I would like to let go of stuff. "Stuff" meaning junk, mostly. I am not a clinical-level hoarder, but I have a hard time throwing things away, even when I know I should. This happens with the piles of junk in my basement that I have no intention of ever looking at again, the clothes in my closet (some of which I've never worn), and it extends into my classroom cupboards.
I keep random stuff out of fear that I might need it some day. Some of this I use- the bottom picture is my prop closet, and we put those swords and shields and donkey ears to good use during Shakespeare units. The top picture is where I need to let go. It's actually cleaned out somewhat since the beginning of the year because I've started giving away junk to students as prizes. Kids love junk prizes!
My fear came true just this week, actually. At the end of last year, I did clean out a lot and threw old student work away. I thought I was safe throwing things away from my early years, products from units that I don't even teach anymore. On Monday, I received an email from a student who is now a sophomore in college. He wanted to know if I still had a copy of a movie he made for a group project in 7th grade. I didn't. I threw it away in June. I remember the movie, remember how silly and enjoyable it was. I remember the tough choice to throw the DVD away, justifying that my MacBook Air doesn't have a CD drive, so it's not like I could play it here even if I wanted to. I know it's silly to feel horrible about this; that I can't possibly save everything from every student every year, but I still feel terrible. I still feel like I've failed that kid, even though I haven't heard from him in six years. I need to let go of the stuff and let go of the guilt that goes with it.
I would also like to let go of the past. I know this is probably the same for everyone in life. I would like for my mistakes not to bother me so much, and for the bitterness I feel toward others not to have such of a lingering impact on me. This is something I actively work on a lot in my life, but I still wish there was some way to erase it completely. I envy my husband because he is blessed with this natural ability to let go and move on. I said in a post last week that I'm happy I learned that I'm in charge of my own happiness and misery. Not letting go of regrets and scars from the past is one of the biggest ways I contribute to my own unhappiness.
I'm hoping to clean my closet out over Winter Break. Maybe I can let go of some stuff then. I'm hoping to enjoy the holidays with various family between now and Christmas. Maybe I can let go of some other stuff then.
I teach 7th and 8th grade English in rural Iowa and hope to reflect, connect, and share with other English teachers. Iowa Council of Teachers of English Executive Board member. Iowa Writing Project superfan. UNI MA:TESS graduate.