It's been on my mind for weeks. Several times a day I would open this drawer, yes, this one, actually a basket which sits at the top of the bank of drawers, and get annoyed.
I couldn't ever find a pen. Or a sharp pencil. Or the pencil sharpener. I would have to get up, go around the corner and go to the kitchen or get up and go around the corner the other way and go to my son's room.
So, thinking it would be a great project for the William Morris link-up on Pancakes and French Fires today, I took a picture yesterday morning and then promptly walked away.
I made lunch: potato and onion soup from scratch with whole wheat Irish soda bread.
I watched a movie with my husband home this week on holiday. I went to the library and took my son shopping for pants.
It wasn't until just before bed that I remembered the drawer. I decided to check my e-mail while I sorted. And then this happened. It's our one remaining computer (with any decent speed).
intitializing disk for crash dump.... I have no idea what it means. But as the laptop sat there, whirring away and getting hot, I began getting more and more concerned.
I started cleaning out the drawer, wondering if I should.
I am usually ruthless when it comes to throwing things out. Everything, someday, could be useful. It's true. But to live from that place is to live in fear. I was afraid last night. A little bit afraid. Our new mantra around here is no more debt. That means no new computer until we have saved up for it (and no saving up for anything until the current debt is paid off).
Earlier this week, I had grabbed the old, dead, lifeless computer out of the garage to see if I could transfer the recently installed RAM into the dinosaur my Mom gave us. It turns out it's going to be more complicated than I'd ever imagined. I also thought I could sell off the still working parts.
My dining room is currently over-run with all sorts of things I've listed for sale. I'm impatient for it to sell. I'm impatient for this debt to leave us.
After I'd emptied everything and sorted into "keep," "re-locate," and "trash or donate" I had to go to bed. I couldn't deal with it.
This morning, before the fear and the coffee kicked in, I hooked up the laptop. It came on and acted just as it ought. So, breathing again, I began going through the mess.
You cannot save everything because someday it may be useful. I do know that. That's why I keep only three extra bread bags around--not zero and certainly not all of them. It's why I save the dried out pieces of bread, sometimes, and the heels of store bought loaves. Sometimes. You cannot live in fear. To do that is to invite pure chaos and all that comes with it. Frustration, anger at yourself for letting things get out of control, despair because it is all just too much.
So, I kept all three lighters instead of tossing two (but I put them in the drawer with the candles). I took the fancy pen and pencil set and instead of putting it in the donate pile, extracted the pen and pencil from their box and placed them in the drawer to mingle with the ordinary common pencils and pens. (Yes, I found two!)
But, yeah, I let go of chewed up erasers, pen lids and 2H pencils. There was a surprising amount of just plain unambigous garbage in that drawer.
So, here we have it. Too many staples. Too many dog chewed pencils and way too many return address labels. But it's neat. It's organized. I can find a pencil, a pen and an eraser without fear.
Life the way I like it.