Well, there goes my past. Shredded like my career. But like with my career, I was conscientious and made sure to recycle. These old check stubs that I’ve saved since 2003 — for no reason whatsoever — serve as a reminder that the past is only useful as a delivery mechanism to this exact moment.
I’ve dwelt in the past many times. One time it felt like I set up permanent residence there. But it gets old really fast. Reruns, pre-recorded messages, past participles. You have to move forward but, as a friend said on facebook, “People who ignore history are bound to re-tweet it.”
I don’t ever want to forget my personal history. God knows I’d like to block out certain parts though, and no, I don’t mean the unemployment and cancer thingy. The stupid things I’ve said to people or the hurtful things I’ve done are the real ghosts that haunt me.
Shredding old documents because we bought some new-used file cabinets is a way to stumble down memory lane from the comfort of today. The great notes our daughters shared with us when they were young make us laugh. “Dear mom, I cwit gymnastics. Nver evr sin me up agen.”
It also helps us let go. Hoarding past paperwork slowly becomes a burden. Consigning it to the recycle bin immediately repurposes it for the future. One simple transformation turns then into when. Letting go doesn’t always happen though. I can’t say whether it was a good idea or a bad idea to keep the trimmings of hair from our late dog just in case, as the note read on the Ziploc baggie, “cloning of pets becomes mainstream.”
By the time we get new new-used file cabinets, maybe we’ll be able to make that call.
We get to our Spring cleaning, it appears, sometime around mid-November. But purging the past helps lighten the now. I’m not suggesting a full scale shucking of anything older than a minute. Today I had lunch with some old college pals and was reminded of the adage, “The more things change, the more they change.” Sitting at the table was our three-man radio team that went by the name Steppin’ Out. I brought them a disc full of my favorite songs since school let out back in April of 1985. Had those songs been around, we would’ve played any of them on our 10:00 pm Sunday night show, (yeah, we got the primo slot).
Saving old music is wonderful. Old friendships are worth keeping in your file cabinet as well. Saving fun and silly memories is obviously important too. Those check stubs though, and a boatload of other dumb things, can happily float away.
Note to myself in the past, or future: Cwit hoarding usless krap.