Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Spring Cleaning - Phase 1

Didn't know what I was I looking for
Maybe just a blanket or artifacts

I'm such a mess that I always have to take my cleaning in phases. I don't do it very often, but when I do, it's always a major to-do. Corey calls it "puttering," and when I'm in "putter mode" he knows better than to distract me too much because I'm on a mission.

It all started when I got a new bookcase. I put it togther and put it in the spot I had designated for it (next to the TV - in plain sight from my chair a.k.a. the command center) only to discover that the damn thing was crooked. I know it wasn't my fault - it's just a cheap bookcase whose parts were not measured properly. If I was in a real house that I actually owned and wanted to actually decorate, I would have just tossed it and gotten a better one - but since it doesn't really matter at this point what my apartment looks like, I figured I'd make the best of it and just switch it out with my other (nicer) bookcase so I wouldn't have to see it all the time and be annoyed by its crookedness.

In order to fill my bookcases the way I wanted them, I had to go through and toss some stuff. I'm not amazed at how much crap I've accumulated, but I marveled at the stuff I've kept for so long.

This got me to thinking about how you let go of certain things at certain stages of your life. Things and pieces of paper I couldn't let go of two years ago when I moved in were suddenly utterly disposable to me.

For example, I've had so much teaching stuff for so long that I just didn't throw away for some reason - like maybe I'd need it if I decided to teach again or if I might want to tutor. But now that stuff just seems like a burden. I know I never want to teach again, so it was easy to let go of this time. I also came across about half a dozen packets from the graduate school at UNCG that I had held onto. It just seemed silly to keep them now. That doesn't mean that I've given up on grad school, but it does mean that practicality has taken over - because most of the info in those packets has changed by now.

But then, I had all kinds of stuff from high school - a copy of a poem my first boyfriend had written for the high school literary magazine, worksheets I thought contained useful information, etc. I had lesson plans and writing cues I had sketched out for a creative writing class I thought about teaching a couple years ago. I still can't throw any of those away. And it's impossible for me to willfully throw away any blank paper - there are just too many possiblities and too much promise for a blank piece of paper.

I reckon some things are impossible to toss.

Although the dancin' dude is distracting, this is a great version of "Excuse Me While I Break My Own Heart" by Whiskeytown.

1 comment:

  1. It took me years to finally clean out filing cabinets and throw away papers from graduate school and syllabuses from classes I taught and what not.

    The problem is, I have several times decided to revise and send out a paper only to realize I've thrown the only hard copy away and long since decommissioned whatever PC I had when I wrote it. My best example of this is a paper I wrote on Virginia Woolf for which I received an award. I don't have a copy any more, but somehow a copy was stolen and uploaded to a bootleg site. It was available on the Internet under the wrong title until about a year ago. Complete with my byline and university affiliation.


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