31 May 2005

Packrat Advice

I was going to comment on this, but my notes got long so I'm posting it here.

Don't throw your stuff away, Shane, unless you really want to. Ticket stubs and trinkets are triggers to memories. Without the trigger, the memory may exist in your mind, but you're less likely to draw it out. Sure you can write about it, photograph it, and for some things that's enough, but sometimes it's more satisfying to hold something you saved, or drew, or wrote a long time ago.

As for a future beyond your life, some of your trinkets will still have value. To your descendants, it will be things that were yours, pieces of the Shane puzzle, proof that you had a life prior to being a dad or a granddad. They don't have to know how you valued it specifically to be able to value it themselves. As for strangers who encounter your stuff, sometimes the most interesting stuff at tag sales are things that no one can identify.

I'm not saying you should save everything: be selective. For myself, I find weeding to be the best approach. As things lose value to me, I get rid of them. It's an ongoing process which highlights those things which remain important to me.

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