This year, I’m going to go through every thing I own–every book, every pot, every sock, every paper–and organize and purge. I need a fresh start after wallowing for too long in my whiny juices. Having a debut novel doesn’t change much of anything; my quirks and vices and neuroses remain the same. In fact, I have more now and the ones I previously had are more ingrained.
I’m itching to make my internal rejuvenation visibly tangible. Hence, purge and organize. I have a feeling it will take all year, but that’s OK. Last weekend I started with one dusty little pile that had been sitting there for over a year, semi out of sight, all the way out of mind. I found all sorts of good stuff in that pile: my cat’s rabies certificate, a Starbucks gift card, and a business card from a City of Portland detective (novel research). I also found random notes that were oh-so-important at the time. Most of them, thankfully, I tossed into the recycling bin. Yay!
Some notes, however, I set aside in what I now call my figure-out-how-to-organize pile. It looks like I’ll be investing in file systems at some point, which is OK too.
Then, there’s the in-between kinds of notes, like the names of two songs that I’d heard and liked, that I was going to download from iTunes because one of my never-ending goals is to update my music collection.
After awhile, the question becomes: What to do with all these in-between notes? Years ago, I started a master list of songs to download. So, if I can find that list (I think I know where it is), then I’ll transfer the names of these two songs from one piece of paper to another.
Does this really count as organization though? My master list has got to be 10 pages long by now. What’s the point of maintaining it if I’m never going to get around to downloading the songs?
My best guess is that I want music to be more important in my life than it actually is. This is one of the conundrums of the purge and organize–letting go of what we imagine as our ideal selves in our ideal lives. Like, for example, that fancy juicer I own. In my head, I’m a healthy juicer girl so I’ve kept the contraption. But come on–hello?–when was the last time I used it?
I like to think of myself as a woman happily singing along to Vampire Weekend while making myself a carrot-kale-ginger-apple juice. I can see it, it’s totally me–or it could be. And it could be that keeping my master list of songs and my juicer is a manifestation of faith in myself–never giving up.
Or maybe it’s a delusion so I don’t have to throw things out and make room for the new?
And how could purging one itty bitty paper pile lead to this much angst? Sometimes a paper pile is just a paper pile. (This is going to be an interesting year!)
Are you a purger or a keeper or a somewhere in-betweener? What do you do about the in-between stuff?