This is one of those weeks where I’m a bit scattered. I’m trying to get back into the proper groove with writing after having life stuff (mostly good, if a pain in the ass) interfere. We’ve gotten new floors put in the house which required us to effectively move all our belongings into the garage or various closets and bathrooms while the work was done.
Now we do Spring cleaning twice a year (yes, I understand that would make it Fall cleaning), so I cannot help but be amazed at how much stuff we gather up to ourselves during those 6 or so months. So much clutter, so much things that never filled their proper place or filled their need.
And I’m the pack rat, so it is against my nature to throw things out. Even when I know that some item no longer really has any real need in the house anymore. Many times those are some of the hardest ones to get rid of… I mean, who knows when that box of computer cords from the late 90s is going to come and save the day.
So these are a few of the things that I tend to keep no matter what when we go through this process. And here’s the thing, I know, in my brain what I should do, but the heart becomes a different matter.
Old VCR Tapes
I know what you are saying, but we actually have a VCR. That works. That I haven’t watched in the better part of a year (at least). So why do I keep those old movies?
The only thing I can think of is that since I paid money for them, if I were to simply throw them out, it would be like I’d burned that money (I need to understand sunk costs I believe). In fact, the only way that I can really see myself doing such a thing is if I had those movies in a DVD or Digital format. Then, maybe I could get rid of the remaining ones (save for Star Wars – I gotta keep some kind of evidence that Han shot first!).
Old Books that I’ve long since read
I’m actually not horrible about this one in that I have traded in a fair share of books to the used book store nearby. But there is still 2+ bookshelves in use with various unread or partially read (or in this case, completely read).
The lie here that I tell myself is that I’m going to reread these books. With all the free time that I seem to have, and all the new books taking up more physical space in my house or on my Kindle… well, I should no better.
Meaning, various mementos to events in the past that really may or may not actually have some kind of emotional connection with. Sometimes these are gifts or they could be a college yearbook in which I don’t appear… so why not get rid of it?
And the answer is that I don’t know. I just don’t have a logical mind when it comes to such things. So by having an annual that will never really be looked at again (as opposed to High School yearbooks and the messages they seem to contain).
They are full of paperwork and printed out manuals for D&D. Something that if I really needed it for gaming, I could print out again. Something that has not been looked at in over a decade.
Yet, I moved the folders to a safe place and then when everything was done I put them back in their home on the shelf.
And that’s not all of it… I have old cassettes too that I really don’t need. Yet I cannot throw them out.
Yes, I know that I should seek help.
John McGuire is the author of the supernatural thriller The Dark That Follows, the steampunk comic The Gilded Age, and the novella There’s Something About Mac through the Amazon Kindle Worlds program.
He also has a short story in the recently released anthology Beyond the Gate, which is free on most platforms!
He can also be found at www.johnrmcguire.com.