Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Things Passed Down

I've been thinking a bit about inheritance(s). Now, the word calls to mind families such as the Hiltons where some family members seem able to make ridiculous choices knowing that they are cushioned by an inheritance of money or at least a successful company. Myself, I have no expectations that my mother will leave me millions of dollars and she does not own a business. Which is not to say that I have never received financial support from my family - I have, and I appreciate that I am very fortunate in that respect. But there's all sorts of other things that we get, or feel we can expect to get or hope to get.
There are of course genes. The very stuff of our existence handled down equally from each parent. Many of these I am thankful for. Okay, I am thankful for being here, which then makes me thankful for all of them. But hey, wouldn't we all like the chance to make a few upgrades or exchanges. For example, my brother is wasting the thick curls he got - I got partially curly hair - curlier in the back than it is in front. Wouldn't it be nice if we could swap? And my mother has whatever thingamybob it is makes mosquitoes not notice her - I'd trade that for the mosquitoes travel miles to get me through my clothes thing that I have now.
And then there are the less physical things. The stuff that might be some combinations of genes and family environment. I got procrastination from both my parents. The ability to argue stuff into the ground came from my dad. I have the family ability to compartmentalize to the point of repression. Both my parents were avid readers, although my mother feels I have taken this ability to a new level. Creativity and craftiness are all over my family tree. There is also alcoholism - which so far I seem to have personally escaped, although I am hyper-aware of that history.
And then there are things outside of myself. Furniture and other pieces that I always expected would be there. My parents lived in the same house throughout my whole childhood. I understood that this was unusual, that I couldn't expect that they would always be there in that same place. And actually, they talked for years about moving - to another house, to another state. So when my mother finally did, it was not surprising. But it was (and is) weird to go visit her in a place that I have no attachment to. To see pieces I recognize mixed in with pieces I don't.
And I understand that - corny though it is - I will always have my memories. That the stuff if just the reminder, and also that I don't have any place to put much of this stuff anyway - should it be offered to me. (I've collected my own detritus quite well, thank you). But it's strange. And it makes me a bit nostalgic, although, goodness knows I don't want to move back home or any of that nonsense.

But as my family goes through another property consolidation, it's interesting to discover that I am getting more caught up in the stuff than I had expected to. Don't get me wrong - there are no fights, no tears. Everything has been handled for the most part well. But I had expected to be almost disinterested, and that's not what's happening for me. As with so many things, you think you are above such attachments, until it hits something that gets you going. It's just interesting - that's all.