Should I fix it, or just forget it?

Published 10:22 am Thursday, December 15, 2016

When I was growing up, well, I was a lot like I am now – at least, as far as my coordination (or lack thereof) is concerned.

I was the klutzy child, the one who always managed to break a toy or rip a hole in a pair of pants within the first few minutes of getting it or wearing it.  I also managed to break quite a few of my own bones by falling, or tripping, or getting into some crazy accident.  Those incidents were accompanied by yet more breaking or tearing of other things, usually clothes or shoes (sometimes a car).

My Mema – my mom’s mom – was forever trying to help me fix the things I broke. I remember being in elementary school and for a few years all I would wear was penny loafers. Inevitably, long before I’d outgrow a pair, I’d manage to break the sole off and Mema would take it to a shoe repair shop about an hour away and get them fixed, much to mine and my mom’s relief.  I was just glad to have my favorite shoes back, and my mother was thankful she didn’t have to buy yet another pair!

These days, though… the shoe repair shops are long since closed.  Shoes, clothes, and many other items we use every day are much more easily replaced rather than sent off to be fixed.

Where does the line get drawn, though? How do we decide whether, when something breaks, to fix it or forget it? Ten years ago I wouldn’t have dreamed of throwing a cell phone away for a minor defect. Today, I have at least three cell phones in various stages of disrepair somewhere in my closet… since I’m now a klutzy adult who has a tendency to drop phones, it’s all-too-easy just to go to Wal-Mart for a $30 burner instead of trying to have my old ones fixed.

The clothes hanging in my closet have no sentimental value and most probably came from Goodwill.  My furniture is a hodgepodge collection of various items I’ve acquired over the years, and I’ve moved to a different house at least eight times in the last couple of years alone.

Needless to say, with my tendency to break things (or flat out lose them), the few items I do have that are old or of value I keep put away for the most part to avoid that very thing.  Until I wondered recently, why do I even have things that are “special” to me if I’m not going to use them, or at least look at them?  Should I be applying the “fix it or forget it” rule?

For another thing, I’ve been complaining for months about my inability to simply put away “stuff”.  By stuff, I mean pretty much exactly that – useless stuff. Piles of opened mail, random unmatched socks, clothes hangers, empty tote bags, miscellaneous electrical cords, etc. are loosely organized into piles and pretty much line the walls of my bedroom.

While what I said before is true about my not owning much that is of sentimental value, I’m also a bit of a hoarder. A sure-fire way to need something is to throw it away so, I keep everything I “might” need later (and then sort of hope it turns up if and when I do).

What I REALLY need to do in order to better organize my home and my life is to fix it or forget it!

Jennipher Dickens is a Staff Writer for Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact her at or 252-332-7206.