Tuesday, November 10, 2015

When Life Gets a Little Less Tangible

This weekend I greatly felt the shift of how life has gone from the tangible to the virtual. Not necessarily by choice, but life has shifted in this direction with the world around us.

I’ve felt it in almost every aspect of my life as I’ve packed up my stuff and gotten ready to move in the next month or so. I packed up my games for the PS4, but then realized I still have access to ones that are *on* my PS4. That felt like a nice security blanket for the interim, but then I realized I appreciate having access to the game without needing the disc. Weird! I also felt the reverse of that when I went diving back into the packed items to fish out my Star Wars movies. Who was I kidding thinking I wouldn’t want to re-watch them before Episode VII comes out later this year? That I should have known.

Going through my stuff has been great when I feel clear on what I want to keep and what I don’t. Old bank statements? GONE! Book I bought last week? KEEP! It’s a little more annoying when I don’t know if I want to keep it. There is the “will I need this?” level, the “do I want this?” level, the “can I replace this if I need to?” level and the added challenge of “how many of these do I have?” level that comes with having most of my stuff in storage. I've been able to let go of a lot, and also felt confident about what I want to keep a lot too. Having a more relaxed pace to packing has really allowed for being able to think through the choices, instead of the frantic "stuff it all in a box and figure it out later" pace I usually have while moving.

Although a lot of the decisions on what to keep and what to pitch felt great, I have found it challenging when it comes to things like journals and notebooks. Over the past two years I've filled tons of journals and notebooks. I wonder if I will ever re-read them. I wonder if they will mean something to me later. I can't know either for certain, so it made it hard to decide. For now, if it was too hard to decide I went with keeping it. I'll have time later to pitch it if I don't want it and it's better than regretting letting it go. It's something I can't re-buy or re-write, and it represents a particular period of time. I probably didn't need to keep as many as I did (and I did let a few go), but it was quite a sticky spot and I couldn't stay stuck too long and that defaulted to keep.

I’ve found that the sticky spot of keeping/pitching journals and notebooks has oddly had me a little bit in a bind over what I currently use. When I sit to my journal or a notebook, or even my composition book which I love using, I sometimes find myself pondering over that one day I might just end up recycling it. And if that's the case, why bother even using it now? I know that isn’t great thinking, and that there is something very valuable in the process of processing ideas, getting thoughts OUT of the brain, working with images to find out what is really going on, yet I still find myself hesitating from diving in. I may dive in, but I may just as likely find myself playing one more level of Farm Heroes Saga instead.

I know I’m at an odd point of transition, so this isn’t a standard or static frame of mind for me. But it is a great time to think about, work through, and talk through those questions. What is important to me? Will it always be important (and does that matter?), and do we ever know that? Does keeping it make me happy? Sad? Wistful? Forlorn? Tough questions.

The decisions on what to keep and what to let go of are now on hold as I've almost pared down to just what I need until I land on the flip side. I have my journal, my composition book, pencil crayons, my TV binder, all six Star Wars movies along with War and Peace. Plus clothes and tech. I think that will keep me busy for now.

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