ISSUE NUMBER 38   |   DECEMBER 8, 2014 

The Value of Appreciating, and Letting Go, of Your Past


I recently gave away my kitchen table to my stepson. My motives were part altruistic (he needed one) and part selfish (great excuse to buy myself a new one!). But I did not expect the wave of sadness I felt as a result.

 

I've had this kitchen table since my mid twenties. I remember my mom buying it for me from Pottery Barn, its location in the kitchen of my San Francisco apartment, and all the people I've had over for dinner around that table. The table has seen me through five relationships, three moves, over 20 parties, and countless life changes. I sat at that table crying after I put my cat to sleep. I started my consulting business there. It's the only kitchen table my 4-year old twins have ever known.

 

I was excited to pass it along to my stepson as he embarks on his new life, and his first apartment. But as he and his girlfriend drove away I had a moment of panic: "Wait, come back, I have all these memories...!"

 

We all go through changes, great and small.  But whether it's a significant loss, or a piece of pine furniture, we should all give ourselves permission to appreciate our experiences and acknowledge our feelings.  And then we can also allow ourselves to let go, move forward, and embrace our future.

   

2014 Kris Putnam-Walkerly. All rights reserved. Permission granted to excerpt or reprint with attribution. 


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Kris Putnam-Walkerly, MSW, is the president of Putnam Consulting Group, Inc. and author of the Philanthropy411 blog.

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Copyright Kris Putnam-Walkerly 2014. All Rights Reserved.