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:
- Vests. What the f@ck was I thinking.
- Old "all-access," "VIP" and assorted concert/event passes. Turns out, I'm not so sentimental.
- Old laptops/computers/Mylos/Palms and other discarded gadgets. Sunk costs.
- A dizzying array of unused domain names I've been mindlessly renewing for a decade.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.