recycling bag after recycling bag was stuffed full whilst empty boxes were tossed outside onto the lawn.
I saved the oldest of boxes for last. These I wanted to savour and wow, I was in for a treat! My passion for writing and literature started young I recalled, but my absolute love and dedication was a revelation. Collecting quotes I thought was a new pastime for me from my early days of blogging. Not the case as I discovered tiny cards with quotations on one side, the source on the other side. All neatly placed in a small box. The inherent wisdom of these floored me. I was barely fourteen.
Alongside these were pages of notes for my handmade magazine. In-depth articles researched, written, edited and finally published. ‘The Peripheral’ was my first foray into self-publishing.
Scattered loosely within a folder was a German magazine that featured articles about life, our hopes for 2025, our many fears but also beliefs that life would get better. On smaller A5 yellow sheets of paper the wise words of Socrates copied out in hand. Bless. How earnest was my young heart and soul? Bless it for caring so much.
The other day I cleared out not only my loft but also the cynicism and pessimism of modern life. I trashed my acceptance of life now; I threw away my belief that things can’t be better. I refreshed my soul with the beauty of youth, innocence and trust in people, a future, of humanity. I chucked out the ‘I can’ts’ with the exuberance of childhood ‘I cans’ and why not! It seemed so easy and free then.
They say I thought too much as young. I realise that was true to an extent … but the thoughts were on the wings of my heart flying high. Over the years my thoughts would dominate, take over and gradually dampen the imagination and carefree wonder of the world and all its magic.
A magic rediscovered in the loft amongst my musty dusty belongings. A magic released into the world!
Many thanks to my mother for finding this photo! Here my troll, with some aid from myself, is playing the piano at my kindergarten/pre-school!
157 thoughts on “BOXES OF REVELATIONS”
A journey of memory – wow!
You are definitely braver than I. I don’t know if I could clear memory boxes.
I love that you handmade magazines – I learn more about you through your experience. And your reflection just floors me:
” I cleared out not only my loft but also the cynicism and pessimism of modern life. I trashed my acceptance of life now; I threw away my belief that things can’t be better. I refreshed my soul with the beauty of youth, innocence and trust in people, a future, of humanity. I chucked out the ‘I can’ts’ with the exuberance of childhood ‘I cans’ and why not! …. A magic rediscovered in the loft amongst my musty dusty belongings. A magic released into the world!”
These words remind me again what an adept wordsmith you are – you reach us by tickling our minds and pulling on our heartstrings.
Ju-Lyn, thank you so much for your thoughtful and kind comment – it means so much to me. ❤️ As I was sifting through the boxes the intense wave of revelation swept over me and I felt compelled to write about the emotions coursing through me. When I mentioned to my husband that I was writing about the day of boxes he looked rather surprised and bemused – then understood once he’d read the piece.
I’m not sure about being brave as I looked at my old things; it was action forced upon me by necessity – yet I’m thankful for the push to go through some of them. In the warmer days of Spring I look forward to tackling many more! I’ve kept the most precious items and papers so not clearing everything by any means. Maybe you would also enjoy the experience and find much to reflect upon. 😀
How sweet that you looked at all those things. Makes me want to go to my basement and unpack old boxes.
I don’t know if you’ll remember me. I have the blog Unmeasured Journeys, and years ago we were blogging friends, perhaps 5 or 6 years ago. I hope you’re doing well. I have a new blog now, too, if you don’t recognize it. Hope you are doing great and that you have a wonderful day!
Jessica, of course, I remember you! 😀❤️ It is so wonderful to see your name and lovely comment. I hope you and your family are all doing well. Exciting news about your new blog and I look forward to checking it out! Have a fun time exploring the boxes in your basement and I’d love to know what treasures you unearth amongst them all!😀
Yayyyy!! I am so happy you remember me! We are doing great, thank you. Got a sunny December day here. We will take it, haha. When I get to those boxes, I will let you know. I also still have things in a storage unit, eekssss. Need to clean that out. Ha! Hope you have a wonderful day!
Yikes! Things in storage seem to languish I always feel! Don’t forget them! 😀 Also, I wondered if you could include a link to your new blog?
Good point! Maybe those items would like to come here. Haha. When we moved, they got sent to the storage place. Actually, I think I will work on getting them moved, now that you mention it. Thank you for that.
Wow, sure! It’s jeweledagainbyjessica.com Thank you! Yesterday I looked up book in the Reader search box and your sight pulled right up! Pretty cool!
There is something magical about the idealism of youth, discovering and debating new ideas and thinking that in some way you’re going to save the world! I’m also glad to know though that you kept that early writing – it may have been forgotten for a while, but something told you it was worth keeping to remind you of where you came from as a writer. A very productive activity for the attic and the soul!
Andrea, as always you reach straight into the heart of my post – thank you for your wonderful and insightful comment. I wonder if one needs the passing of time, dare I say maturity, to appreciate that idealism of youth – I have come across some of these things many years ago and then considered them rather naive and innocent. The early writings were a revelation now – simple on some levels yet powerful and wise. Slightly unsettling to realise how much my younger self saw in the world! Definitely a fulfilling and enlightening day for the attic and my soul!
Wow, Annika. Quite the moving experience. So many memories…
Absolutely, Betsy and I hadn’t imagined those rekindled memories would have such a bearing on my life today! A very special day!
Lovely picture of the young Annika. Since ‘downsizing’ no such finds await us.
Rod, thank you and it was a joy to see this photo myself – I can’t recall it at all! I hope you both had a chance for some wonderful trips down memory lane as you sorted through all your precious items before downsizing.
Now cleaning the attic is like a boring chore. You made it sound far from it, and what a wonderful trip down memory lane it was for you. Sometimes in the darkest of winter you find the brightest and warmest spark out of no where, and in this case enchanting memories and the young and wild years you once lived.
The troll looks delighted to see the light of day. Maybe it will always remind you that your younger self is always within you, and you can write anything 😄 It’s funny how we can also accumulate other people’s stuff and not just our own over the years, like how your brother’s Morgan toy car slid out.
One time I was cleaning out my closet and discovered a bunch of m childhood toys, and also some of my brother’s. I had no idea how his stuff ended up with mine. A while ago I was also cleaning out my old school notes. They were so hard to get rid of and I was so inspired by the energy my younger self had writing fictional stories. In the end I took photos of them before recycling them. I did keep a few, those that were most meaningful to me.
Hope you have a good weekend, Annika 🙂
Mabel, what a terrific idea of taking photos of some of your notes etc before recycling them! Wish I’d talked to you first! 😀 It is hard to get rid of those school and uni work but these I really don’t expect to be of much interest to anyone in the future.
I’ve kept a file of my younger fiction writing in my studio and look at it now and then. It’s eerie how you were also ‘… inspired by the energy my younger self had writing fictional stories’. Exactly so!
Haha! I wonder if your brother ever realised he’d lost some of those toys? Have you returned them to him now? The Morgan will be winging its way to mine soon! I love having my cheeky troll on my desk and even more so after my mother found a photo of young me with the troll at my kindergarten – ‘playing’ the piano no less! I’ve just added the photo to my post this afternoon.
Here’s to discovering the bright sparks of our younger, wilder years and letting them become part of our everyday always!😀
You can take photos of everything now before you throw them out 😀 I was very tempted to keep my old school notes…but sometimes things just have to go.
My brother never realised he’s lost some of his toys. In fact, some of them are still stowed away at my place! So lovely you added a photo of the troll and younger you to your desk. May it serve as inspiration to make sure you are in touch with your younger self. Stay young and wild, Annika 😀
I’m glad the chores turned into a treasure hunt that transported you down memory lane. Annika. All the works you had done and the artifacts reminded you of your youth, your accomplishment, family, and friends. That itself is exciting. I started doing it several years ago. I sat on the floor or in the attic for hours to look at a few items, or read the letters my dad wrote to me or a copy of the letter I wrote to my daughter. It was so hard to part them. I went through several sifting and recycled only a few at a time. I went over them so many times that I could remember where there are in my boxes!! There’s still a long way to go, but I want to continue doing it. I don’t want to leave them to my daughter to go through. When my daughter’s mother-in-law passed away several years ago, after they did the basic clean-up, her husband brought everything to their house to go through again. Then when her day passed away two years ago, she had a lot to go through also. I told her I would try not to leave too much mess for her to go through. I started decluttering, recycling, or giving things away.
Miriam, I was astonished myself how this chore, put off for so long and forced upon me by events, became a day of inspiration and revelation! 😀 Yes, so much of life lived even in those first fifteen years or so and days I don’t often reflect upon.
You are brave my friend to tackle your letters – I have boxes of these and wouldn’t know where to begin. An intense and emotional time for you … are you keeping most of them? I don’t have the heart to get rid of any (yet at least).
So far I haven’t given too much thought to leaving too much for my son to sort out and for now just trying to sort out things for myself but obviously it is good to think of this. My husband has just started going through his parent’s papers (they passed a number of years ago) and he’s finding peace in the task, I feel.
Miriam, it’s lovely to chat here! Wishing you a lovely weekend, my friend! ❤️
My daughter is a minimalist. She and her husband scan all the CD and saved them as digital music. She is now scanning all the prints of photos and will discard all of them. When they moved to this new house two years ago, they got rid of or sold a lot of things, like printing, curios from his mom, things I wouldn’t have the heart to get rid of. There was a replica of a printing of a castle that I bought for $600. He sold it for $100. I almost died but got over with it. I paid for the photo scanner, so when she is done, I’ll scan my 15 years of prints before digital camera.
I don’t have the heart to get rid of my classical music CDs yet. I also have some other collections.
As far as the letters and other sentimental items, such as my daughter’s book of about 20 stories she wrote in first grade, she thinks I should take photos of them and discard the physical items.
I’ll tackle things little bit at a time and I’m glad I started the process. I told my daughter that I would only scan or photography things meaningful to her and pass them on.
I remember Liz Gauffreau going through her parent’s things and finding photos and other things. She published a poetry book based on the memories. We could write books and books on those precious moments! ❤ ❤
Miriam, I don’t think I could ever take my sorting to such a level and will save personal letters, school reports etc. I am wondering about my old diaries though … so many!
As for music I’ve gone the opposite way and just bought a new amp so I can play my LPs, CDs and tapes – on my original childhhod Hifi system. It works like a treat and wonderful musical memories.
I follow Liz too and her ‘Grief Songs’ looks incredible and unique – a book of poems I look forward to reading, absorbing.
How true that we all have books within those precious moments, momentos, photos etc What are we watinig for?! 😃 ❤️
You’re still young, Annika. You have years of enjoying the memories and be inspired by the artifact.
My dad passed away about 15 years ago. He saved many letters and photos I sent him. After cleaning his things, my sister mailed me a package with those items. I still have them.
Even though longevity runs in my family, I have to think about my daughter. I’ll do the sorting slowly. I have all the paperwork, test and treatments record for my cancer. After I finished writing about it, I’ll toss them.
You just had your writing room built. Enjoy your writing. 💖💖
Annika, such a great treasure trove of memories! I too love(d) trolls. They brought smiles to my face. A German magazine!? Next time you feel compelled to rediscover your treasures, please send me an invitation. Once again I am reminded of all the letters I sent home from my three years in Heidelberg! I really do need to see what I wrote from my university studies in the German language, literature, culture, history and geography. I laud you your efforts too. Now I need to consider downsizing. Where to begin? Enjoy your Advent season and that precious troll. A perfect resting spot above the computer. Thanks for this inspiring post! Be well. ^^__^^
Yeah! Mary Ann, it’s great to meet a fellow fan of trolls! 😀 I’ll definitely let you know when I’m next tackling the loft – especially when starting upon my boxes of German books. With limited luggage home from Leipzig and very cheap books and postage, my friends and I sent home lots of book parcels. These I am keeping and hoping to bring down into the house at some stage. Alas, I discarded many Die Zeit magazines this time, ones all marking major international events – my only regret of the purge of the boxes! I imagine you must have an immense amount of study notes, essays etc from all your academic work and degrees. My boxes of letters I’m leaving untouched as these are far too precious. We are not downsizing just trying to find some important papers … and also more space in the attic – for more new things! 😀 So glad you enjoyed the post, Mary Ann and thank you for your lovely comment. Wishing you a peaceful weekend.
Annika, I gave many of my German books and materials to a former student who now teaches German nearby. I just finished posting the new blog. It may bring back some memories of village life as it did me! Hope you have success locating papers. I think you need to incorporate your troll into future blogs! Did you name her/him? At just 25 cents per book during my Heidelberg days, you can bet I accumulated many of those RoRoRo editions. Be well and Happy December to you! 🙂 🙂 🙂
What a brilliant idea for your German books and I might approach the German department of the nearby school and see if they are interested in my books. Yes, thank you – all the necessary papers successfully located and sorted! As for a name for the troll, I can’t recalling giving it a name but I must have done! I named everything in those days – I’ll have to reread some of my old diaries! Happy December to you and your family too!
Gwendolyn? Penelope? Winifred? Troll name suggestions. Haha. Even outdated German materials have photos and make a great bulletin board collage. Or a memory poster of how German used to be taught in the good old days! Haha. I am impressed you kept diaries. I do not believe I did. Keep me posted on names… Be well. oxox
“Fusty” (how I love that word, rarely seen); “unkempt aura” (brilliant phrase); troll-as-muse – aha! you’ve found your writing/creative muse and she’s perfect! Oh, Annika. You spoke to my heart in your last two paragraphs. Yes, let us reclaim our enthusiasm for our love of literature and magic and words. Let us reclaim our enthusiasm for OURSELVES. ❤
Pam, I have a feeling your youthful enthusiasm and joie de vivre has always flowed powerfully with you … although I could be mistaken. Awww … I love your comment and you have me beaming with joy and shared understanding. Oh, ‘fusty’ is definitely a word that shouldn’t be relegated to Dickens and his ilk. Whilst writing about my ‘unkempt aura’ I thought of your ‘fluffing your aura’! 😀
Also, there was an additional element about auras in my first draft explaining when another mother at the school gates one day started talking about my aura; she was rather a mystical person.
‘Once my aura had been declared as purple. I’d sought it out and saw only the fluttering leaves of the oak tree above me, the iron wrought fence around me and in front of people gathered by the school gates. Even my feet, then in blue sandals and toenails painted with pink blush polish, failed to gleam with purple spirituality.’
It means the world how our hearts and minds feel alike about regaining our true selves! hugs xx ❤️
(1) neither you nor I will ever be fusty. 🙂 (2) Our auras can change color, depending on where we “are” within our Spirit. At least, that’s what I’m told. When my aura was photographed once, it was golden, but today, I think it’s as purple as an Iris. 🙂 Love to you my friend.
Annika, I very much enjoyed this post, exploring the treasures of your loft and your past. What joy to find the soul and wisdom of your youth and let it fill you once more with that need to live, to be in the flow. Just gorgeous.
Norah, bless! Your comment reaches into the very heart of my post and it means so much to me. Thank you! Indeed a joyful day of revelation and rejuvenation of my younger spirit! Something has changed within me!
Dear Annika, thank you for the beauty and revelations you give us in this post so filled with wonder and wisdom.
Your writing has reached a new high as every word takes its place to enable us to feel the wonder you felt.
Of course that adorable troll took a peek at your writing and hopefully approved.
I also love how your brother’s ‘Morgan’ rolls out. All reminding you of a beautiful childhood.
Annika, there is so much more of import in your writing but for now I will finish with
your own words.
Let your thoughts fly high and free on the wings of your heart. 💕🦋.
Wow! Miriam, bless you for your amazing comment – I’m both humbled and honoured! I’m deeply touched you feel that my writing has reached a new high; an incredible endorsement from a poet like yourself. Thank you so much! ❤️ Yes, I had a wonderful and beautiful childhood and these few objects brought all the memories and emotions flooding back. My troll is keeping its cheeky eye on me (and my writing)! 😀 The revelations of the day brought a new heightened sense of awareness of the wonder of life and deeper wisdom about my place in the world. Not bad for ten boxes, eh?! 😀 Here’s to always flying high with the joy of life itself, with the gifts within us all! hugs xx
Thanks and bless you. I saw you added a most adorable photo.💕
How fun to relive some of your childhood memories! I tend to be a minimalist, but I also have a few boxes of old reminders that I like to get out and look at from time to time. It brings back the person I used to be, and that is always a fun thing!
Ann, it was an incredibly fun and exciting day! I am in awe that you can live a minimalist lifestyle – I try and have succeeded in a very small part. It’s great that your boxes of reminders are there for when you want a quick visit to your earlier self! I’m gradually reducing my boxes in the loft and quite chuffed that this time my ten were whittled down to only two boxes! 😀
That is very impressive!!
What a beautiful gift, to find your young self again as well as a sweet troll…she reminds me of my time living in Germany as a young child and your mention of earnest quotes carefully written down makes me smile…I kept an earnest one of my own, written with passion at the age of fifteen!
Kimberlee, bless our young selves, our earnest spirits embracing life to the full!😀 Did you keep your early writings and quote collection? How exciting that you’ve lived in Germany and I didn’t know they also had trolls. Do you still have yours? I love how you write that the day was a ‘beautiful gift, to find your young self again ‘ – so true and eloquently said! And I wasn’t even aware I’d lost a small part of me!
I no longer have my tiny “pencil” troll and haven’t kept many of my earlier writings but they exist in my heart…
The little things are really the big things. I can see you as you rediscovered your troll doll. These are the real treasures. Wonderful, Annika!
Thank you so much, Jennie! 😀 It was a day of discovery on so many levels and totally unexpectedly so! A joy that the troll is back … and looking forward to unearthing more treasures in Spring!
I am so excited for you! 🙂
How wonderful to re-experience your past through these items, Annika. I understand that emotion because I get it when I look at my own things from my childhood. That feeling was especially strong when we cleaned out our parents’ house and I found things I hadn’t thought about in decades. I used to have a troll collection – not sure where it went – it’s nice you have your troll to keep you company at your computer 🙂
Barbara, it is a powerful emotion when looking back at items from one’s younger self and I can well imagine it is a much more intense and moving time when sorting your parents’ house. Did you have a chance to take things in calmly? Sometimes things are so rushed and I think this task is so important to give it the time necessary. Aww … I hope your troll collection found a welcome new home … mine looks very cheeky and amused and lovely to have it back here!😀
Congratulations again on your successful completion of NaNoWriMo – that’s fantastic! 🎉
Hi Annika – yes I had a good amount of time to go through things. We emptied the house over a period of months and I made several trips there. It’s funny how a small item gives you that rush of memories. I’m glad your troll is keeping you company 🙂
We find ourselves in the things that we kept safe in a long forgotten box. A lovely, heartwarming stroll into the past that brings back recollections of events and experiences lived. Thank you, Annika!
Rebecca, thank you for sharing your wise words and I totally agree, although instead of one box I have rather a lot of boxes! 😀 Today I met a neighbour whilst out on a walk and we discussed exactly this topic as he was rather in a quandary. They are moving house and his wife has only one box of precious items whereas he has much more going back to his parents’ life … I related some of the wonderful comments and thoughts here and how important it is to save some things from the past. I’m so glad you could join me on this meander of my memories, the enlightenment they gave me, altering my perspective on life as a whole. hugs xx ❤️
I love our conversations, Annika!
Fabulous post, Annika. So true about the “small” or insignificant items that tug at the heart! What an insight! I used to love my trolls. I think my mom got rid of mine.
Luanne, thank you so much! ❤️ The insight as a result of a task which I started with reluctance was most unexpected but incredibly enriching – and those ‘small and insignificant’ items are now well-looked after! Yeah, it’s great you too had trolls! I wonder if they were more of a hit abroad.
My favourite part of this lovely post: “I cleared out not only my loft but also the cynicism and pessimism of modern life. I trashed my acceptance of life now; I threw away my belief that things can’t be better. I refreshed my soul with the beauty of youth, innocence and trust in people, a future, of humanity.” Beautifully said, Annika! 🙂
Bless … thank you so much, Jennifer and this was the heart of my post, my day! So glad it means a lot to you too. ❤️
Wonderful post, Annika, and I loved the feeling of being right there with you in all that “messy fusty glory!” Your memories remind me of a few stories in my book; one is about finding something special in our dry box on one of our camping adventures. Another was a gift from a long time ago that still lives and works today even though it’s a little weathered, not a good reason to replace because of the precious memories. In addition to these, we have boxes of toys from when the kids were little that we don’t want to part with, Lego, Barbies, etc. and I have a box each of their most adorable outfits that even though they’re 26 & 30, I can’t let go of. 🙂
So many memories that stay in our hearts. I enjoyed this glimpse into yours. 💗
Lauren, thank you and lovely to have you along for the day of exploration! I promise it wasn’t too messy fusty once back in my studio! 😀 It’s great that it reminded you of some of the stories in your book and these sound wonderful. Some people fail to see the soul in something that is slightly worn and used; fail to understand how these items touch our hearts and are embodied with precious memories. Yeah! Of course, you have to save boxes of your children’s lego and toys etc … we have all that in another corner of our loft. It’s been a joy to read your comment, chat about memories and share insights into each other’s hearts and emotions. hugs xx ❤️
Wonderful post, Annika. Recently, I moved across the country, and as part of that, I went through boxes I’d long forgotten about. It’s amazing what I found, sweet memories top the list. 💗
Gwen, how wonderful that your precious items provided such sweet memories for you – it’s an engrossing and emotional task to sift through things from the past, as it collides with the present and one tries to make sense of one’s self!
I hope the move went well for you and that you’re enjoying your new home! Moving is yet another opportunity to peruse one’s things, especially books, CDs and photo albums! Memories galore! 😀❤️
Nothing like the act of decluttering to uncover those hidden personal gems that evoke beautiful memories. What a joy, Annika! I can feel it pouring out from your heart. ♥ Thank you for sharing your magic! xx
Khaya, thank you so much for your beautiful comment! ❤️ Yes, the emotions and writing came straight from my heart and it was a magical day and filled with such enlightenment. This was a piece I wrote first for myself … and with editing delighted to share here! The only problem with decluttering is that as soon as some space is created up in the loft – it is immediately filled with something else! An endless ‘battle’! 😀
As with other commenters, you had me at every word. Wonderful memories…beautifully written post!
Donna, thank you so much! This means a lot to me! 😀
What enchanting day you had with your boxes of memories Annika. We all need that sometimes. A trip down memory lane is good for the soul. Beautiful inspiration. ❤
Debby, so true and my soul feels rejuvenated and lighter as a result! Enchanting is just the word and a day filled with joy and discovery! I’m lucky that it was a positive experience! Thank you for your lovely comment. hugs xx ❤️
Thank you for sharing with us. ❤
Your saved treasures made for some great memories. Sometimes I clean out those old boxes and think, “I don’t remember what this is and why I would have saved it.”
Pete, I had some of those moments too but reckon most of those unmemorable items were thrown away / given away years ago. Yep, I was lucky at the fantastic experience of this sorting day – and so many more boxes still up there and patiently waiting for Spring! 😀
This is a beautifully written and moving piece on excavating an attic. I enjoyed every word. I have moved 36 times in my life and very little goes forward to the next place. I’ve learned to let go and keep letting go to the detriment of my heart. I would love to find a box with a treasure still in it. I did spend too much time going through every little thing in this last move out. Maybe the nostalgia is what almost kept me from getting done in time.
Marlene, yikes! 36 is a lot of moves and the mind boggles at all that arranging and then the emotional tugs of each departure. Reading your recent posts about your latest move I felt for you and especially with all your craftwork, finding room for as much as possible, what to save. I think you needed that time to go through your things, giving yourself space to truly feel each item, dwell with the memories and emotions which they evoked. Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful comment. Take care. xx
Traipsing down memory lane, Annika. What fun to recapture the joy and optimism of youth. I suspect the troll did shift its feet to see what its old friend was up to. And your comments on Buck’s Fizz sent me scurrying off to Google to find out who and the heck they were. Thanks for sharing. –Curt
😀😀 Curt, I’m smiling how you went to check out Bucks Fizz and their songs! ‘Making Your Mind Up’ was their Eurovision winning song. Not your usual kind of music, I bet but a lot of fun at the time! My troll has now been relegated to the filing cabinet as its antics were most distracting! 😀 Still keeping its beady eye on me as I tap away! It was an enlightening day and rewarding to recapture the spirit from my younger days … and I’m keeping hold of it! Hope you and Peggy are having a brilliant time on your amazing trip!
Of course I had to check out Bucks Fizz, Annika. 🙂 As for your troll, I imagine he is somewhat like Bone and Eeyore who are always keeping an eye on us. So far we have made them responsible for guarding the trailer when Peggy and I are out and about. It keeps them out of mischief.
Peggy and I are also involved in downsizing now and going through things… A trip down memory lane for sure. –Curt
Oh! Trollee (what my bro and I called our Trolls)! What a fun friend to re-find. I’m wondering how much of your old college notes and such you actually kept. Did you have a system for what went and what was kept?
The very idea that your experience helped you to release accumulated skepticism and cynicism – kicking it to the curb of today’s reality – is enlightening. Thank you for that! And maybe, continue with your attic cleanup/sorting with a babooshka to protect your hair/head from invisible critters lurking about!
Awww … I love your brother’s and your Trollee!!! That is so sweet and might have enamoured my trolls more to my friends! It’s has been lovely to be reunited and I’m just wondering where the rest of them disappeared to!
I was astonished that I’d kept all my university notes, essays, translations of all the subjects. Obviously at the stage of packing them up I couldn’t make a decision of what to keep or throw away so I kept it all. This time I’d made my mind up to get rid of it all before I became too emotionally attached to them again and succeeded for the most apart from thesis, special essays.
Yeah!! Thank you for your advice of a babooshka – I’ll definitely try this and huge improvement on my shower cap idea!
Laura, thank you so much for your lovely comment and it’s fun to chat away here! Xx
Yes, it is fun to chat with you here!
Annika, You wrote a beautiful post. I think you’ve kept the right things that bring you joy and fond memories when you see them. Thank you for sharing your emotions and a few of your treasures with us. Have a wonderful week!
Natalie, thank you so much for your lovely comment! It was difficult to start this task but soon became a rewarding and enriching experience. My troll and the some other items now have pride of place on the bookshelves! A joy to share here – although realise it would initially cause bemusement writing about such an ordinary household job! Wishing you a great week too!
What a lovely post, Annika and so beautifully written. ❤
Carol, thank you so much! It was a joy to capture all my emotions and detail of the day … and editing / cutting it down to this post! Hope you’re having a lovely Sunday. Xx ❤️
What a beautiful tribute to our memories and for me I feel there is an importance in connecting to our pasts.
Georgina, thank you so much and I’m touched by your thoughts of this post as a tribute to our memories. That’s wonderful. 😀 I agree that it is important to have that connection with our past … and I’m surprised and saddened in equal measure by very spartan minimalistic interior of some homes.
Yes, I agree with you on and spartan is a good word!
I love discovering treasures, Annika! What a lovely post!
Jan, it is a fun activity and I recall one of my favourite books as a child was ‘The Story of the Treasure Seekers’ – and reckon the spirit of it has never left me!😀
Our treasures have a lot of emotion attached to them. Nostalgic moments. No wonder it’s hard to get rid of all our “junk.” Whenever I try, I end up putting back most of the things I pick up to consider whether to turf them or not. Then I sniffle a bit and go back to my usual routine, leaving the dunging out job for another day.
Bless! Anneli, I can relate to the difficulty of clearing out old things hence this task has dragged out for years — this is only the beginning! The emotional ties is powerful indeed and then so many memories flood over one. This time I was harsh and out of about ten boxes only two were returned to the loft! Not sure I will regret getting rid of the rest but know in the process something vital was reignited within me! Good luck with your sorting out when you come to your next attempt … and I always say no hurry! It’s a job that will easily wait for another day! 😀
Lovely post, Annika. I’m often overwhelmed with emotion when I revisit a box of things I haphazardly packed away years ago. The memories come flooding into my mind and I’m transported back in time. I have a difficult time letting go of treasures from my past. I guess it’s a good thing we live in a house with a lot of closet space! 🙂
Jill, I had expected to moved by the memories of the items in the boxes but was overwhelmed with the powerful emotions evoked within me! (It’s a long time since I looked at any of these things!) I am not surprised that you feel that same and the journey back in time is incredible and intense. If there is storage space I imagine one will use it up – I know we do! I saw recently on your newsletter that you are giving away as prizes your precious jigsaw puzzles and wondered how you felt to be parted from them? You’ve written so beautifully of your sense of fun and delight in the them al!
I love how you’ve captured your thoughts and emotions in this post Annika. Some treasures remain precious even after many many years and yes! they evoke lovely memories. It is heart-warming to revisit those lanes we traversed through such souvenirs. I could relate to this post dear friend.
Balroop, it means a lot that you can relate to the post, its emotions and experiences. Thank you! It feels harsh to discard old things after decades but at least now I know for certain which items are especially precious and to rescue!
What a fantastic post, Annika, and it’s wonderful that you had so many of your precious things to revive your memories. Loved the car that your brother had. One way good to be giving away things that are today not so important to clear the clutter.
Kamal, thank you and I loved finding these small toys and memorabilia amongst all the papers. My brother was touched to hear about the car and I’m sending it back to him! During the years I’ve given away so much that at one time the charity shops sent me away. It’s a fine line between clutter and important memory item – well, that’s the case for me at least! 😀
Welcome always dear Annika. I completely agree with your words. Lots of love and light 💞💞💞💞
What a beautiful post Annika. My heart skipped a little with you, rediscovering the powerful memories of childhood, a dislike for dust, and the innocence of our young hearts. Thank you for sharing this tender and evocative look into your heart and life. I had trolls too and now wish I still had one!
Brad, thank you so much for your thoughtful and kind comment! It was an incredibly emotional day of (re)discovery and I felt tenderly towards my young self. Yep, dust and dirt are a pet dislike of mine and in spite of the cold all the boxes went outside onto the deck to be washed down before I opened them up. It’s great that you also liked trolls – I seemed to be the odd one out at the time with my small collection of them! Would you maybe have one hiding away in one of your keepsake boxes? They are such friendly folk!😀
You’re most welcome. I don’t have many keepsakes. Too many moves and downsizing.
I would have stopped at the spider webs! What a journey. I loved hearing what you found. The troll–me too! Your attic is the rafters in my garage but I haven’t saved nearly as many treasures. That was fun, Annika.
I nearly stopped at the spider webs as well, Jacqui! I was in a mission so had to continue but did head downstairs for a stick to clear the way! 😀 Yeah, I love that you also had trolls – I found that they were much misaligned here! Have fun if you start to sort your things in the garage attic … it’s an exciting adventure (once you’ve got past the spiders and their webs!) 😀
My kids did some cleaning for me last year–my daughter wanted the Christmas decos I wasn’t using. I felt bad they had to fight the spiders!
I’ve never read such an eloquent, engaging, and, ultimately, moving essay about cleaning the attic. Brava!!
Haha! 😀 Liz, thank you so much! You can tell how much the day of boxes reached within my heart! I wonder I will react when the sorting continues in the Spring.
You’re most welcome, Annika!
Its sort of amazing how much we forget through the years, Annika, and those discoveries from our youth is like meeting ourselves all over again. The memories pour back in but we see them with the eyes of adulthood. How poignant. Now the hard decisions about what to save.
A lovely glimps into your heart, my friend.
Diana, you sum up with beautiful and insightful eloquence my special day of discovery! How true that it was ‘ like meeting ourselves all over again … but we see them with the eyes of adulthood.’ The sensation remains with me and I felt altered by the finds and emotional journey!
The hard part for me, Annika, has been deciding what to keep, knowing that it will all fall on my daughter’s shoulders at some point. The process of letting go is tough.
We don’t have an attic, Annika, in which to store the treasures of our lives. We have to clear out regularly to make space for new things. That being said, I do have a treasure suitcase with a lot of my sons artworks, reports and other things from their younger days. My mom has the same for her memories.
Robbie, I love the sound of your treasure suitcase – precious beyond words. The problem / advantage of loft space etc is that one tends to keep far too much! In this case I’m glad for the emotional reconnection with my past and also the documents! Hope you’re doing okay and wishing you a lovely weekend. X
Thank you, Annika, we are all well and having a cold rainy weekend [the same as you – smile]
It’s always a pleasure to take a trip down memory lane. Thankfully we save a few things that have meaning later. (even if we didn’t know it then). I got very excited when I unearthed my “Teddy” when we went through our things before the big move to Spain. This post is so well written, Annika. I could feel the range of emotions you went through as you rediscovered these items.
Hooray! 😀 ‘Teddy’ safe and sound and I hope it’s got pride of place somewhere in your home in Spain. You’ve had an even more intense sort through before your big move. I remember my mother saying how she gave away so much before our departure from Sweden. It’s odd how random it is at the time of saving of things for the loft but later to discover these were some of the most important items later. I didn’t mention in my tale how I came across poor doll ‘Anna’ thrown across some boxes at the back. She’s now been rescued, bathed and dressed – resting on the spare bed (and scaring the wits out of my husband with her knowing gaze!)
Yes, Teddy and his two friends, Elvis and Tootsie, are here in Spain and sitting on the bed. Thyey do look a bit worse for wear but happy in their old age. A little girl visited and said, “Why don’t you get new teddy bears?” So cute. She didn’t understand why I would keep these old toys but one day she will. Glad to hear Anna has been rescued,
A lovely post, Annika, and it’s wonderful that you have all of these things to enhance your memories.
Clive, than you so much and it means a lot to have these precious things back on my shelves … and within my heart! 😀
I’m sure it does – that shone through your words 😊
It’s wonderful talking to young people and finding that optimism and hope for the future, isn’t it? No reason not to be positive at that age. A good friend’s 14 year old grandson has just made his first solo trip to visit her out here. Excited and fearless about his first unaccompanied flight. Mine didn’t come along till I was 20! There has to be hope, doesn’t there?
Jo, it was enlightening learning from my younger self and somehow the present-day image of me then was so different from the actual, I realise. It’s great your friend’s grandson dared fly out on his own! I hope he’s having a wonderful time! It is extremely exciting and at 15 I flew to Germany on my own to stay with a family for a week – I loved it all apart from getting up at 6 am for school!😀 Here’s to the strength and optimism of the young … and us slightly older!😀
We downsized last year and I had many of these tasks. It took me so long because every box held a treasure that needed to revisited. Isn’t it funny how a dreaded task becomes a pleasure?
Bernadette, so true! It is ironic how that dreaded activity becomes so rewarding – I couldn’t help but smile at myself and all the fuss at the start of the morning! 😀 It’s good you gave yourself time to look through the boxes, connect with things as you moved last year – an incredible and intense emotional time, I’m sure. Hope you’ve settled in well to your new home and wonder if some of the boxed items made a reappearance in your new abode? Xx
Yes, I have settled in and I finally feel like it is home. I lived in my other home for 40 years, so it took some time. And yes, many of those treasures moved with me. Sending you a big hug. Bernadette
Hi, Annika. It’s a very good thing that, years ago, you boxed up these objects. If you’d thrown them out back then, you wouldn’t have rediscovered how important they are.
Neil, I’m now getting worried! 😀 You’re so right and I realise I’ve thrown so much away / given things away over the years – wonder what I’ve missed! 😀 Luckily these (many) precious items were safely stored for so long and brought back the old me!
Beautifully written post, Annika! I’m sure it will send some of your readers to their own attics and other storage spaces. 🙂
Haha! 😀 Dave, I’m sure most of us have overfull attics etc and hopefully many will experience a positive voyage of discovery! 😀 Thank you for your lovely comment!
You’re welcome, Annika! I had moments like yours when packing to move in 2014, but didn’t write about the experience as eloquently. 🙂
I very much enjoyed reading your beautifully written account of a rediscovered youth. What an amazing treasure trove of the past glistening among the cobwebs, waiting for you to be chased up there on a search for practicalities!
Lynette, bless you for your beautiful and poetic comment! Thank you so much and it means a lot that you enjoyed the writing and this tale! 😀 It felt as if I started the day in today’s world and by the afternoon had been transported to my younger days – and realised how much I enjoyed that sense of freedom and positive spirit! Thankful younger me had so much to teach present me! 😀
Thank you and you’re welcome. 🙂
Aw Annika, I love this. I used to have trolls too. They were my favourite thing – it’s the hair!
Looking back on this can be quite overwhelming I find. I too wonder how on earth I’ve collected so much stuff but when I start to look, I can give each thing a reason why I still need it. I guess that’s just human nature! Xx
Yeah! Another troll fan! 😀 They seemed to be toys one either detested (many of my friends) or loved (me!) I had a family of them and feel a bit guilty as I haven’t unearthed the others – yet! Still boxes galore up in the loft. I consider myself quite severe in what I’ve kept over the years and tend to ‘cull’ things, taking them to charity however it honestly feels that every time I leave the loft the boxes mysteriously multiply! Well, that’s my excuse … but yes, it was overwhelming and emotional to go through them all but in a positive way! Hope you’re having a good weekend … and kept safe from the storm. Xx
Oh my, so glad to hear how much you accomplished once you decided to brave the elements up there in the loft. And how lovely you expressed the experience to me.
I just love it how those seemingly insignificant ‘things’ brought you magic after you secured those vital papers.
I found it extremely enlightening how you say you cleared out more than only the loft; the exercise helped you do away with cynicism & pessimism of modern life. And those beliefs we all accumulate one way or another. What a productive outcome resulted.
Stay in that place, my friend. Here’s wishing you well. xoxo
Selma, it’s strange how often we need that push / urgency to start on a task which we then enjoy so much! 😀 Luckily the ‘important’ papers were easy to find and left me with much more time to explore my significant ‘insignificant’ items! The sense of enlightenment was incredible and obviously the main focus of my post – and so far I’ve managed to keep hold of it – thank you! However, it’s getting a bit trickier with today’s latest Covid news in UK. 😔
I know. The news is horrendous. We are far from over this virus. God help us all. Be well, Annika. I wish you miracles.
Your writing is magic, indeed. I enjoyed your account of sifting through boxes of 3-D memories to find yourself writing deep thoughts at a young age. What a treasure trove! Thank you for sharing that dusty day.
Anne, thank you so much! 😀 You’re right about the 3D element of the discovery as today so much of our memories and experiences are stored on computers, memory sticks, disks … the tactile re-connection with my items was intense and emotional. A treasure trove indeed … and this is only the start! 😀