I decided to go Marie Kondo on the stuff in my garage. Last week I filled the recycling bin with old newspapers and other material, and this week it looks like I’ll do the same. Somehow it became easier once I realized keeping all that paper was like lugging around too much baggage. Getting rid of it really is freeing, but it’s more than just the lost avoirdupois of stale newsprint. It’s also the time not spent reading what I meant to read when I saved what I saved. Most of this stuff had not been touched in a couple of years. I should be more embarrassed to admit some hadn’t seen the light of day in a decade, but I haven’t gotten to those boxes yet. The focus is to empty or refile one box at a time. I started with 15 plastic boxes, and what is to be filed has to fit in five. So far none are full save one containing necessary house documents. Not all the boxes contained paper, and two carloads of stuff went to donation centers. That collection included film cans, business cards, wooden toys, wind-up monsters, crisp unused drapes and an odd device from our friends to the North that arrived on the scene shortly after Blackberry. I know I’ve mentioned the rabbit before, but never again since it is now sitting on a shelf somewhere at the Community Thrift Store.
The purge is interrupted by Things That Need To Get Done. TTNTGD are sometimes also slowed by paper, because the ritual is do something with it or toss it. Sometimes, that Do Something With It means pulling together more papers and taking an action that of itself will do away with the papers. One such was assembling critical papers for the end of the tax year. Another is re-assessing my insurance situation. These things take time + effort + assistance from another entity, and so create pauses along the way. But I’m determined to see it through, and am leaving the boxes (and new piles of paper) in place until the TTNTGD is accomplished so that I can pick up where I left off on the task.
I know, it all sounds incredibly dreary. Most things we don’t want to do are. But sometimes there is a reward. A few weeks ago I felt the strong need for a long bike ride, because I hadn’t taken one in a while. An opportunity presented itself when I had to pick up a item I snagged from the Treasure Truck, which was hiding out in Fisherman’s Wharf. Once I had the items safely stashed in my pannier I continued west through the Marina District and the Presidio. I had already mapped a route in my head that would take me through Golden Gate Park and back through the Wiggle to Tartine, where I could collect whatever baked goods remained for the day before coming home.
And my route brought me to this place.
I hung out for a long while taking it in. The holidays are a little like purgatory sometimes, with as many rewards as punishments associated with the season. And oftentimes in the hubbub finding a spot of tranquility is the best gift of all.