It’s amazing how often I distract myself from doing the things that make me feel good, like exercising, or painting or writing. Instead, I procrastinate, which—in the end— rarely makes me feel good. Case in point, yesterday I set my intention to work on illustrations for my children’s book. Instead, I distracted myself with a few meaningless tasks—and one that turned out not to be.
For some reason I decided to clean out my every-day purse. One purse led to another. Expanding the job to include all the purses I’ve used in the past six months gleaned some surprising results. Once I discarded old receipts, ancient cough drops, lint, and other useless junk, here’s what I found.
- $12.48 in U.S. coins
- 1,50 in euros
- Two pairs of earrings—two of my favorites. I purchased them in France several years ago.When I’m running late, I have a habit of grabbing earrings on my way out the door and tossing them in a purse. I intend to put them on later. Sometimes I forget. Evidently, I forget where I put them as well. Found at last!
- One tube of lipstick, my favorite brand (Zuzu organic) in my favorite color. How did I forget about that?
- Missing library card—I’ve been wanting to get some books for school, but I couldn’t locate that darn card. There’s a five-dollar fee to replace a lost one. Couldn’t pay that when I knew mine was somewhere. Found it!
- Forgotten business cards from people I actually want to contact (and some I don’t).
- Assorted partially stamped cards from Yogurt Time, billed as the #1 self-serve frozen yogurt shop. Put together, I find I have enough points for a free cup of yogurt, and I’m well on my way to a second.
- Last, but certainly not least, a gold ring. I noticed it, one day, in a box of assorted jewelry that came to me after my mother’s death. Although I don’t usually wear gold, I slipped it on. Later, I must have taken it off and dropped It into my purse. I don’t remember why —don’t even remember doing it. But, once found, something made me take a closer look at that ring. Holding it under a light, I noticed faint engraving: L.T.H to G.W.H 10-8-45. It’s my father’s wedding band. My mother wore it after his death. It made its way to me after hers. Something I carelessly dropped into a purse has, suddenly, become precious—the only memento I have from my father.
When is a ring more than a ring? When it brings back warm memories. I can’t quite describe my feelings after finding that ring. Just let me say, I’m glad I decided to clean purses (and a bit bummed I didn’t paint).
One of my favorite photos of my dad reading me the Sunday comics—the beginning of my lifetime love of reading.