I am not sentimental.

From Oxford Languages we get sentimental as “of or prompted by feelings of tenderness, sadness or nostalgia”

So what does it mean when I say that I am not sentimental? Does it mean that I am never prompted by these feelings?

Well yes. And no.

My walls are covered with framed drawing that my daughter did in elementary school. I have a portfolio filled with snippets of her work from middle school and some of high school. I have a folder in my email box with the letters of things that she has won. These things make me happy. They could also fit in a medium sized box.

I have pictures of my friends on my desk and shelf. I have one trinket that my Mom gave me and one trinket that my Dad gave me on a shelf in my bedroom. On that same shelf sits a few ornamental cats that my Husband bought me on our first vacation together and our honeymoon. Above my vanity sits an old Mother’s Day card from my daughter. In my nightstand sits a tee shirt from a treasured friend whom I don’t get to see very often.

I am sentimental about this handful of things. These things have meaning for me. Two medium sized boxes of goods.

I am sentimental about my memories. Doesn’t everyone love a good memory?

But I refuse to live in the past. I am pretty happy living in the present.

I think that is were the difference lies: some people prefer to think back over the past moments of their lives. There is nothing wrong with that. It’s just not me.

There are also people who are constantly living in the future. When I was in High School, my best friends family was constantly telling her things like: “Sure. Person X has a 10 speed bike now. But will her family be able to pay for college?” They were so hyper focused on preparing for the future that they didn’t leave anything for the present. I’m not telling people how to spend their money. But, you know…balance…FYI- not a sentimental bone in these people’s bodies.

How do you define sentimental? If you were writing a book and you wanted your character to be sentimental, how would you describe the character? What adjectives would you use? What devices would you employ to prove to the reader that you want this character to be sentimental?

Do you think you are sentimental? Do you ever wish you were more or less sentimental?

The definition I stated referred to sentimental as “sad”. Do you think sad when you think sentimental?

Give me 25 words or less on sentimental…

Please…

71 thoughts on “Sentimental Journey

  1. Sentimentality involves treasuring memories of beloved times, and people.
    The more we enjoy the unique beauty of each minute as it is passing, the more precious memories we will have.
    Someone said ‘ ‘I dream of the future, I think of the past, and meanwhile, the present is passing me fast.’ 😄

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  2. I like your idea of sentimental. I am very much like you.

    For a long time I would say, “some day, we will have the money…” I would save things for the future, I would look forward and not living in the moment. I feel like I wasted so much time for those “some days”. I am no longer living my life like that, especially after the year we just experienced.

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  3. I would say I’m not sentimental in the traditional sense of saving grandma’s china..but, like you, I do have little stuff, like a framed tiny note one of my girls passed to me in church years ago that says “MOM, you said church was an hour long!! It’s been like an hour and 15 minutes!” 😂 That still makes me smile every time I see it.

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  4. I am sentimental. I keep small treasures from beloved family and friends. I do not feel as if sentimental denotes the word “sad” as a definition, but instead as a presence, a feeling of being in that moment that is evoked by touching/seeing/feeling the treasure and whatever emotion that brings at that time. The emotion can change as time goes on – nostalgia, gratitude, longing or simply happiness.

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  5. There’s a definition of sentiment that describes being governed by practicality rather than emotion and feeling. That’s the perspective I have of you, from your writing and the things you focus on in the blog. As with any feeling or emotion, the concern probably lies in being too much one way or another…so “balance in all things” seems to be appropriate. On a side sociological note regarding past/present/future: entire cultures associate time references to the way they live. Some of our varied indigenous cultures are very past oriented and influenced greatly by what we may call sentiment while other cultures are highly driven to the practical side and focus only on preparing for the future. They are “socialized” if you will by their cultural references and beliefs while also trying to assimilate into “western culture”.

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    1. This is why I love talking to you because I did not know any of this! That’s really great information (I’m trying not to say interesting any more) and gives me something to chew on. Thank you!

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  6. This is a timely post for me. My husband passed away recently. Unfortunately the harsh reality for me is that it would be best for me to move into a smaller place with less maintenance. I am hoping to postpone moving until my son graduates from college–a few years away. Part of me doesn’t know if I can wait that long.

    Selling my house means dealing with a lot of stuff in the basement. In some ways my husband was more sentimental than I am and kept lots of stuff. Most of this stuff was in plastic tubs. Much of what is in the tubs I had forgotten about or perhaps didn’t even know about to begin with. I have started going through his old stuff. It is overwhelming. 100 year old pictures and photo albums. A relatives graduation program from before my husband was even born! Old wine glasses. A partial set of old china. His childhood toys. My kids’ old childhood toys. Old magazines and newspapers. My son’s sweatshirt from the junior high basketball team and similar items.

    For the most part my husband was organized about keeping all this stuff. Part of me is baffled that I didn’t realize what was in the all of the tubs.

    It feels disloyal to his memory to give away/sell/throw away these things, but sometime it will need to happen. I even feel disloyal typing out this post. In this process I am feeling overwhelmed and this stuff just adds to it.

    Sentimentality is nice. When it comes to things though there has to be limits.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. First off I send my condolences to you. Hoping you and your family are well. Secondly, I agree. You can and should have memories and things you’re attached to. But there is a point where too much can be mentally and physically overwhelming. It’s all about finding the right balance for you individually

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  7. Sentimentality is an affliction that increases as we age. Common side effects include the keeping of small trinkets that appear worthless but are priceless to the afflicted for the moments and memories that they evoke . Treatment is not required in most cases unless it leads to “hoarding”. If sentimental clutter accumulates, seek assistance. Sentimentalists are not contagious, encourage de-clutter with dark chocolate and understanding.

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  8. I tend to be sentimental. Many of the things in my house have memories attached to them and I hold on to most of them, in part, because of those memories. I’ve always believed that being sentimental meant more that you were able to look at those memories and feel that they were important enough to hang onto, to remember the story those things carry, and that most of that was being able to look at them fondly, so I don’t see it as feeling sad. Some of those memories may be bitter sweet because a person tied to those memories are no longer around, but they are still mostly positive. I also don’t see being sentimental as living in the past. Just because I keep a visual reminder of those memories, doesn’t mean I’m not living in today or looking towards the future. If anything, those things help me to appreciate where I am now because they helped to bring me where I am.

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      1. I’ve also had to learn that the things that are important to me because of the memories I have attached, the things I want to share with my kids, don’t have the same feel for them because they don’t share those memories. It has been a little hard and sad to come to that understanding and acceptance. Especially the things that are tied to people that are no longer here and are people my kids never knew.

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  9. I see myself as sentimental. I didn’t want to leave my Palm Springs home of 28 years because that’s where we raised our kids. I had so many deep memories there. I’d cry when my husband said he wanted to leave. Then packing up all the stuff I’d saved and stashed in a back room closet, emptying out my kids closets years after they moved….woke me up to declutter and look forward to new adventures.

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  10. So many things can drag me into the past…songs, smells, images, art, books, clothing, flowers! But I think the past is simply an ingredient in the “manna” I have to offer, if I shut myself off from this aspect of myself, it’s like removing the salt, I’m tasteless. I don’t know if that makes sense? It’s like having dementia, without our memories, we forget who we are, who we love, why we’re here. C

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  11. If it’s something that makes me smile as I reflect on it’s meaning, or if it’s a memory that warms my heart, I consider it sentimental. Photos are that for me. Depending on the the scene, I’m able to conjure up the feeling and emotion I felt during the actual event. Entrepreneur says I have a lot f “stuff.” He’s probably correct. I could purge a lot of it and probably not miss it. But some of it will have to be pried out of my cold, dead hands. 😆

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    1. I always try to purge, reevaluate what truly has meaning for me. I’ve been going with the less is more approach, because if we ever move I can’t imagine packing up a bunch of stuff!

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  12. Hmmm. Alright, yes, at times, and about certain things. Today, I see sentimentality in my life in regard to the memories I hold of the boys growing up, and of my ex-wife and me, of my dad before he died, etc. Sometimes there is sadness, yet there is also great joy, both. Like you, however, I do not live in that time. Meaning, I focus on the now, and how the now is connected to my future. Did I make the 25-word limit? Nah, don’t think so. 😂

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  13. I’ve never been one to collect many mementos, but I would still probably be considered sentimental in that I think about the past a lot. That’s what memories are for. Sometimes they make me a bit wistful, but not really sad, because now is a good thing!

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  14. For me personally, Sentimental, a “time-traveler” from a happier, less complex era, skips down rose-colored Memory Lane hand-in-hand with Melancholia and much too often their sad little sister Tears and incessantly knock on my back door much too frequently until I let them in. Sometimes I can see them approaching from a distance and I quickly turn off my lights and lock the doors. Other times they’re ‘catfooted’ and take me by surprise.

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  15. What happened yesterday, as long as it doesn’t include a custodial sentence, isn’t as important as what happens tomorrow. I can influence what happens tomorrow.

    25 words. It’s surprisingly difficult counting words as I spend most of my time counting syllables. 😉

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  16. The older my kids get and of course the older I get the more sentimental I become. I value the time that we spend together because I know that one day it will be different. Maybe “better” different but it will nonetheless be different.

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  17. I think I am sentimental If I was writing a character that was sentimental I would include a lot of flashbacks kicked off by a range of things (scent, photo, location, music). The range of emotions felt as a result would also run the gamut. Do you ever wish you were more or less sentimental?

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