In preparation for my cross-country move, I’ve been sorting through my belongings. I’m not ready to pack yet, but over the years, I’ve learned that the hardest part of packing is deciding what to take and what not to take. If I can make these decisions now, the packing will be much easier.
With some things I get an immediate Yes, of course that’s coming with me. My looms, my dresser, the mug my friend Amy made. With other things, there’s an equally clear Nope, not taking that. The sofa. The toaster oven.
Then there are all the maybes, the things that require some thought.
Take my kitchen timer, for example.
I use it. In fact, I use it several times a day. I set the timer when I put tea water on to boil and I use it for timed writing exercises. I like its portability and the fact that I don’t have to turn it off. But do I love it enough to wrap it in paper, put it in a box and move it across the country?
You may be thinking, Marilyn, it’s a kitchen timer for goodness sake. Aren’t you over-thinking this? How much can you love a kitchen timer?
The thing is, I believe it is possible to love a kitchen timer. Like a kitchen towel, it may be a small detail, but I know from paying attention that these often overlooked details do matter.
In those hurried shopping moments, it’s easy to choose something that’s good enough rather than waiting, trusting that there is a version out there that makes you smile. Even the seemingly insignificant things can be carefully chosen items that bring you joy.
This basic white kitchen timer came into my home before I paid as much attention to the joy factor. As I consider whether or not to take it with me, I remember being delighted by a green apple-shaped timer that I used years ago until it stopped ticking. Surely there’s another timer out there that will enhance my everyday life with beauty and joy.
This move is an opportunity. Like it or not, I have to decide about everything in this house. I can choose to take those things that make me smile and let go of this kitchen timer and other belongings, large, medium and small, that don’t. Down the road, if I decide to replace any of them, I will take my time and look around for the things that genuinely delight me.
My invitation to you: Is there something seemingly insignificant on your shopping list? When you go looking for it, can you make a choice to find a version of it that makes you smile? I’d love to hear about it.