This past weekend, my husband and I purged a ton of stuff from our home. We didn’t set out to do so, but we bought a Wii. Somehow this meant we needed a new tv, only the tv didn’t fit on our entertainment center, so we had to buy a new one which only emphasized the disorganization of the desk sitting next to it.
Performing a lobotomy would be less complicated.
procrastinated long enough rearranged most of the furniture in our home and wore out the Wii, we were faced with the task of trying to organize the mess on our desk.
Along with that came the task of sorting through piles and piles of papers that we have held onto in fear of audits or letters claiming that we had or had not taken care of something.
Perhaps we expected The Paperwork Police to show up at our door and demand to see a receipt from October 23rd 1997. I don’t know. I just live the life. I don’t pretend to understand it.
It was absurd looking over what we had held onto.
A lot of it was items that we weren’t about to just throw away without shredding first, so Monday afternoon, I spent a good chunk of time shredding said documents. (Though, I have to admit, it is rather humorous to consider someone diving through a nasty smelly dumpster and finding our info and using it to try to obtain credit only to find out that our credit STINKS!!! Sweet niblets – that thought cracks me up)
As I sat there shredding (and shredding and shredding and shredding) I was struck by the memories that each of those pieces of paper held.
Mortgage paperwork from our first home.
Loan paperwork for the first car we purchased as a married couple.
Insurance papers from each pregnancy.
Credit card statements reflecting purchases made long ago, each one eliciting a different memory: trips to the bookstore as a family, gas purchased on a family trip.
It was quite a trip, me sitting in the middle of the room reflecting on life and its fleetingness. Shredding it all.
And it was actually rather therapeutic, because before those documents were shredded, there was always a chance that I would come across those papers and romanticize what we once had. But that is not where I need to be. I don’t need to be looking back and thinking that those days were as good as it gets.
Because they weren’t.
While my life doesn’t look anything like it did on paper for all of those years, it is now so much richer and more lush.
Those papers may have been the springboard for where we are now, but they don’t define me.