I watched “Hoarders” once and was horrified. That’s all it took for me to “dig in” and clear the clutter. Not that I had a hoarding problem, but after watching a few episodes of that show, I was certain I was NEVER going to have one!

STUFF, on a much smaller scale is inevitable. I like to think I keep a clean house on the surface, but who doesn’t have piles in every room of the house? Well, I have this one friend (who shall remain nameless) but I’m not sure she’s human. Point being, we all have it, and we don’t always know what to do with it. Sometimes stuff comes in handy–like when a friend is in search of some obscure item, and you just happen to have it. Or when your children decide they’d like to wear your old Show Choir dress to a costume party. Yep, I’ve got that too. There’s something truly exhilarating about being the one who can come up with just the right thing!

Like most moms, I keep the usual too, like the special outfits my daughters wore when they were very young, programs from their events and activities, and even my wedding dress, in hopes that one day they too will cherish its beauty and beg me to borrow it for their special day. (Insert sarcastic snicker here…because YES, I realize that’s NEVER happening.)  We all know these kinds of “keeps” are more for us than our children. They are for those times when we just need something to hold close to our hearts, allowing us to slip back in time for just a moment.

Don’t get me wrong–I get rid of plenty. Probably more than I should if you ask my youngest daughter, who often “catches” me tossing her creative masterpieces. Naturally, I believe everything my children produce is priceless and I do hold onto a lot of it through their school years, but who could ever keep all of it? I keep what I can, because there will come a day when I (like my own mother) will relish in the moment when I can hand it over to them once they have a place of their own. They’ll “pretend” like they don’t care about it anymore. But then they’ll take it home with them, and have one last moment with it (while they quietly thank their mother for holding onto it for them).

There are a few things I keep closer, rather than tucked away in storage. They are the “keeps” that make me smile when I need it most. They lift me up by simply glancing at them from time to time. Tucked inside my wallet, is the following:

*a quote from one of my middle daughter’s favorite performances

*a love note from my youngest, on the tiniest piece of cut out paper

*a newspaper clipping celebrating my oldest daughter’s 16th birthday

I feel them near me, even when they’re off doing what they love most, which is most anything besides being sentimental with mom.

There is a newspaper clipping from when I left my long time news anchor job, before moving to Nebraska. And perhaps the one I’ve carried the longest, is a small note with handwritten acknowledgments from women in my MOMS group years ago. We were asked to write down meaningful words that best described each other. As a woman, I need to see those words from time to time. They fill my cup on days when it’s gone dry. They remind me of who I am to others. I carry all of these things, for several reasons. But above all, I love them dearly (the people and the items). I treasure their meaning and feel they deserve to be held closely, so I never lose sight of the little “keeps” that amount to a bigger purpose in my life.

What do you keep? 

Whatever it is, make sure it has meaning to you. In this lifetime, that’s all that really matters—that we all have something to keep that we love (and oh yes, have room to store!!)  🙂

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Amy Sharpe

Amy Sharpe is a former television news anchor from Kansas who migrated north with her family 8 years ago, when her husband was named Voice of the Huskers! (good thing she LOVES Red!) Since arriving in Lincoln, and adding a third daughter to the family, she now works at St. Mark's church as the Director of Event Management and Video Specialist. She also enjoys the flexibility of freelance on-air and voice work. When she's not busy toting her girls back and forth, from soccer games to dance to theatre rehearsals, she finds happiness in sharing the stage with them and watching local productions. And yes, there's always time to sport their RED and support the Huskers!! With each passing year, she's realizing more and more, that she really is living the "Good Life" here in Nebraska.