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  • Jann Daniels

Things we value

I have been going through a stage of self reflection lately. I think that's part of the process of writing memoir. I also wonder if it is part of the ageing process. Do we turn 60 and start to reassess what we value? Or does the wisdom of age and a life lived help us realise what's important.


If I think now what I would need to pack in a suitcase I have come to realise that no suitcase or even a moving van would be required.The things I value are within me, in my heart, my memories and etched into my DNA.


I could not for instance pack into a suitcase the sounds of the ocean crashing with such passion against the cliffs or the gentle roll of the waves as they slap into shore. The sound of magpies singing their morning song a uniquely Australian sound. I had not truly realised the value of a vast land, the smell of the bush after a rainy day, the colours of an open landscape, the value of home until I revisited my birth country and the drab closedness of Manchester city. I also learnt to value the bravery and risk taking of my parents who left their homeland for a better life. I wonder what they packed in their many suitcases.


Our memories are like moments of an old slide show that flickers away in the background of a dinner party. No suitcase can hold the feel , the sounds, the smells that can take us back to a special place in an instant. What a wonderful creation our brains are, value it.

Sometimes we don't value or respect what we have till it starts to fade away.With the bon vivant of youth and the perceived freedom of my wonderful 30's my physical body was not valued as it should be .I am learning now to give it top priority, my number one value.


If I was packing a suitcase today I would leave so much baggage behind.Don't get me wrong there are many treasures I could quite happily pack , but then I would need a moving van - I do accumulate "stuff"

If I had only 5 things to take with me and pack into a suitcase today, they would be -

My IPOD - yes thanks to technology I have all my music on an IPOD, now I know my grandchildren will laugh at this as apparently there is all new fan dangled stuff they use these days, but I love my IPOD. On a side note - value your grandchildren , they know all really good tech stuff and can help you fix things, like web pages ! They will also laugh at you for using words like fan dangled but be equally impressed at your tattered old cook book and recipes.

My journals and pens, how can I make sense of my world if I don't write ?

My external hard drive which holds all my photo's - again some really cool technology that makes the suitcase lighter.

Limited clothing and personal items - toothbrush etc. Could happily live in trackies and ugg boots.

My collection of Anglesea beach rocks, my ode to sentimentality.


What would you pack ?

What do you value ?

#TheSuitcase #memoir #thingswevalue #whatwouldyoupack

My collection of Anglesea rocks and shells, each time I return home I find a rock that "calls" me . I love the feel and smell of them .#thingsI'dpack

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