When You Can’t Throw It Out

Objects that you associate with good times are much harder to let go of than objects that remind you of decomposition, embarrassment, and idiocy.  I still have notes from high school math classes — I’ve saved notes from AP classes and all of the courses I took in undergrad and grad school.  Pourquoi?  I remember the methodicalness with which I took the notes, using different color inks, writing in French, English, and Chinese.

I don’t need these items anymore, but I am not sufficiently motivated to throw them away or even go through them because then I’d have to take boxes out of my closet and thumb through filing cabinets.  I may find mementos of a self I no longer remember.  I may find questions to which I still have not found answers.

And then, there’s plain ‘ol laziness.  Why throw it out at all if eventually it will be gone anyway?  I’m the sort who gets an idea in her mind and has to do it “now” or within forty-eight hours.  Otherwise, some things fall off the mental conveyor belt into the abyss or flutter up into the sky.


My cat Schubert likes to watch TV with me.

One thought on “When You Can’t Throw It Out

  1. illumeateight

    I used to find that I went back home, old things of mine would have mysteriously disappeared. In the last five years or so, not so much. I think everything my mom deemed needing to throw out as been thrown out. I still retain notes from grad school and college, but not high school (maybe a few here and there) and I’ve marked them in a box noted do not throw. I’ve made it clear nothing further in my room should be tossed out without my explicit OK. Every time I go back, I go through a new set of papers or shelves, or re-visit the same, and try to throw non-essential things out. I’ve been pretty good but it’s taken 7 years.

    In moving, I’ve found that I’ve often left behind objects acquired, or objects no longer needed (regular sized queen sheets that do not fit a deep pocket mattress; old quilts bought as temporary stand ins for better quilts, old dishes)… I’ve left stuff at my uncle’s place and when I went back, I couldn’t find all of it. I’m sure it’s still there somewhere in their basement and it just got moved around, but I forgot what it was and didn’t matter much anyways so I let it go…. it’s like out of sight, out of mind.


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