Packing boxes

@postaday 304; #postaday2011.

I’m packing boxes in my cube in preparation for a temporary relocation to one floor below. It’s an opportunity to discard, recycle, remember, and assess all the stuff I have. So far I’ve emptied five binders and dropped the paper in the recycle bin. This was all quite old, and all of my publications are online, even the old ones. For some reason we had always kept hard copies on file, but I never consulted them. I do not want to lug around reams of paper from cubical to cubical if it isn’t necessary.

A blue penguin, a tiny bowl, a turkey made by Kid2. A shrimp and a skunk.

Sorting through the work stuff is the easy part. But I do tend to surround myself with fun stuff, too, and I don’t think I’ll be putting it all away for three months. Kid2 is creative. On my desk are three ceramic items she made, and a rock she painted as a penguin. That rock is so smooth and cool to the touch. I always reach for it when I feel like a cool, heavy rock would feel really good in my hands. I have a cube paperweight from Ala Moana Shopping Center. I have big marble scarab, a 40+ years old acrylic disc embedded with Jersey Shore sea creatures from my cousin Monica, and a paperweight with the emblem of the United States Supreme Court. There are lots of HMSA stress vegetables for me to squeeze when someone’s putting the squeeze on me. And there are family photos, a Jersey Girl license plate, and a poster from a Psychedelic ’60s in-house celebration we had last year to raise funds for Aloha United Way.

Paperweights. I didn't realize how monochromatic they were!

Divesting is always an option, but it’s not that easy. I think I could be a hoarder. I attach memories to things, and as long as I have the thing, I have the memory. No doubt I need to allow the memories to homogenize in my brain, meld into a mental picture, with smooth and bumpy spots to touch when I have a moment to spare.

This is where my mother and I part. When she sees things on a desk or a table top, she sees dust collectors, clutter, pieces of crap. So that makes me hide some of the things I like to keep around.

About a year ago I took photos of all the girls drawings and books and other creations from when they were toddlers. It wasn’t easy, but I got rid of a lot of it. Paint dries and flakes, paper gets brittle and browns, the big girls aren’t as enamored of their work as they were when they were little girls.

But there are things that should be worth keeping, right?