Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Collection of Positivity Twenty Years in the Making

Fortune cookies completely fascinate me. To think ‘if I had grabbed for that one instead my little jolt of positive reflection would have completely changed’ is something I relish in. Call it fated destiny or whatever blah, blah you like but I love to open up those little sweet treats to find the inspiration inside. I have been collecting some of my favorites for apparently much longer than I remembered as I discovered a whole slew of them yesterday.

Wait a minute, let me back up and share the full story.

The day we got back from Cali I ordered a treadmill. For the past few months I have been weighing (pun very much intended) the options between the gym or a treadmill for my home. The treadmill won because I considered that when I used to go to the gym that was typically the only thing I used anyway. For just slightly more than an annual membership fee for just one of us, now Matt and I have that gym right here in our home (wow, how infomercial does that sound?).

Well, not yet exactly.

It should be arriving this week so for the past few days I’ve been doing what I do best -- de-cluttering my environment to make room for this extra large item that is coming in.

There are a few boxes we have yet to unpack as I knew that they were things we couldn’t do much with. Framed photos we don’t really have wall space for here, fabric for OPP (other people’s projects) and a final box that I have been carrying around with me for what feels like forever -- “Memorabilia”.

Within that box is another smaller box I labeled “Box of Memories”, this is the one in the photo above. I created it out of corrugated cardboard that I fashioned into a base and sides which are scotch taped together, then a top that is “hinged” on one of the longest sides. The cover and opposing long side have holes punched near the edge and the whole thing is held together by a fluorescent orange shoe lace. It was quite an ingenious bit of MacGyver-ness if I do say so myself!

Every so many years I go through this box and I’m always re-surprised by some of the items that I find: a mug received for graduation that has every class member’s name printed on the back, my bible and diploma from graduating CCD, a 6” railroad nail I salvaged when they took the line out in the early 80’s, the lyrics to both The Rose and Amazing Grace (for Holly ♥), a postcard from a pen pal who visited Astoria, Oregon where The Goonies was filmed, the program and ticket stub from when Dane Cook starred as Danny in our high school production of Grease (and a stub from his very early years act at the now defunct Catch A Rising Star in Harvard Square), Svetlana Boginskaya’s autograph, and all 4 years worth of my varsity letters for gymnastics.

Sorting through the box instead of just bringing it to the basement was just too tempting as I considered how long it had been since I had last done so. Ticket stubs and programs from productions and sporting events, postcards from other places, my HS diploma and then at the bottom of the box, plus taped all along the inside of the cover, were tons of fortunes from cookies that I had been collecting for I’d guess more than the past twenty years.

As a self proclaimed clutter free kind of gal it mystified me that I would keep such a thing as tiny little scraps of paper but then I started to read them:

“If you continually give you will continually have.”
“Serious trouble will bypass you.”
“He who knows he has enough is rich.”
“You should be able to undertake and complete anything.”
“Your life will be happy and peaceful.”
“Every man is a volume if you know how to read him.”
“Trust your intuition. The Universe is guiding your life.”
“The only way to have a friend is to be one.”
“You are going to have a very comfortable old age.”
“You are a person of another time.”

All of a sudden it hit me. All of these awesome self improvement gurus are just doing what I’ve been doing all of these years, collecting their fortunes and following the advice inside as a way of daily life!

My older ones were definitely uplifting and they all remained inside the box but as of now I am living my life by one of the more recent ones I have taped to my computer monitor:

“Love is a present that can be given every single day you live.”


Almost Precious said...

Wow, your make shift "steamer trunk" is so cool.

I think we all hang on to memorabilia, tossing it out would be like losing a part of ourselves. It doesn't matter who we are, we still enjoy looking back and remembering when, taking those pleasant walks down memory lane, savoring those halcyon days of years gone by. No, we can never go back but we can always remember.

It's easy to see why you hung on to those fortune cookie fortunes, they are all very wise truisms.

Karen said...

Wow... what a 'trunk' full of memories! I love the fortune cookie sayings, especially the one you taped to your computer :)

spottedwolf said...

Bless your lovely and silly ol' heart Jenn....ya always make me smile!!!

pastrywitch said...

I keep almost nothing, but fortune cookie fortunes tend to get pinned onto the bulletin more, with the phrase "in bed" added. As in 'You are imaginitive in using your skills'. Seriously.

Elizabeth Bradley said...

My son's father and mother-in-law broke up and he inherited a super-duper treadmill, so he gave me his. It's a pretty fancy one, has all the gadgets and stuff, and man, I love it! Hope you love yours just as much.

Rosebud Collection said...

Wonderful post Jenn and so meaningful..Isn't it funny the things we save, but when reading them again, you know why.
Glad you enjoyed CA..gosh, I bet it was beautiful..I am sure you had a big shock coming home..crap, I didn't go anywhere and it was a shock..Have a great rest of the week..xoxoRosebud.

Maggie May said...

awesome to keep a trunk like that. and welcome back!

ginger said...

i do hope you love your treadmill. i love mine. i don't use it enough, but i love it.

i'm always keeping fortunes from cookies and i find them now and then in change jars or taped to odd places and then it's like getting the fortune all over again.

Suldog said...

So cool. I read Michelle's post earlier today...

... and now yours, both about fortune cookies. Excellent stuff.

Chris Stone said...

great post! i have a box like that... *or maybe 2 or 3...*


P.S. I am a clutter bug!
...but, I am getting better.


Park that tread mill in front of the boob tube, to walk and watch and learn something new.

A movie a day.

Those are some great quotes to save, make them into a collage or type them to tile, or paint them to steps.

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Thanks for commenting friends! Sorry I haven't had a chance to get in here and respond before now, been a nutty week all around.

Michelle H. said...

How cool is that?! The love of fortune cookies... great post! Thanks for dropping by my place.

Bridgete said...

Pardon my delayed reading/commenting.

I TOTALLY keep the fortunes from fortune cookies!!!! I try to keep every one I get. Sometimes they don't make it to their safekeeping place, but most do. I like to look at them now and again.