Things I No Longer Need.

This morning, I was flipping through a Keel's Simple Diary in search of a little inspiration, and I came across an excellent question: "Name Five Things You No Longer Need." Having spent the last year shedding many of those things, the question actually stumped me for a few minutes - but I managed to come up with a few choice items. I also thought it was an interesting exercise (not in Keel's) to name five things I don't need, but also can't seem to get rid of, for various reasons. Turns out, the "various reasons" were more interesting than the list itself.

Five Things I No Longer Need:

  1. Vests. What the f@ck was I thinking.
  2. Old "all-access," "VIP" and assorted concert/event passes. Turns out, I'm not so sentimental.
  3. Old laptops/computers/Mylos/Palms and other discarded gadgets. Sunk costs.
  4. A dizzying array of unused domain names I've been mindlessly renewing for a decade.
  5. A giant box of my MBA, grad school and undergrad papers/reports. Yes, I got lots of A's. That and $4.00 will get me a salted caramel mocha.

Five Things I Don't Need But Can't Bring Myself To Discard:

  1. Suits that no longer fit me (they are too large.) My reluctance to part with these reflects my unspoken fear that I will put on weight as I glide into my middle years. Yes, I know the best thing I could do would be to donate them to Goodwill, but the thought of how much I spent on them over the years makes me crave a donut.
  2. A collection of three Sony MiniDisc players and dozens of blank Minidiscs. The exception to rule 3 above. People who accuse Sony of merely copying other products never experienced the joy of the MiniDisc. I have a shrine to these in my closet. No, I haven't turned one on in months.
  3. Cholesterol.
  4. A collection of albums (the vinyl kind) and a vintage Acoustic Research turntable. I know I'm supposed to pine for the old days of vinyl, so I retain these relics. But the TSA gives me funny looks when I try to take them on my travels. So (sigh) the iPod it is. 
  5. Books. Many leather-bound books. When my wife and I separated, I moved thousands of books, by myself, from my house and into storage. There they sit. I have steadfastly kept a vow to only buy digital books from that point on, but I cannot bring myself to let go of the books I've already read. But as I lugged box after box after box of the damn things on a 105 degree day (seriously) in Chapel Hill, I invented many colorful words for them that I cannot pass along in this space.

I'm still working on letting things go - those I listed, and some I haven't. What can you let go? What should you let go? Do share.


2 responses
I also have purged a lot this year (hitting the 40 year mark manifesting the cliche existential awakening), and hit the gym lots and lots. Also having a hard time letting go of the j.o.b. size 16 wardrobe (I'm a 10-12 now). Lots of records unopened collected for posterity. Guitars not played. Amps not plugged in. 35mm cameras held on for sentimental reasons. Laptops. My Apple II GS, printer, 5.25 inch floppies, and Bank Street Writer. Oversized hoodies. T-shirts bought at concerts. Also cholesterol. Too many photo albums with fading printed pictures. Negatives. Ceiling fans never installed. Packing bubbles. Magazines. Georgia Review journals. Dog toys. College essays (which in retrospect are godawful, how I got a 3.5 is a mystery).

Thanks for the inspiration. I'm riffing on this as my next blog post. Imitation=flattery.


Bank Street Writer. Awesome.