The weather is cooler, and there are less calls and emails between now and January. The wind is howling outside from the edge of the hurricane, and it’s just not pretty out there. I’ve been indoors a lot this past few weeks, so I’ve been cleaning a lot.
I’ve gotten so ambitious, and honestly so curious and bored that I have decided to look inside boxes I have been moving around for years and years. (There is a digging deep metaphor that applies here that I don’t want to be lost on you!) My birthday is next week, which brings me to TWO years older than dirt, and it’s time to move the fur and dust inside those boxes aside, and look hard at what’s in them.
I’m a hoarder, I’ll admit it. I had a talk with a friend many years ago when he asked me why I still had every Daytimer from the time I moved out of my parent’s house. I opened one up, and showed him why. “Deb’s birthday party Friday, bring rum and a blanket.” “Going to David’s wedding? RSVP by May.” “I just don’t want to forget”, I told him. (It still brings big tears to my eyes.) “If I throw them out, I might forget.” He gave me the biggest hug. I kept them for a few years after that conversation, scoured them again, and then I burned them in the back yard in a slightly boozy ceremony all by myself on a night a lot like tonight.
Today I found all the notes my ex-husband and I wrote back and forth. We were too busy to see each other because we were working so hard, and they are so sweet and so dense with info while being just a fleeting message, often with arrows to who-knows-what beside the pad saying things like “enjoy, you deserve it”, etc. We really loved each other once, before life happened to us and we handled it badly. I found a letter my brother wrote in a birthday card that made me cry then, and makes me cry today. (He’s wicked with words, too.) I found letters from my sister from times when she lived far away and then I did.
Slipped in many of the envelopes today were pictures. My daughter kept asking “What?!” as I’d sigh too loud, or burst into shrill laughter, or just a single “OH!”. I was young and pretty once. Other people told me, but I never believed it. In fact quite the contrary. My friends were young and pretty too, and we had fun. I can prove it!
My words of wisdom for the day are these: PRINT YOUR PICTURES. Take the time and the effort once in a while to have something you can hold in your hand, put in your purse or wallet, and send to your friend for their fridge or their desk. Print them so your kids and grandkids can say “You wore THAT?!”
I told a client the other day “I want to make sure you have at least one thing in your home I’m responsible for creating about which people walk in and say “WOW”!” With all the talk, much of it mine lately, about digital files vs prints…just make sure some of your life is on hard copy. It’s way more important than you may think right now.
“……………Time it was, and what a time it was, it was
A time of innocence, a time of confidences
Long ago, it must be, I have a photograph
Preserve your memories, they’re all that’s left you……” Paul Simon