Inspired by A Hundred Pieces of Me

Yesterday was one of those days when the children were playing nicely enough together that I thought I could chance a sit down with a cuppa and a book for half an hour. The book though was A Hundred Pieces of Me by Lucy Dillon, and I’m ashamed to say the children were allowed much more than their allotted computer time as I couldn’t stop reading. As soon as they were in bed I finished it. It’s such a stunning book and everyone I know will be getting it for their birthdays. I adored Gina and I fell head over heels with Nick(it’s a possibility that if I spent less time falling in love with characters from books and actually met real life people that I’d be less single, but hey I’ll work on that when I run out of books.)

The premise of the book is the idea of keeping hold of only one hundred items. We seem to surround ourselves with so much ‘stuff’ having to think about what to choose to keep is one I find really interesting . A hundred is really not many at all when you think of clothes and shoes, DVDs, books. I’ve been spending time thinking about my favourite things. Things I keep because they make me happy. I won’t bore you with hundred but I’ve come up with 10.

1) Books. I know obvious right!! Not all my books though,there’s way more than a hundred of those. It’s the books I read as a teenager.Such as Paula Danzigers The Cat Ate My Gymsuit and Judy Blume’s Forever. Who could forget Ralph?. I love these books as I was a weird teenager and spent a lot of my time at the library or reading.These books are cosy and comfy and I’ve re bought them over the years to give my daughters in a few years. Well maybe not Forever!!

2) A dress I have never ever worn.
I bought a beautiful little black dress to wear for an occasion. It cost more than I have ever, to this day, spent on a dress and it’s lovely. Unfortunately I was in the midst of the abusive relationship at this point. One of his favourite games was to say he’d watch the kids while I went out then wait for me to get all ready and change his mind and I couldn’t go out after all. This is what happened on the night of this dress. It’s still hanging in my wardrobe because I really love it and I just know there’ll be a day I can finally wear it. There may be the matter of dropping a dress size or two first, but if it’s meant to be…

3) My old school reports
These are really just for proof to the children that I was exceptionally well behaved, hard working and a model student when I were at school. Just in case we ever get to a point where they ask ‘So you never got into any trouble at school?’ and I can confirm that actually, I never did.

4) A DVD of a family Christmas.
This is a real precious thing. My brother was a bit flash in the 80’s and were all impressed when he bought a video recorder. One of those huge ones. He’d recorded a Christmas Day when my sister and I were little and he had come round. There’s my dad singing and my mum hiding from the camera as she fusses over everyone. My sister being a huge show off and I love it. It means I can show it to the children too and they can get a tiny glimpse of how their grandparents were, having never met them.

5) A box of letters.
I still write letters and I love receiving them so so much. My box of letters people have sent me is definitely one of my favourite things. There are letters that my niece writes me from time to time saying how she misses and loves me, usually accompanied by an unflattering drawing of me! Letters from my old primary teacher that I write to, and letters from my friends when we were teenagers and used to write to one another… Usually about boys. They’re really special and a huge pick me up on a rotten day. I do lament the distinct lack of love letters in there.. But there’s still space!

6) A half finished patchwork blanket.
I decided to make littlest girl a blanket after one particular sunny summer when she’d had a variety of sweet little summer dresses. I thought I could use the dresses to make the patches as I’ve memories of different days out in each of them. Unfortunately my haberdashery skills are lacking so it remains unfinished. One day I’ll get round to completing it though as we’ve gotten through a few other dresses since then.

7) GCSE/A level English work.
I’ve a folder with assignments and work I did. I’m unsure why it’s only English that survived but sometimes I look through it and makes me happy. Because some of it is really quite good. I’m impressed how fresh and thoughtful my mind was then. Admittedly I had a few off the wall ideas about A View From A Bridge and Lord of the Flies, but there’s some really quite well written work there and it’s nice to reminisce about the days before my brain was addled by child rearing.

7) Our art gallery.
Last year sometime we had the paints out for little girl to do some creating. It was one of those lovely days when having four children is lovely and fun and no one is bickering (yes one of those rare occasions) Anyway everyone decided to have a go and we all spent the afternoon laughing and chatting and painting and we then transformed the living room into an art gallery. Was a nice family moment and not one I had to painstakingly manufacture. So post art gallery I put all our paintings in a folder to keep

9) Cards
Birthday cards, Thank you cards, baby congratulations cards. I’m a bit of a hoarder on the greeting cards front. People are always coming in and out of our lives aren’t they? Looking at past birthday wishes even from people who drifted out of our life for one reason or another make me smile because at one point they cared enough to take the time to write a card. Oh my! this list is making me realise quite how sentimental I am.

10) Notebooks
I always have half a dozen notebooks on the go. Some contain nothing but to do lists or (failed) diet plans. Some have funny things the kids have said at some point or activity ideas to do with them. Some are Christmas shopping lists. My favourite ones though are those that I’ve used to write down things that are really bothering me or playing on my mind. I’ve always done this as a way of trying to get things straight in my mind or make sense of things. There is something really reassuring in reading back what were huge issues at one point and knowing those worries are tiny now. It’s hopeful and optimistic.

I’m not sure how I’d cut my ‘stuff’ down to a hundred, but it is nice to have been inspired to think about my special things. I think it’ll make a good conversation topic too to have with everyone I know!!!

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26 thoughts on “Inspired by A Hundred Pieces of Me

  1. Oh, I have issues with greetings cards too, but you’re right – they do give you a snapshot of all the people that were spending time and thoughts on you at that specific moment, and that list of people changes so frequently during our lives. A lovely thing to keep hold of.
    *justifies extensive box-filed greetings cards archive to self, and not for the first time*
    x Alice

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  2. My list would look almost identical to yours, I even have a half finished patchwork quilt! (I just don’t have the dress, and I’m so thankful for that!! And I sadly ditched m beloved writing projects when we emmigrated). I have 2 special folders that my dad made, one of all my letters home and the other of my school reports and I would never be able to get rif of those. I woud seriously struggle with this challenge – and I blame the rest of my family for being hoarders!! #blogcrush

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  3. 100 is such a tiny number but I am making efforts to cut down my clutter. Recently I decided to give some family jewellery handed down to me to people in the community here especially one character who wears so much so I am sure she would love it and some of the men here too. Why should it sit in a cupboard hardly seen when someone can make use of it? I love your list. I want you to wear that dress so much! I hope you find someone special to where it for but then you are special so that will do! Lovely to have that video when you lost your parents so young too. A beautiful post as always and one that got me thinking what I would keep. #BlogCrush

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    1. Yes it’s such a tiny number really!! I think a more empowering approach is to sell that SIZE 8 dress 🙄 and buy something new for a lovely date I have lined up soon !!!

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  4. I could never cut back to only 100 items – and I am a staunch declutterer! Hubster moans every time I start gathering stuff to donate. Not he topic of letters, when my great, great Aunt passed away, I held onto the box of letters she exchanged with my uncle while he served overseas in World War II. Such an amazing part of history and I’m proud to protect it. #BlogCrush

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  5. I love to be free of clutter and minimalistic, but even I would think 100 things would be tough! Photos, books, art… How do I even limit the art the girls bring home to 100 pieces each, each grade? Oy! Sounds like I need to look things over a bit more closely! #blogcrush xoxo

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  6. I did some closet organising at the start of January and found some interesting things there also clothing that I haven’t worn in years. I just placed it in the charity pile. I’m also a hoarder when it comes to books – think I need to start donating those too #blogcrush

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  7. It sounds like a gorgeous idea but I don’t even know where I would start. The only good thing is that we are currently re-decorating our house and there is talk of hiring a skip in the spring to throw out a lot of junk that has built up over the years. So that could be a great time to start separating all the unnecessary things from the true valuables! #blogcrush

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    1. I did this recently too , I became more brutal than I thought possible about ditching my clutter !!! I certainly couldn’t go down to just 100 things though

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  8. So many happy memories here! I also love writing letters. As a child / teenager, I used to write to make a point of sending a handwritten letter to each of my friends at some point in the summer holidays. And when I went to university, my grandma and I kept in regular contact through letters (mostly because I hate using the phone!). She has passed away now, but those letters, even though they are very mundane, are so precious.

    P.S. I hope your girls have managed to read some of these books you bought for them now 🙂 #blogcrush

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  9. Oooh now this has got me thinking…we are indeed surrounded by so much stuff! The one item I would never give up would be my copy of Watership Down. It’s my all time favourite book and one I hope to read to my boys as they grow older. When I read it, it’s narrated in my Dads voice and will always be a precious memory of him. I think most of my treasured items would hold emotional/sentimental qualities rather than usefulness. I’m probably not the best person to take to a desert island #blogcrush

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