For the past month, I’ve been going through acres and acres of paper. I’m swimming in old photo albums, report cards, half-finished stories, folders of magical thoughts for future writing. Oh yes! My office is under renovation. It’s a small room. It used to be the sewing room of the previous owner. And for a tiny space, it houses a deep, huge closet. And that is where all of my ‘stuff’ has been stored for the past thirteen years. Truly, it has been an overwhelming exercise.
I’ve discovered touching letters from my mom, photos of my teaching assignment in the N.W.T and other items that are packed with emotion. Some days have been very hard and I’ve had to stop and walk away. But I’m making progress. And it makes me wonder why do we ‘hold on’ to what we do? I think for me, it’s about capturing my past.
Growing up in an air-force family was a unique experience and we moved constantly. I think I kept things to remember the places where we lived. The people I met are ‘somewhere out there’ but I can’t find them now. But I’ve saved their photos and I have their memories. Cleaning out my office forced me to examine why we honour and cherish certain photos, stories, items and discard others.
What has been your experience? Are you a saver? Are you a person who dislikes stacks of memorabilia? Or are you hopeful that in the fullness of time, someone else will have to deal with your collection?
I’d love to hear from you.