Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Paper Trail

As I'm wading through all the stuff in the craft room, I'm starting to realize that this job is a lot bigger than I originally thought. You know that saying, "It's gonna get worse before it gets better?" That's what I was thinking yesterday as I was sorting through trying to figure out exactly what to do with everything. I found a box full of papers from when my oldest son was in 2nd grade (he's in 7th grade now.)

I sat cross-legged on the floor and went through the box. His printing was so neat, he got 100% on this test, look here--his teacher thinks he's a genius. Seriously. What was I thinking? Do I really need to keep every spelling test, art paper, science experiment or math timing? At the time I must have thought so.

Yesterday, not so much.

That's another thing I'm discovering about why I procrastinate. Decision making. Do I keep it, toss it, frame it or recycle it? There's just too many decisions to make about too many things. After a while I was starting to feel really stressed out. I worked for about 2 1/2 hours and I did make a lot of progress. I do feel good about that. I just wish I knew why I didn't throw those papers away when he brought them home from school five years ago.

The guilt, for one thing. Our generation seems to want to hang on to every moment. We video tape every event and even non-events. I have yards of video tape of every birthday, Christmas, Easter and vacations we took. When I wasn't video taping, I was snapping pictures. I have so many pictures on my hard drive that the owners of Snapfish could send all their children to private college if I ever decided to have them all printed.

It seems that we spend so much time recording the event that we have no actual memory of it.

My baby book has about six pictures in it. There are a couple pictures taken the day of my Baptism, turn the page and there are a couple pictures taken on my first birthday. That's pretty much it. There's no box filled with papers from every grade, every outfit I ever wore, my favorite stuffed animals, fingernail clippings or teeth I lost.

And you know what? I really don't feel all that deprived.

Something tells me that my kids will be alright if I toss some of this stuff out.

1 comment:

Moody said...

I finally went through my oldest's kindergarten box (yes I have an entire box for each of his grades) and scrapbooked some and got rid of the rest (I don't think the lunch menu is really relevant anymore). With the others I haven't saved as much, but still too much. I think it is me that wants to somehow hold on to him as a little boy through his stuff. I coming to grips on letting it go though.