Paper Dawnings

Earlier this year, I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and decided to take its premise and run with it. I am still tidying. It’s slow going, but I’m thinking about what sparks joy before I bring it home. In the past week, I’ve purchased a new laptop (which sparks joy because I won’t freak out when my old one finally craps out), a new journal (which may spark a lot of other feelings before I get to the joy), and some new gel pens for said journal.

May has been dark and cold and rainy. Therefore, I have been dark and cold and rainy, and I’m pretty sure this means I can never live in the Pacific Northwest. There goes my dream of visiting Portland and never leaving.

But this dark, cold, rainy spell came to a head today. I had a choice: go into a “Hulk smash” rage or do something productive. Since I was at the office, where I doubt anyone would appreciate me trashing the joint, I instead decided to focus my energy on tidying up my cubicle. And so it went.

Marie Kondo’s advice when it comes to paper is basically “get rid of it.” She has a point. As I unlocked my filing cabinet and looked at the hanging folders, I wondered what I had forgotten about. My paycheck deductions from 2008? My retirement contributions from 2004? Notes from a project on an obsolete system? Yep, that and so much more.

None of these things spark joy, and they serve no purpose in my professional life, so they had to go. I spent some time with the recycle bin and the office shredder today. I made a mental note to buy some earth-friendly, vegan cleaning products to take to the dusty surfaces I uncovered. I considered buying myself some flowers to put in the empty vase that is now on top of that filing cabinet. Would flowers bring me joy? If we’re in for another week of this type of weather, then yes, flowers would bring me joy in a desperate way.

I hold on to things well past their usefulness. I suppose my Friday cleaning of my workspace proved my consistency in this facet of life. I’m not sure consistency is a good trait in this case. Expiration dates aren’t bad things. Moving on from things, from people, from places? There’s definitely a lot to digest there.


“Paper” Photo: Adam Burke

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