What We REALLY Value...

This weekend has really caused me to think so much about the things that we invest so much of our emotions and time in. I cleaned out my closet and dresser drawers with the intent to really get rid of a lot of "stuff" that I've held onto for so long for whatever reason - mostly for sentimental reasons. Lately, I've really wanted my life and my surroundings to reflect what is most important to me which is my faith, the love of my family and friends, art and my clothes.

YES, my clothes! I think a lot of us women really invest much into our looks by way of our outfits, shoes, jewelry, etc. I think it's ok because that's how God made us and is a part of being feminine. I realize that there's a fine line between how many shoes, tops, pants, skirts that we should have and what's too much. Since we've lived in this old house which did NOT cater to anyone having much in the way of clothes in 1894, I've let my closet size help me learn to pare down. At times, I've over stuffed it, but I think after cleaning it and my armoire out that the amount of clothing and shoes is now completely manageable and more sensible. See? Well, it might need a little more attention in neatness, but it's a start. Most of all, I felt such a sense of relief and of letting go that was very liberating and freeing!!!!

Today, I'm not at church right now because my throat is red and sore, and I feel slightly rotten - probably have what Olivia had a few days ago. So I've been dusting and while dusting in the living room, I thought again about what I value most as I was dusting off one of the most special things in my house to me (a ceramic piece made by the head of the art dept. at Alabama A&M University where I got my Art Ed. Master's. Dr. Clifton Pearson gave this peice to Tom and me for our wedding gift. He made these awesome African figures for a show he was having around the time of our wedding. I LOVE this piece and was so honored that he gave one of these to us!)
- that if our house were to catch on fire and could only take a few things (after my children, of course) what would those things be? Pictures and art, my answer.

This painting is one by a Russian Impressionist artist. (Tom and I bought this painting on our honeymoon in Amsterdam in 1995. It is a piece that has given joy to view each time. The light changes in it throughout the day. Gorgeous, impressionistic colors!

(Painting I did of Olivia when she was 2 that hangs over our fireplace in the living room.)

I think most people value pictures so much. Just listen to people on the news when a tornado has demolished their homes. What are people most sad about losing? Pictures. I've heard it so many times. I believe it's because pictures capture moments in time, our memories of people and places we've been. We like to hold on to those memories and moments. Also, for people like me who live far from their family (my parents and siblings) and where they grew up, pictures are even more valuable.

(an image of Carole and me taken by this photographer in '92 that I treasure and dusted this morning) (My wedding picture that was on the same chest as the other picture and African figure in the living room.)
Thank goodness for the internet to be able to quickly share pictures with someone across miles and oceans. AWESOME!

OK, I've shared my rambling thoughts about what I value, what do you value most???


-Matt said...

great post - and lots of thinking to do. I've been thinking about this & the 4 hr workweek stuff too. That question was about what you could get done on your BHAGs right now and what you would have to give up to get them done. Where would you be if you got that next goal done? I love this sort of thinking. Great!

ckayser said...

Thanks, Matt! Yes, I know the feeling. I'm finally caught up on things after about 6 weeks of wildness. Good thing 'cause now I'm sick! :(((

Jennie & Pete said...

We've created such a kid-centric home at our place . . . the clutter is endless! (I'm envious that you have such an organized closet, Claire!) I want to scream at all the papers I save (since I'm a scrapbooker, I save WAY too much), all of the little "trash and trinkets" that Ben & Abby continue to bring into the house ("special" leaves and sticks to things Ben buys with his own $ now, from the $ store). I know what I value (my family, and all of the layers of friends from all aspects of my life), so I spend time planning events, sending e-mails and reading the blogs of people I admire (www.clairekayser.com - ha ha), instead of organizing and picking up. It's OK most of the time, but every once in a while, I feel like I'm going CRAZY!

What do I really value? TIME! Precious time! I can't seem to get enough of it to do all of the things I want to do in my life. (Including the de-cluttering! :-)

Jennie T.

ckayser said...

Hey Jennie!

Yes, I know all about saving all those little things the kids create and bring home from school. I've learned what to keep (very little) and what to throw away. I usually keep only the kind of art that they've really put time and effort into which is not that many projects. The rest, the sooner you throw it out, the better. I'm in de-clutter mode!

See you at church again sooooooon!


Carole Foret said...

Whoa, wow. Here I've been so caught up in the "Under the Christmas Tree" show this weekend--just got home, and you have been decluttering and centering your thoughts! How awesome! Now I can have some of your clothes--right? haha Hey y'all! Claire got "best dressed" in high school, and I love receiving her hand-me-downs. :)

Great post, Sis--I voted for family, faith, computer (since I connect with so many with it) and socializing with others.

Jen said...

I was thinking about this a couple of weeks ago too! It was brought up in a class at my church and it's had me pondering what I place in the center of my life... I think for me family and faith struggle with each other, I know that if I put my faith in the center everything else will work out, but sometimes its too hard to put anything before my family, kwim?
I love the pictures you've shared here, you are so talented with your painting, it was fun to see your home filled with your talents. My walls are bare, I hope to change that someday and fill my walls with my art... someday.