Anyone who has moved knows the joy of facing those left-over boxes piled in the garage, or attic, or basement. You know the ones... they've been dragged around from house to house, through move after move, because, well... what else are you supposed to do with the stuff inside?
We face a wall of these in our basement now. And, if I want to claim back the space for tv watching or working out I have to cull their contents. "We'll each take one box a month," my husband and I promised each other. We would do it together. Hold testimony for the contents before all of those notebooks filled with appointments, all of the bank statements with early pay deposits, all of the high school notes passed in class, disappear, poof, into the historical memory of accomplishments, fears, joy and tears.
Eight months into our move and we are on box five. It turns out that what is daunting to approach is even more daunting to siphon through. I'd like to say we have plowed through and tossed the lot. But, in fact, much remains, now tucked safely (ha) into fresh clean boxes that at least look nicer than the old beat up ones.
But... here's the thing... how do you toss the card that came with the birthday flowers from your then boyfriend, now husband? And what about the Christmas card from that friend you've always meant to get back in touch with and who, at least used to, live in the same city where you now reside? (Janine.... yes, it's me, from EY.... consider this your invitation to email... I'd love to hear from you!)
In one notebook, back from my suit days at Barclays Bank in England, I found a diatribe on why I wanted to kick people (look for it in the next post.) That's priceless, right? In another, I found a bunch of poems I wrote... just put down in this notebook otherwise filled up with meeting notes and technical plans, two wings stretching from the pages, wanting to fly. I'm grateful I now, at least, have a place for these. You can read them on my Writings page on this website: /my-writings.html
Today much of the content in these boxes doesn't even exist except in the ether. We text and email. Send online cards, and photos sit in our laptop.... Thousands of them filling up as many boxes as would fill an entire house. Will we go through these someday... hoping to find that one poem or card; the treasure a wisp of memory assures us is there?
What is in the boxes in your attic or basement? I promise you a most amazing journey if you just open the lid....