Over the past 10 years I bought VHS tapes of old television shows, movies, and Disney movies that my family loved. I watched many of the Disney ones with my first son when he was little. I even bought two second hand VHS players, in case one broke, so I could share and watch the old videos with my grandkids someday. I only paid $1 to $2 each for the tapes and $3-5 each for the VCRs at thrift stores over the 10 years.
I couldn’t resist the video series: “Dinosaurs” (?) with the baby dinosaur whom called his daddy, “Not the Mama.” I had many of the Disney videos including “Mary Poppins,” “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” “The Fox and the Hound,” and so many more.
My plans were changed after the oldest grandson was three years old and the second one was almost one and a half years old. Their tastes are geared more to talking cars, trucks, robots, a police force made of 7 special dogs and one human. There is also PJ Mask with three kids with pajamas that imbue them with super powers. They all have a lot of action and excitement.
Finally I realized my grandsons are growing up in a different time than my son did. Somehow I don’t think my grandsons would want to watch sweet stories, some with music and some with animals. These characters would seem slow and lacking in excitement now compared to what they watch now.
But not knowing what their tastes in entertainment would be, I collected the VHS tapes from the eras gone by, just in case. I didn’t know when they were born that these “oldies but goodies” were not going to be something the boys would enjoy.
So I had to make a decision on what to do with all of these tapes. Thrift stores here do not sell them anymore. So I explored the financial value of my “treasure trove” on the internet. Some, if not all, were of little to no value.
And if I did decide to sell the cartridges I would have to watch them to be sure they were functioning properly which first required that I connect the old VCR correctly to the television; advertise them; make financial arrangements with the buyer; and package each cartridge. I do not have the time, energy nor ability to do all of that now. But how could I throw them away after the money I spent buying them?
I can hear my parents who grew up in the “Great Depression” telling me “Don’t waste money.” My sweet father was known on many occasions to pull over on the side of the road to pick up a screwdriver he saw. In fact he had a garage built in the back yard for his collection of “potentially” useful items. One I will never forget was a rusty two seated bicycle from years gone by, suspended on the garage wall.
When I moved into my condo one tall book shelf was place on the opposite wall from my recliner, beside a small cabinet for the VCR, and the television on its cabinet. So I could see the shelves and the TV across from me from my recliner. The shelves stored the VHS tapes, books, and other odds and ends. The VHS tapes alone took up two shelves.
So the tapes continued to sit there. Day in and day out. They reminded me of the money I wasted. They took up space on the book shelves. Finally they were just reminding me how my loving plan had gone wrong, truly through no real fault of my own and making me feel frustrated.
Okay 2019 is almost over! I have no reason to keep the VHS tapes. Nobody wants them. I can’t make enough money from them on E-bay. They are taking up space and making more surface area for dust to collect on.
It is time to throw them out! So today I collected the cardboard cases for recycling and placed the cartridges in a paper bag and threw them in the dumpster.
The VCRs have been in a cabinet beside the bookshelf behind closed doors. “Out of sight, out of mind.” So I never got around to hooking them up. Next week I will get someone to help me get the VCRs into my car and release them to the recycle center. I already feel better.
You know the funny thing about it is I don’t feel guilty any more. I bought those items with love and hopes that I could share the same shows with my grandsons that I watched with my son. I guess in some ways I bought them for me too.
It’s all okay now. I know that my intentions were good and filled with love. That is what is important. Although they may never hear how I bought all those tapes to share with them, my second son and his wife may tell them someday how much I loved them and wanted to share some old timey tapes with them.
As I wrote this I realized how well this story could apply to preparing for the new year. Starting with the past we all have regrets, ideas or purchases that didn’t work out or were frivolous. We may have bought some items because they reminded us of another item we had an emotional attachment to from our childhood. We may have regrets about something in a relationship.
Sometimes we have to leave the past behind. The sad, hard things we experienced or words someone said to us could really take over our thoughts if we let them. When our minds and hearts are not able to forget or forgive ourselves or someone else, we have less energy to enjoy the good things in our lives. This does not apply to traumatic events which may need therapy and years of healing.
Worrying and fretting over old words and events use up energy, attention, time and self confidence that we could use in other more beneficial ways.
So clean out your mind, heart and house of those things which no longer make your life full of joy, are no longer useful, do nor bring you peace. Find the thoughts and activities that help you heal better, love better, enjoy life better, and provide a positive atmosphere to your life and your home.
Happy New Year!!