As a family we are in the process of moving from one house to another, interestingly the new one is only two thirds of the size of the house we presently live in. This means we are going through all our possessions and making decisions about what to keep and what to let go of. We have lived in this house for 14 years and when we moved we brought some of my now deceased parent’s possessions along for the ride, because we could. Now we can’t!
For me now the question is what has passed the test of time, what passions have I retained for a life time? What has been truly significant? I guess these are questions my friend Peter Goulter would approve of as I enter my “Third Age.” What of all the things that generations have retained and collected are actually significant enough to pass onto the next generation or be enjoyed in our retirement?
One thing I have noticed is up until our digital age it was amazing how many printed family photos we collected. Also they take up an enormous amount of space. Sometimes I can sit there and look at a photo for a while and then ask where or who is that again? There can be quite an emotional toll in some of the decisions about what stays and what goes as we sit there in the evenings wading through boxes of photos.
One of the things that I have found during this process is that we can have a lot of interests that come and go over the years. If you are like me you don’t necessarily sell or get rid of things once you no longer take part in the activity. Hence I have had a lot of things to sell; from model racing cars to model trains that are just collecting dust. Or what about the golf clubs, sailing dinghy and wetsuits. Things that were once important and are now surplus to needs, like the perennial fitness equipment, some of it quite pristine, almost new from lack of use!
That being said there are also things, interests and beliefs that have passed the test of time for well over 40 years. I had my first major encounter with God in Easter 1975; I still have the rather tatty Good News Bible. I was 16 and at an Easter camp for youth where the Holy Spirit turned up big time! I have to say I understood exactly what God wanted of me and at that stage I wasn’t prepared to actually give my life totally to Him so I walked away. But God is no quitter and He continued to work on me until I returned to Him after 14 years and the rest as they say is history.
I went to the International Motor Rally for the first time in 1976 and I still have that programme from the rally. In fact I have all the programmes from the international rallies right through until 1990 with a smattering of others along the way till about 2008.
The other significant thing in my life is that I have always understood the importance of family. God, family and cars/motorsport have provided the backdrop for my life, therefore as I look at what will be retained going forward these remain firmly in my sights. The love of books and my model rally car collection are part of the way that God has made me and bring me life and joy. For me other things may be cast off but not these.
So if you were to look back over your life what would you see? What have been the building blocks of your life and how do they affect your ongoing choices?