Does this spark joy in my heart?
And if the answer is no, then chuck it, recycle it, give it away or whatever.
I can go one better than this. I ask myself the question before I even buy the damn thing. Consequently, I am coming home with ever lighter bags. A good thing as I am still awaiting my pension.
When I was in my twenties and thirties I was very attracted to vintage items. Old jugs, patchwork quilts, ancient books, and maps - that sort of thing. I still have a lingering affection for such items but not as much as before. A few evenings ago, looking at the bookcases in this room I said to my daughter,
When I was young I would have thought it heaven to have a wall of bookshelves and all those books.
(There more than a 1000 books on those shelves and that's just in one place. There are hundreds more in other rooms)
And see all those jugs on the top shelf?
(There are twenty-one. There are even more in other rooms and some stored away)
When I had just two that I picked up in the Fair Hill market back when you all were little - those two gave me more pleasure than all the ones I've gathered since. Now I find that they mean very little to me.
My first jug
And now I find myself looking at things, things that have hung on walls or sat on chests for a decade or more and I wonder why they are still there. Nowadays when I go into shops that sell vintage items I am interested in what I see but it is like being in a museum. I want to look at the item, think about it but I do not want to possess it. Perhaps it is a part of growing older?