Guys, this is a tough one.
I mean, I’m not a minimalist by any means, and I definitely get too emotionally attached to “stuff” (especially gifts). But something about choosing a “favorite possession” feels weird, you know? Like, super consumerist and materialistic.
I haven’t read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and I don’t intend to (in part because I’m pretty sure I already know the main message of the book, which is to get rid of everything that doesn’t 100% bring you “joy.” Is there more to it?). But aside from the piles of paper clutter and random junk that takes up way too much space in our one-bedroom apartment, I tend to like pretty much all of the things I have.
I’m more attached to some than others, obviously. There’s the teddy bear my uncle gave me at my christening. The baby blanket my great-grandmother crocheted for me (it’s now mostly in tatters and sits in a safe place in the closet). I’d be devastated if anything happened to my engagement or wedding rings. The necklace my husband gave me when we were dating. The battered old Giants hat that has a few signatures under the brim (including Dusty Baker’s in ballpoint pen, so after years of leaving it exposed on my shelf, I keep it hidden in the dark in my closet and only take it out when I’m going somewhere with autograph opportunities). Oh, and my truck. The things I love because of all the meanings and relationships and emotions wrapped up in them.
Then there are the things I actually use every day or every week. (My truck falls into this category as well.) Everything from my iPhone to my Get to Work Book to my teapot to my laptop to the little pouch attached to Onyx’s leash that holds the bags for her poop and makes my life so much easier.
The difference between the first and second categories, of course, is replaceability. I’d be pissed if my phone got lost or broken (how pissed would probably depend on how recently I’d back it up). And because of the cost, I’d be more upset about that than something happening to the teapot, which was about $15, or the little poop bag pouch ($5 at Target). But I’d replace any of those things and get over it.
The teddy bear? The hat? The necklace? If something ever happened to those, that’s it. (The rings *could* be replaced, technically, but I’d get all upset over no longer having the exact pieces my husband picked out and gave to me. Crazy? Maybe. Don’t care.)
So…I don’t know. Picking a favorite possession feels icky. But acknowledging what I like or don’t like about certain things and why, and what I’d do or how I’d react if they needed to be replaced, sure is interesting. And, I think, a worthwhile exercise.