Behold! Jewelery Hooks! Tim put this up for me to hang my necklaces on shortly after we moved here. It's so much better than a jewelry box for keeping things neat and tidy. Just the sort of thing that I like.
Up until yesterday, there was a lot more stuff on those hooks. A lotalot. Too much really. (I wish I had thought to take a before photo) And most of it was big chunky stuff. Stuff with lots of angles and dangles. Just the sort of things that practically invite tangles. (sorry didn't mean to rhyme there) And earlier in the week, after nearly pulling out my hair with frustration trying untangle 3 pieces, one of which was a multi-strand necklace, I kind of stepped back and said, "Wait a minute, when was the last time I even wore that?" And the answer was, 'more than 5 years ago' which was, essential a different lifetime.
So as I spent far too much time in the kitchen under really good light, with two straight pins very slowly separating each from the other (and ultimately finding success, yay me) I considered the situation.
Most of it was costume jewelry. Good quality, but still, not real anything. Just costume. So not an enormous financial investment. All of them were pieces that served me well back then when I was working a regular 9-5 job and dressed nicely every day. But none of them were the kinds of jewelry that work with my life now. As a Florida resident and retiree, my daily wear now is shorts and sandals or sneakers. Anything I can wear on the beach. During the summer I can absolutely guarantee you that I will be sweaty every single day and on hiking day I promise you sweaty and dirty. In winter my wardrobe is jeans and sneakers. Still super casual. If I'm not hiking odds are good that I could be be pruning trees, washing windows, walking on the beach or making cookies - not a single activity that requires statement jewelry.
Maybe it was time to thin the herd. The question was, what would I do with anything I decided I could live without? I suppose I could donate it to Salvation Army or GoodWill. I have donated lots of things to those places in my lifetime. But I don't know. Jewelry, even stuff no longer pertinent to my life, feels so personal. Too personal to just discard willynilly.
I couldn't imagine foisting it off on neighbors or friends, "Here, have a piece of jewelry I no longer use and has nothing to do with your life at all". That isn't thoughtful.
Then it dawned on me! One of our nieces is a teacher of drama and music. Her school does marvelous plays. Statement jewelry does well on stage. It's big, it's sparkly and it's noticeable even at a distance. High Drama stuff. So I reached out to her and she was delighted to have it.
I spent some time choosing which pieces to let go of and folded each necklace (sometimes with matching earrings!) into a paper towel envelope. Hey, don't judge me! In my family it is a time honoured method of transporting necklaces without arriving with a bag of tangle. I then put all of the envelopes into a bag. Followed by re-arranging my remaining necklaces on the hooks in far better fashion. Satisfaction, thy name is job well done.
Yesterday, our niece, Carrie, came by and together we opened each jewelry envelope so she could decide if any of them would serve her drama department. As we looked at each piece she knew exactly which of the upcoming plays each piece could be used. Sometimes she even immediately knew which character of the play would wear which piece! She took the whole bagful. Awesome!
Talk about a win/win. Her drama department has a new infusion of sparkly bits for costuming and I have a far tidier, neater, less tangley jewelry.
There was only one necklace that was hard to give up but it was the right decision. And if I miss it too much, well I guess I will just have to attend the play to visit it. Hah!
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.