How much time (and space) is ‘right’ to spend in the past? I’m not talking about regrets or mourning lost loves. I’m talking about looking back at the life you’ve lived. I’m having a clear out (it’s a phase, not a specific day) and taking a moment to think about what I choose to keep and why.
I have always kept my diaries. They’re not journals full of thoughts and observations. They’re the day to day diaries that tell me when and where I worked or went out. Everyday reminders of jobs, chores and appointments – different to the memories you get from looking through photos. They’re of no interest to anyone but me and they don’t take up much space, so I keep them.
Well that’s what I thought until a moment ago when I looked to illustrate my point. I was going to tell you what interesting things I was doing on this day in 2008 but it doesn’t work like that – turns out I wasn’t doing anything of interest that day. I did enjoy flicking through and seeing names of agencies I haven’t been to for a while and what other projects I had going on but I was surprised to find they didn’t make me feel all warm and fuzzy, like fond memories usually do.
Does this mean I’m done with them and can throw them out? Let’s not be hasty – It’s an irreversible decision. I’ll see how I feel in the morning…
…So, it’s now several days later and you are witnessing a revelation. They are gone. I am unburdened. I’m not a minimalist yet though. There are still plenty of things left to make me feel warm and fuzzy, like my little book of gig tickets! They don’t take up much space, so I keep them.