September 27, 2015

On Changing and Staying the Same: September 27, 2015

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

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