I love books.

I love art.

I love photography.

So it’s a natural fit that I would have two coffee table books in my home: one called The Art Book and one called The Photo Book.

So why did they not Spark Joy?

Why did I never pick them up and thumb through them?

For twenty five years, these two massive books filled with pictures of art and photography sat untouched on my shelves…

Untouched…

Why?

Because they were gifted to me by my ex husband…

Every time I looked at these books I thought of him, how he treated me, and how I allowed myself to be treated…

They didn’t bring me joy.

They brought me sadness and anger and resentment…

Yet…

I kept these books.

I kept them because they were expensive.

I kept them because I love the subject matter.

I kept them because I really wanted to thumb the pages and look at all the beautiful artwork that lay within.

I kept them because they were supposed to spark joy

I kept them because I was scared to face them…to confront all my feelings about how they came into my life…

And then, a few weeks ago, as we counted down to possibly the worst year that I can remember…

I took them off the shelf…

Scanned them to make sure there was no dedication residing on any of the pages, that there was no errant flower being pressed, or note tucked away…

I took them out of the apartment and down the elevator and across the street to the Salvation Army thrift store…

And was confronted with a locked door….

The Salvation Army had closed early that day…

And I began to wonder if there was some reason I was supposed to hold onto these books, some sort of punishment that I was supposed to inflict upon myself…

Because after twenty five years I get the courage to toss these books and I pick the day that the Salvation Army is closed at 2pm instead of 5?

And it’s 2:05?

But then…

I see a man approach the locked door that I keep trying to unlock with sheer will and determination…

And he opens the door and takes the books from me…

Merry Christmas! he says as he takes the books out of my hand…

And I knew at that moment, that I was relieved of some burden that I had carried around for far too long…

The next morning I opened up my gifts, and found that my daughter had gifted me books…

And I’d been gifted an art calendar

and a new lens for my camera, so I could create my own new photo memories…

On Christmas Eve, I got rid of two books…

and a lot of angst and negative emotions and feelings that I had been carrying around for far too long…

Sometimes we think we are supposed to love something, but we need to realize that sometimes we need to let things go…

61 thoughts on “But it’s Supposed to Spark Joy

  1. Oh man, I felt your anxiety of keeping or letting go. Been there myself with items that let me hang onto anger. Never healthy. I think angel must have heard your plea to be rid of those books and you needed to suffer the last few moments for the universe to make sure you would let go. Also…been there!πŸ˜‚ Looks like you have received some awesome replacements. Enjoy!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That was a beautiful read LA. Two things that really stood out for me:
    1. There is not a thing that can spark joy in us unless we allow them to. So it is never about the “thing”, it is always about what we attach to that “thing”.
    2. There are so many new things waiting to come into our life. The problem is we don’t make room for them because we are so scared to let go of the old.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. FABULOUS! PROUD OF YOU! It’s so true, we need to rid ourselves of even the tiniest thing that brings angst to our physical and mental well being. You received a big Xmas surprise when the Salvation Army guy arrived. YOU ARE FREE OF THE PAST! GREAT WAY TO START 2021.

    AND your donation will make someone else happy! Sharing the love, perfect.

    And a new puppy!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I loved reading this post and I’m so happy that you were finally able to get rid of those two books. I’ve been there with hanging onto things from the past that make me unhappy and I know how amazing it feels to finally let them go. I love that you then got some lovely new books for Christmas that will bring you lots of joy!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a wonderful story about letting go and getting better! I would love to know the follow up stories about who received those expensive books. I hope they spark joy for someone else! Love this, LA! Merry belated Christmas to you! Mona

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This was nice to read. One day we will get rid of some of my husband’s books. I use the library. He agrees as we downsize but for him it is a lesson in letting go and for now, he can’t and I understand. Mostly.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Congrats on taking the leap. Cleaning out and starting anew – kind of like the title of the possible new blog I am setting up under the Blogging 101 Class.

    Just started unpacking the pod with all the stuff I’d asked my about-to-be-ex-spouse to pack and ship to me. There are so many multiples of the same things I don’t think I will ever use again. Most of them, at least so far, are from the kitchen. Many of them are related to memories made with my kids which he was also a part of at the time.

    I am thus stuck between a rock and a hard place at the moment. Do I keep them because they spark joy i.e. happy memories. Or do I dump them because they also remind me of what I thought were good times which will never come again?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Here’s my two thoughts. Take pictures and put them in a special folder. Or save one thing and display it. Or put everything in a box. Close the box, put a date on it and put the box away. If in six months you haven’t unsealed the box just donate it

      Liked by 1 person

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