|I was not kidding.|
Which means I've been talking about it nonstop and whining about it to my big sister.
But not so much actually "doing" it. (We all have our process, right?)
And it's a big undertaking; I'm going to attempt to scan and file every single document of importance ever, so that future generations can marvel at my utter inability to throw away a napkin.
Picture this- I've kept a scrapbook binder of STUFF since middle school. One for each year. I am now 31. And I've been keeping one for Nora since her birth. She's gonna be two this year. Now, I'm no math expert, but I'm getting some pretty scary exponential numbers in my head here. (Okay, on my fingies.)
Plus, I've been watching an awful lot of Clean House lately...and it's always the same. Women who don't have a problem, confronted with their problem, crying about how they didn't know they had a problem, and later yelling at the people who are trying to take their problem stuff away to the Salvation Army. Television magic, sure, but it hit a couple of crowded nerves. (My elbows were resting on binders and scrap boxes at the time. Scrap boxes, you ask? Oh, that's when she's too lazy to actually rubber cement or three hole punch something- and just shoves it into a random shoe box for later sorting. I could open the worst Foot Locker ever.)
It got me thinking. This kind of keepsaking is a type of vanity, isn't it? Like I'm thinking to myself, not only is my stuff amazing, but the trajectory of my life has been so unreal awesomesauce that people I don't even know will want to analyze my dating history. And who thought I was great enough to send me a postcard from Rome that one time. Or ponder the significance of the one Highland School Field Day ribbon, circa 1987. (None. Everyone got one.)
Not to mention all the room this stuff takes up. I already have a lot of- er- collections. Teacups. Handbags. Leather boots. Books n' books n' books n' books. Quantum Leap fan fiction- whatever- we don't have to psychoanalyze it. The point is, I've always entered into any relationship with a bucket o' parts. I married this last guy and we darn near completed a wedding registry. (That's expensive stuff!) And now that I've passed a good chunk of my childhood possessions onto my kid (provided she plays with them correctly), I'm starting to see what's important and what isn't.
My new guideline is this: if- God forbid- there were a mammoth fire tomorrow, what personal documents would I be devastated to lose? (I have to keep this hypothetical situation strictly to random documents. The idea of a real, Lose Everything kinda fire makes me want to run around screaming with armloads of knicknacks, Ender and Bean, and that new pink armchair I love. Nora's got new sneakers- not only can she follow me outside, but she can grab my Kate Spade china mugs as she goes.)
The problem- beyond a culture that prides itself on ownership- is that I have an eighth grade-esque love for every single thing I own. It's true. There are very few things in my home to which I'd give a disinterested shrug. (Which would also be odd to see.) I love dreaming over things, organizing them, moving them around, and telling other people how much I adore them. (The things, not the people. If the people don't know how much I love them, well- one can only do so much.) And I realize that we are not our possessions. I know this. I do.
So. Yes. My plan is to copy every document, save and tag it, and file it on a big ol' external hard drive. That way I can take a walk down memory lane without getting beaned in the head by 1998. (A good year for memorabilia.) Hopefully, that will free me up to toss out napkins and movie stubs, saving room in my ONE scrapbook for truly important things.
I have not yet narrowed down what that may be.
Pretty sure all of my writings penned around second grade need to be immortalized in hard copy. Especially the ones where I was also the illustrator. Double especially the ones with a foreword- by me, obvie- and credits. Which was...all of them.
Definitely yes. Those need to stay.
I can sense that I may run into some difficulty, here.