Jan. 25th, 2013

rickps: (Buck Cluck)
(Yeah, OK, another post in less than a decade. Live with it)

Have you ever watched paint dry? Of course you haven’t. That’s why, when we all touch a freshly painted wall our hands come away with a lovely personalized paint sample. Of course that requires that the wall needs to be touched up. Which means more drying paint. Which means more individualized handprint paint sampling when we’re too impatient to wait. The cycle goes on and on until we walk away disgusted and bored. Such is one of life’s lessons.

Which brings me to today’s mind-numbing topic – moving. I have relocated so many times over the years (including a massive coast-to-coast move in 1994) that I’ve lost count. So often, in fact, that the whole process of moving is as comfortable as wearing an old pair of loafers. You just know how they’re going to feel. Switch the utilities, move cash around to make the new landlord happy, file change of address notices with most of the Western World… You know the drill.

This brings us to that joy of joys in the moving ritual, packing. I’ve been fortunate to have had many moves paid for by my employer and this included the packing process. When you do your own move though, it commences a voyage of discovery as you dig through dust covered bookshelves and closets to find life’s effluvia. In my case, as an obsessed technogeek, I’ll toss last year’s cutting edge tech-toy into a box just in case I want to use it again some day. Packing becomes akin to an archeological dig when these boxes are opened. Where does our brain go when we store away such things?

All of which brings me to my current latest move. In the last year or so I’ve been spending more and more time away from my apartment in San Diego, preferring to enjoy the small home I purchased in Palm Springs. Downsizing was in order, packing and moving the result. While I’m using a moving company to shift my possessions between locations, the packing has fallen to me. Cue music, agonizingly slow tempo, lots of strings.

So what have I discovered in the last few days? A stack of cassettes (yeah, remember those?!) recorded who knows when holding music I don’t recall. I haven’t owned a functioning cassette player in years! Then there was the radio laying in wait in my bedroom closet. Lovely radio, amazing sound, still looks stylish. Except that it doesn’t work correctly and didn’t do so when I socked it away. Not entirely surprising given that it’s over 20 years old. Last night’s discovery was one of those step-by-step manuals on how to use web page design software that hasn’t been sold for years. Need I mention that the program was PC based and that I’ve been a Mac-ista for half a decade? Or that I never seriously entertained the idea of building a vanity page on the web?

Why do we keep all this stuff rather than trashing it? And what does this say about us as people? Is it just the stuff we possess or does it have a deeper meaning? What about our relationships? Do we let aspects of these emotionally filled cartons languish in the closets of our mind? And on the day we choose to move on, do we drag them out, dust them off, and wonder why we kept them?

We have so many closets in our lives…

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