Disposability – is that even a word? I marvel at the recent evolution of the English language. I think that what I marvel at most is that there actually, but for recent technological advances, were plenty of words before. I remember when the computer department at work started talking functionality. Now, perhaps I am missing something, but function without any ‘ality’ can be used perfectly in place of functionality on every occasion. Is there a computer geek somewhere in the world who introduces himself, “Good morning I am Xxxx Xxxx, I coined the term functionality.”

Anyway I digress and I am fast realising that this blog is evolving (not evolutionising, which, incidentally, spell check does not like) into journeys of the mind. I am not saying that I won’t bring the thought processes back to the initial reason for the blog, but the focus is shifting away from the thought processes and on to simply living, as is my current and future focus. I reread all of my blog this morning because I was contemplating deleting it. I went so far as to discuss deleting it with two of my friends. One said that she had wondered whether I would regret starting on this. That was a tick next to the delete box. The other friend, L2, gave me such encouragement that I decided on the re-read path before deleting. The blog remains. Like many aspects of life, sweeping it under the carpet potentially allows it to fester and festery (another new word or so spell check says. I guess spellcheck would prefer festering, I prefer festery) thoughts are destructive thoughts!

Now, 270 words into this post, I will get back to disposability. Today I am back into reclaiming my house. Yes, it’s taking a bit for me to reclaim and I realised that my issue with disposability is the crux of the difficulty. I was brought up by careful, respectful parents who had a very good grasp of the value of a dollar and of the value of ‘things’ in general. As my children grew, I was often mortified by the lack of care that they showed for the things that I would imagine they should treasure. Now, I have found multiple cameras during the clean-up, some I have no recollection of ever being brought into this house, (but of course, not the one that I have previously mentioned as the cause of a level of angst!).

About 10 years ago I led a group of twenty eight 13 and 14 year old boys to New Zealand to play sport. At the time I bought a very expensive digital camera so that the families left behind could share our adventure when the boys returned. It was beautiful camera, 4.5 megapixels and every possible feature at the time. I think I paid around $2000.00 for it. About 4 years later the batteries stopped holding charge and I steeled myself as I walked into the camera shop to buy a replacement battery (I knew they would cost around $130.00 each). So I walked up to the young man at the counter, produced my camera and asked about batteries.

He started to scratch his head and look in catalogues. He came back and said that he thought that, given some time, he could probably find a vendor and that the price would be around $150.00 each for these batteries. He looked genuinely baffled and picked up a small camera that was around $200.00 and said something like this, “This camera here is 6 mega-pixels and has far more features than the one you are holding. Why would you want to buy new batteries for that one?” At the time, I took this on board and did not replace the batteries.

However, the little girl in me that had been brought up to value, treasure and respect things put that 4.5 mega-pixel camera into the top of my cupboard. I found it again yesterday whilst tidying and I still can’t throw it away. Now I believe that some things (and I mean values, not cameras) are really worth holding on to. I will work on the camera. As my mind races forward, I am wondering whether the lost camera that I really do value can be placed into the category of being ‘cleared out’ before its time in order to save me future angst. I think not, but I momentarily enjoyed the thought!

By the way, I love the comments that people leave that let me know that this is being read. I’d love to hear your thoughts on disoposability!

9 thoughts on “Disposability

  1. I still have an SLR camera which takes film….don’t think I will ever throw it out…
    When we moved house last year, I had to be a bit ruthless as we didn’t have the storage. Kept a few things that where special . I try not to be wasteful because we have worked hard for everything. Not easy … But I gave a lot of furniture to women’s shelter and also to someone I knew who was doing it tough…

  2. I too have taken great delight in giving to others. One of my biggest supporters as far as weight loss is concerned is the lady that I am giving all of my old stuff to! As for our SLR cameras (I have one too!) sadly, I don’t think that anyone but us places the value on them that we do.
    Thanks so much for your comment!

  3. Disposability is a hard one for me too and whilst I examine the item’s functionality etc I often will keep it ‘just in case’ and file it back in my desk or wardrobe until the next clean out. I guess I never really got over disposability after my first marriage broke up and my ex-wife threw out all my favourite things and most of my possessions. Her attitude was ‘if in doubt throw it out’, for my stuff anyway! I grieved for years and often say I use to have one of those etc etc. So that bitterness has withheld me from replacing many things and I dread going to swap meets ‘cos I see many similar items I use to have, could buy, but won’t on principle. My sister sent me some old childhood books and school books of mine after cleaning out the family home when my parents passed away (post ex-wife). I was so excited! I have these stashed away because memorabilty in my mind overrides disposability. Differentiating between the two can often be a challenge though!!

    • Yes, I certainly agree with regards to memories. I have all of my Famous Five and Secret Seven books and an exercise book of poems that I enjoyed as I grew up. Sadly in one of our moves, I lost all of my school magazines. I enjoy a browse through those when I catch up with some old school friends. As for the likes of my first digital camera, it is definitely in the category of ‘stuff’ rather than memories. LOL, we all have our crosses to bear!

  4. I am currently clearing my Mum’s house out as she has had to go into a nursing home. I am so tempted to hold onto everything, from the broken camera to the bag of ‘I don’t know what they’re for and doubt I ever will’ electrical gadget leads.
    Have made the decision to keep a few special items and dispose of the rest. My Mum was a compulsive hoarder and the belongings took over her life – I don’t want to follow in her footsteps.

    • When my mum died I did not live nearby. I have her jewellry and I also kept her collection of lavender soap, body lotion etc. the smell of lavender is very special for me as is the smell of roses- her garden was full of them. Have been reading your blog. I wish you courage and am sending every support your way. Take care. X

  5. I had a friend over for a big ‘disposability’day some years ago.. We laughed and talked about items and then because she had no attachment to them, she persuaded me to get rid of a lot of unnecessary ‘stuff’. It was a good result

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