As this year-long project nudges ever closer to the end date, I find myself contemplating what has changed for us and what has not. Today, I thought I would share two observations with you.
I am a little more ruthless:
Several months ago, I took a cloth bag of ‘stuff’ to work with the intention of scanning them with my easy to use work scanner. It never happened, and when I moved offices a couple of months ago, I brought the bag home. It’s been waiting ever since. I went through it today and shredded almost everything in it.
In particular, I notice that my relationship to ancient relics (and by ‘ancient’, I mean my under-20 life) has changed dramatically. When this project first started it caused me nearly physical pain to leave an old letter unread let along casually shredding it. What I have learned is that all the old papers do is overwhelm me with guilt. No one goes back and reads old emails, why would I read old letters? The majority of their contents deals with the mundane minutiae of my then-life.
My old essays and scorecards for public speaking are mildly interesting. I was rather surprised at the first page of my Great Gatsby essay (it was really great) but I had no desire to read the whole thing. And if I don’t…who would?
The trick is the shredder. When I’m firmly in the “let it go” mood, I seize the moment and shred away. It’s far better to allow those memories to exist in my head than to have boxes of mouldy, mouldering papers. Be gone!
I am still terrible at clutter control:
I don’t always practice what I preach. My tiny office space is constantly overflowing with the detritus of life. Today I spent a couple of hours just going through the stuff that had accumulated on my 2’x4′ (approx) desk. It’s amazing what all can whirl together. Astonishingly enough, the majority of my purse-making had happened at this desk and part of my clearing up involved removing pins, thread, embroidery floss, and other sewing stuff. I don’t know about you, but I’m not crazy about dealing with spilled straight pins, but there they were, in the room I’m most likely to be barefoot in.
I am better at bringing things into this house, so I’m going to continue to be happy with that development, but I don’t know if I’ll ever get the hang of always having all the papers in my life in order. Maybe when the 3 children move out (which will be at least 11 more years, minimum). Children produce their own body weight in paperwork every 30 days (I’m sure I read that somewhere).
There has been progress and I’ll take it.
Day 331 scorecard: 1655 down, 170 to go