Sunday, May 1, 2011
Having A Shredding Time
When I moved into my new house seven or eight years ago, I moved only what I needed. My new abode was clean and uncluttered. Closets were neat with the only bare essentials folded and stacked; countertops and table tops barren. I relished that feeling of freedom from “stuff”. Yet, I was told by a friend or two that I needed some warmth in the house, some colorful knickknacks, and items to personalize it.
Well, let me tell you --my house is now so personalized that no one would want to come into it except for the most of loyal friends. Two little dogs have done more than their fair share of “personalizing” my carpets, gnawed wood moldings and sheetrock, and scattered their toys throughout. This is why I am spending this weekend cleaning out drawers and moving furniture so that the laminated flooring I have ordered can be installed. It shouldn’t be such a big deal since I’m only doing my computer room, the hallway, and my bedroom. However, it is day three (I took off Friday as a vacation day) and I’m still working on the computer room. That tells me that I may be part of problem myself. It’s time to admit to myself and the world that I am a paper hoarder.
It’s not all my fault though. I blame most of it on those darn credit card companies who insisted on cluttering my mailbox with blank checks. “Just fill in the amount you want and spend, spend spend,” they shout. “We’ll only charge you 32% interest and your first born child” they whisper after handing you a ballpoint pen. I’m not dumb enough to fall for their lines but I’m also smart enough to know that if a garbage thief got a hold of the blank checks, I could be in big trouble. So I add them to the ever-growing stack of other papers that are waiting to be shredded so as to avoid identify theft.
The other papers I store are important and must be protected. Insurance policies and income taxes and receipts and bank statements, many of them way past their expiration date, but again, what do I do with them? I can’t have a bon fire. It’s illegal plus Texas has had too many wild fires already. So I’m back to shredding. I’ve burned up three shredders in the last three or four years. My latest purchased shredder has said, “Enough” so I am now hand-shredding. I figure it should help firm up the part of my arms that wave “hey there, I’m old”.
Finally, we get to those papers that don’t need to be shredded but need be tossed: my unpublishable short stories, essays, three novels, and the beginnings of the five or six novels that never made it past the first ten pages. I can’t do it though. They are a part of me that I can’t destroy. Not yet.
What does this blog have to do with baby boomers? Not that much although I can’t see the generations coming behind us being paper hoarders. Maybe they’ll be floppy disks hoarders? I doubt it. I know I’m keeping my sack full of them. Flash drives? Probably not – they’re so small that they are easily lost any way. (At least mine are in all the clutter.) What’s left then? The cloud? Could be. Oh well, that's in the future and I'm in the now so back to shredding.