Today I skipped yoga because I decided I could better achieve inner peace by attending to some tasks that I've been putting off. One of these tasks was to sew some patches onto Caroline's Brownie vest. The sewing machine lives in the basement, and I have to bring it upstairs to use it, the cord runs across the kitchen floor, you get the picture, right? Not a fun thing to do with three kids around. Anyway, I was sewing (or trying to--my brown thread ran out) and it got me to thinking about the only known picture of me in my Brownie uniform. I remember exactly what it looks like--it was taken the day I officially became a Brownie. I was in second grade, I even had on the lovely beanie. The kitchen wallpaper in the background was an awesome late-seventies orange and yellow pattern. The thing is, I know I have this picture somewhere. I am certain that I took it from my parents at some point.
Cut to me in the basement going through a rubbermaid box of almost every picture, card and letter I ever received in my life. And no, I didn't find the picture. Damn, I keep a lot of stuff! I mean, there were some treasures in there--ribbons from my swim team days and the first letter my brother ever wrote me while I was at Girl Scout camp in 1979. That letter is so old I'm afraid it will fall apart if I try to open it, but I remember thinking even back then that it was so sweet. But about 80% of the box was cards and letters. And here is where my sentimental, scrapbooking side does battle with my pragmatic, recycle-or-die side. Do I really need to keep every high school graduation card I ever received? Do I need to keep any of them? If I keep them (and every Christmas card, every birthday card, every "Congrats on yet another baby" card), won't they eventually get tossed when I'm old and gray? Or dead, for that matter? (hopefully I'll have reached old and gray by then)
When my grandfather passed away, we spent what seemed like hours going through memorabilia of his (granted, he was a college basketball coach, so his stuff was cooler and of slight historical value). And then I think we tossed a great deal of it. Do I want to burden my children and grandchildren with having to go through all this stuff? Maybe they'll just take one look and dump it all.
I'm leaning toward tossing out much of it and maybe scrapbooking a few items. That way, I can indulge my need to organize and still recycle! It's win-win (-win, for you Office fans out there).