Documenting Life

In the past two years I have been purging my home of the vast collections of STUFF that has amassed over the years.  I have been accused of being a borderline hoarder.  Having moved around a lot and lived in different styles or types of housing, my only excuse has been “I never know what I’ll need in one place versus another.”  I’ve grown out of this saving of stuff habit, so I’ve been going through boxes or totes on a fairly regular basis.  Sometimes, I get rid of a lot of things; other times, it’s just a few things.  I’ve been so good at this process that honey-do mostly has his two car garage all to himself; meaning, the stuff in there is mostly all his.

My father passed away in 2009.  Since he rented his home, we had to hurry up and box up his stuff and add it to our stuff.  It took over a year for me to even begin looking through the boxes of his stuff.  It was just too hard.  I found myself crying over the simplest things.  For example, honey-do started looking through a box to see if my dad still had something that he had given him.  I burst into tears for no real reason.  But with the purging efforts, I am down to a relative few boxes compared to what we loaded up out of his house. 

With all this purging, the most interesting thing for me to find was pictures.  I found pictures of myself I didn’t know existed.  Or I’ve stumbled onto pictures of people that I had long since let slip my mind.  Or I realized that pictures I had were some that I had taken and my family was unaware of.

I write about this today because we are now in a world of selfies and constant connection with the world around us.  I recently connected with cousins of mine that I only remember from my childhood.  And looking back into photo albums and boxes has made me realize that my life is no where documented as much as my children.  I have also seen the loss of print film.  Looking at my hard drive the other day, I realized that as of 2002 all my photographs were digital in nature and loaded onto my computer.  I also regret not backing up my files regularly because there was a time that I had six month period of time where I had several hard drive crashes and a loss of data.  Data being my pictures and writing that I did not have a hard copy.  It fascinates me how quickly the world evolves when it comes to data.